Van Der Elst Visa

History of Van Der Elst Visa

In 1994, a Belgian employer (Van Der Elst) employed Moroccan nationals in Belgium who were entitled to reside and work there legally. The Moroccan employees were required to provide services to a client in France as part of an agreement between their employer and the French firm. Van der Elst obtained short stay entry visas from the French consulate and the Moroccan employees travelled to France to provide a temporary service to the French firm. Upon arrival, the French authorities claimed that the employees were in breach of French immigration law since the Moroccan employees had not obtained valid work permits. The authorities fined Van der Elst but this was appealed and ended up at the  European Court of Justice.

The European Court of Justice 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. This is mentioned under Articles 59 and 60 of the EEC Treaty. Hypothetically, an established non-EEA employee working for an EU company in Germany for example, can come and work in the UK in order to provide a service on behalf of the employer without requiring a work permit. Entry clearance applies regardless to whether the applicant is a visa or a non-visa national.


Requirements for Van Der Elst Visa

The employee must meet the following requirements to qualify;

  • They must be lawfully employed by an employer who is providing a service in the UK on a temporary basis;
  • They must be a lawful resident of the EU member state in which they are originally employed in;
  • They must leave the UK once the period during which the employer is providing the service is complete;
  • They must not take any other form of employment while in the UK.

Van Der Elst visa could be a good alternative for Tier 2 ICT employers without the huge responsibilities of being a Tier 2 Sponsor.

If you have any questions or believe that Van Der Elst could apply to you, don’t hesitate to call one of our experienced immigration lawyers on 0330 058 3929.