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Visiting the UK from 1 January 2021

With less than three months separating us from the ending of the transition period and the beginning of the new Immigration System, the Government is sending out daily updates on the changes which will mark the permanent rules and regulations to affect all third-country nationals who wish to visit, study or work in the UK.

On Thursday 08 October 2020, the Home Office published that EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who wish to travel to the United Kingdom for holidays or short trips can continue to do so without the need of obtaining a visa. They will be required to present their international passport at the borders, and EEA or Swiss national ID cards will no longer be accepted for inbound travel to the UK from 01 October 2021. However, exemptions will apply until at least 31 December 2025 for those individuals who do not have an international passport, have been resident in the UK with pre-settled or settled status under EU Settlement Scheme and only hold a national ID card. Frontier workers, S2 Healthcare Visitors and Swiss Service Providers also benefit from this exemption until the same deadline. Non-EEA family members of EEA or Swiss Citizens will continue to present their respective international passport and Biometric Residence Permit card issued under EEA Regulations 2016 or EU Settlement Scheme – depending on validity.

School visits to the UK

Specific guidance for non-EEA children who are resident in an EEA country has been updated by the Home Office on 25 October 2019 to adhere to the country’s new regulations.

Specified children will not need a visa if visiting or transiting the UK as a member of an organised school group. To qualify, they must evidence that a teacher will accompany them during their visit, as well as they will be mandatorily required to register their name on the officially approved List of Travellers. Further information can be found on the official government website.

Common Travel Area trips for foreign nationals

EEA and Swiss nationals will continue to benefit from no immigration controls while travelling throughout the common travel area. Their passport will be initially checked on their first entry in the UK. Their Non-EEA family members will only be able to continue access in the UK and Common Travel Area as they do now until December 2020.

If you are unsure whether you will need a visa from 01 January 2021, you can check your eligibility here.

Disclaimer: No material or information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should always seek appropriate professional advice to resolve their Legal Matters.
About the Author
Clement Mensah

  Clement Mensah

Clement is an Associate handling Immigration, Wills and Estate Planning matters with a strong legal academic background having completed BSc in Land Economy and pursuing Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) from Nottingham Law School.

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