Immigration options for EU nationals coming to the UK from 1 January 2021

By 8th January 2021 January 11th, 2021 No Comments

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Immigration options for EU nationals coming to the UK from 1 January 2021

Many important events took place in December 2020. One of the most significant ones was that the UK and the European Union finally agreed on a deal which defines our future relationship with the Union following the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020. All EU, EEA or Swiss citizens have been concerned about what happens to those who wish to travel to the UK from 1 January 2021. While the EU Settlement Scheme eligibility deadline passed for most applicants, we have listed possible immigration options for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who are coming to the UK in the new year.

With the new Immigration system in place since 1 January 2021, all EU and non-EU citizens are now treated equally. You will need a visa to live in the UK unless you are eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you or your close family member started living in the UK before 1 January 2021, you might be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. Otherwise, you will need a visa to reside, study and work in the UK.

Dependent on your plan to live in the UK, you may apply for a UK visa under the following categories:

  • Work
  • Student
  • Investment migration
  • Innovator / start-up founder
  • Exceptional talent in technology, science or art
  • EU Settlement Scheme
  • Frontier Worker Permit

Skilled Worker and Representatives of overseas businesses visas

For those seeking employment in the UK, you need to apply for a Skilled Worker visa before coming to the UK and working for your future employer. Your prospective employer has to be a Home Office registered sponsor to sponsor your visa and your role must meet the necessary skill level and salary requirements.

If you are employed by an EU company who does not have any presence in the UK, and your employer plans to relocate you to the UK to carry out business activities and open a UK branch, you may want to check if you are eligible for an Overseas Business Representative Visa.

Student and Child student visas

Depending on your age and the courses you or your children plan to study, you can apply for a student visa or a child student visa to study in the UK. You will need to obtain support from a Home Office registered student sponsor provider to sponsor your student or child student visa. The courses can be either at a school or university level.

Investment migration

If you or your partner has at least £2 million investment funds, you could apply for an Investor visa. You will need to open a UK bank account and invest in UK public companies shares. You need to retain the investment level throughout the length of your visa. You have a full right to work, study and stay in the UK.

You can come to the UK with this visa for an initial period of 3 years and four months, and then extend this visa for another two years. Depending on the amount of money you invest, you can qualify for settlement or permanent residence after two or three years in some cases.

Innovator / start-up founder

Are you a founder of an innovative business and thinking to start your venture in the UK? If you are an established businessperson and have access to at least £50,000 to invest, then an Innovator visa is suitable for you. Alternatively, you can apply for a start-up visa if you want to set up a new business in the UK as a first-time entrepreneur. Your business idea for both start-up and Innovator must be endorsed by one of the UK endorsing bodies or universities and you will need to report to it regularly throughout the length of the visa.

A startup visa is granted for two years and you should then switch into innovator route. As an innovator, you can apply for settlement after three years provided you meet the requirements, and it was approved by your endorsing body.

Global Talent visa

If you have special achievements in your professional field, then Global Talent visa is another option for you. A UK endorsing body must approve your talent in a field of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or arts in order to apply for this visa. You must either be a recognised leader (exceptional talent) or a potential leader (exceptional promise). The other route to this visa is via the UK Government Research and Innovation grants, who can then endorse an application for a visa.

The visa can be granted for any period from one to five years and those endorsed as talents can switch into settlement after three years, whereas promise candidates will need the full five years to do so.

EU Settlement Scheme

Those who started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and now wishing to regularise their status in the UK, the deadline for applying a “pre-settled status” or “settled-status” is 30 June 2021. If you were living in the UK before 31 December 2020 but left the UK for less than six months last year, you may be eligible for a “pre-settled status” dependent on your residence history in the UK. You may also rely on the previous period of 5 years of residency in the UK, as long as you have retained that status.

You may also apply under the EU Settlement Scheme if you plan to join your EU family member(s) who started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. Please check our article HERE for more information.

Frontier Worker Permit

As introduced in our previous article, the UK government announced a new visa route for EU frontier workers. You can apply for a Frontier Worker Permit to keep your status. Please check if you meet the following requirements:


  • You are an EU, EEA, Swiss national;
  • You are not primarily resident in the UK;
  • You have worked in the UK by 31 December 2020; and
  • Continue coming to the UK to work at least once every 12 months.


How can we help?

Taylor Hampton’s immigration solicitors have assisted numerous clients in securing their UK visas. If you need legal assistance with your application or wish to know more about any of the visa category, please contact Taylor Hampton’s immigration today on 020 7427 5972 or submit an enquiry HERE.


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