EU Nationals Detained at
UK Border Without Work Authorisation

EU Nationals Detained at UK Border Without Work Authorisation

Last week, stories of EU citizens stuck at the border and denied entry to the UK made the news in Euronews, Politico, and The Guardian.

These news stories demonstrate just how high the risks are for undertaking prohibited activities and that the penalties for non-compliance are severe. Ensure your trip is compliant by taking the Post-Brexit Travel Assessment.

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We interviewed Carlos Claro, CIBTvisas UK Managing Director, and Hannah In-Chan, Newland Chase Global Immigration Counsel, to get their insights on the current situation and what companies can do to prevent this from happening to their travellers.

“Technically these travellers are adhering to the new regulations set-out by the UK government but immigration officials are making judgement calls at passport control as to whether they believe that they intend to overstay in the UK,” said Claro, adding, “This really puts an emphasis on the additional documentation that a traveller provides at passport control.”

In case you missed it, review our required document checklists for business travellers here.

As a reminder: the UK has been preparing for Brexit since Article 50 was triggered on 29 March 2017, and the authorities timed the implementation of the new UK Points Based System to coincide with the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021. From this date, all EU nationals who do not have residence in the UK will be required to provide evidence of authorisation to reside and work in the UK when entering, and will be treated like other third country nationals. For more background on the new UK Points Based System, review our previous newsletter focused on UK work authorisations.

“Should an Immigration Officer suspect that an EU national is coming to work in the UK without the relevant work authorisation, the UK authorities can and, as we see from the articles, will, detain the EU national before returning them home,” shared In-Chan.

With the strong stance at the UK border, it is critical that companies with EU nationals travelling to the UK for business, consider the following:

  • Check that their travellers intended activities are permitted in the UK – our Post-Brexit Travel Assessment provides you with an evaluation of the permissible business activities
  • Ensure travellers carry contact details of their UK contact
  • Check the latest health entry requirements – our Entry Guide is updated daily and provides accurate information regarding COVID-19 testing, registration forms, and quarantine requirements
  • If entering for a short visit, ensure they have a return/onward flight ticket available to show that they do not intend to stay in the UK
  • If they are entering for work, ensure they have their relevant permissions available

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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