A Tale of Two Budgets:
Business Travel vs. Work Authorisation

A Tale of Two Budgets: Business Travel vs. Work Authorisation

One of our visa and immigration experts was speaking with a client earlier this week about the general differences when it comes to the cost and complexity of business travel vs. work authorisation.

The client was well-educated on the fact that business travel had changed significantly due to Brexit but didn’t fully understand that the costs and level of requirements for work authorisation are much higher than a business trip.

A recurring theme that we’re seeing is employers incorrectly assuming that the costs and requirements for work authorisations are similar to those of a business visa. Generally speaking, work authorisation processes involve more steps and filings, require more supporting documents, take longer, and hold more eligibility criteria than a business visa; all of these factors contribute to higher costs.

Note that the following is focused on UK nationals travelling to the EU. If you need information regarding EU nationals travelling to the UK you can find it here.

In the post-Brexit world, the two primary categories of work-related travel for employers to consider when sending UK workers to the EU are: 1) permissible activities as a business visitor and 2) activities that require work authorisation. It is crucial that businesses remain compliant with local immigration regulations. In the event that employees undertake prohibited activities, the penalties that immigration authorities can issue can be severe for both the employer and the employee. A range of sanctions may be imposed, including travel bans, financial penalties for companies or illegal workers undertaking prohibited activities without holding the appropriate visa and, in the most severe cases, imprisonment of employees.

Let’s get back to our client’s story. This UK employer needed to send a group of UK nationals to work on a 4-6 day project that involved preparing for a livestreamed event to be held in Denmark. The travelling group included video producers, project managers, sound engineers and creative directors.

The employer completed the Post-Brexit Travel Assessment and instantaneously discovered that the UK nationals’ visit required work authorisation. After consulting with CIBT’s Immigration Division, Newland Chase, the employer learnt that the anticipated costs of work authorisation per person are £2,605 (plus a notification fee of £23) and approximately ten documents are required for each individual, which is more than five times the cost and triple the amount of documentation needed for a business visa.

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As a result, the employer decided to reduce the number of UK national employees sent to work on the project in Denmark. Instead, they hired Danish and EU nationals for additional support on the project as they did not require work authorisation to complete the work. CIBTvisas and Newland Chase can support your company’s planned travel to the EU by advising on immigration options, timelines, red flags and strategy recommendations to adapt your company’s travel needs in a transformed travel landscape.

CIBTvisas stands ready to support you and your travel programme. Contact your dedicated CIBTvisas Account Manager today for more information. Don’t have an Account Manager? Contact us.

This publication is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Readers are reminded that immigration laws are subject to change. We are not responsible for any loss arising from reliance on this publication. Please contact CIBTvisas or Newland Chase should you require any additional clarification or case specific advice.

CIBTvisas is part of CIBT, the leading global provider of immigration and visa services for corporations and individuals with expert immigration and visa professionals, attorneys and qualified migration consultants located in over 70 offices in 25 countries.

With thirty years of experience, CIBT is the primary service provider to 75% of Fortune 500 companies. CIBT offers a comprehensive suite of services under two primary brands: Newland Chase, a wholly owned subsidiary focused on global immigration strategy and advisory services for corporations worldwide and CIBTvisas, the market leader for business and other travel visa services for corporate and individual clients.

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