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Business Immigration

EU Van Der Elst Visa

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EU Van Der Elst Visa

This route permits non-EEA nationals who are legally employed by a company in an EU country to provide services on a temporary basis to a company in another EU country on behalf of their employer without the need to obtain a work permit. Usually, a ‘Van Der Elst’ visa is considered if the Non-EEA employee in question does not fully satisfy the terms laid out within the eligibility for a ‘Business Visitor Visa’.

Background of Van Der Elst visa

Raymond Van Der Elst was a Begian employer who employed Moroccan nationals in Belgium working and residing there legally. In 1994, Van Der Elst required the Moroccan national employees to provide some services for a client in France as part of a mutual business agreement. The employees were sent there on a short stay visa; but were challenged by the French Immigration authorities as they claimed that the Moroccan national employees did not possess a valid work permit. The French authorities fine Van Der Elst and this was appealed and finally ended up at the European Court of Justice (ECJ). 

The ECJ found in favour of Van Der ELst and ruled that if certain criteria is met, non-EEA individuals working in an EU member state are able to work in another EU member state for the purpose of providing services for a limited period of time effectively upholding Article 59 and Article 60 of the EEC treaty. This route subsequently started to be known as Van Der Elst visa. Entry clearance applies regardless to whether the applicant is a visa or a non-visa national.

Van Der Elst visa requirements

The employee must meet the following requirements to qualify:

  • Must be lawfully employed by an employer who is providing a service in another EU country on a temporary basis
  • Be a lawful resident of the EU member state in which they are originally employed in
  • Leave the EU country applying to enter once the period during which the employer is providing the service is complete
  • Intend to take no other form of employment while in the EU country applying to enter.

Successful applicants are normally granted a visa for the length of the contract for the service required in the other EU country. This route does not specify a minimum salary or skills requirement and is free of charge.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in advising and assisting on EU visas including Van Der Elst applications. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Brexit affect this route?

It is currently not clear until full trade negotiations are completed between the UK and EU to see how this will be implemented in the UK. There is a possibility that this may be transposed into the UK domestic law included in the future trading agreement.

Am I eligible to apply if I am a self-employed individual?

The Van der Elst ruling applies only to non-EEA employees of an EU-based company which has won a contract in another EU State. This does not extend to a self-employed individual or consultant.

Can I bring family members under this scheme?

Family members are not permitted to accompany or join the employee (except as visitors or having applied for and been granted an immigration permission in their own right); applicants are encouraged to check directly with the EU country they are planning to enter.

Will I be granted a visa under this route if my residence permit is due to expire?

Duration of permission to remain in the entering EU state in order to provide a service should never exceed the expiry date of the lawful residence of the employee in the sending EU country or the expiry date of the employee’s Passport.

Is it possible to extend this route?

The employee is not entitled to permanently reside in the entering state and must leave as the assignment completes. It is not possible to extend the permission beyond the date of company agreement to provide services.
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