Can European Companies send EU citizens to work in the UK as Business Visitors after Brexit

Can European Companies send EU citizens to work in the UK as Business Visitors after Brexit?

European (EU) Companies who used to send their employees to work in the UK, either in their own UK entity or to work at a clients site will have to carefully plan and manage their activities accordingly if they wish to continue sending their employees or else they may fall foul of the Business Visitor rules and their employee might be sent back at the port of entry.

From 1 January 2021, all the European Citizens would be subject to the same Business Visitor requirements as any other non-European national (USA, Japan, India, China, etc.)

Below we have discussed the various aspects that need to be considered by EU Companies while sending their EU Citizen employees to the UK on short term visits:

EU citizen employees (employed by either a linked EU Entity or any third party EU Company) can come to the UK on a Business visitor entry, they would not need to apply for a visa to come to the UK (exceptions in Note 1 below), they can use their valid European passport to come to the UK and and they can be in the UK for up to 6 months doing any permitted business activities (see Note 2 below).

Note 1: EU citizen employee who should obtain Business Visitor visa

Below are some of the examples, where it is advisable that the Employee applies and obtains a Business Visitor Visa:

  1. The EU citizen Employee tried to come to the UK, but was refused entry at the port of entry by a UK Immigration officer

  2. The EU citizen Employee has any Criminal convictions or Police Cautions or a Civil Judgement(for non payment of Debts) either in the UK or abroad

  3. The EU citizen Employee has breached UK’s Immigration Laws:

(a) by overstaying their leave/visa to enter/remain in the UK ; or

(b) by breaching a condition attached to their leave, unless leave was subsequently granted in the knowledge of the breach; or

(c) by being an illegal entrant; or

(d) if deception was used in relation to an application or documents used in support of an application (whether successful or not).

Note 2: Permitted Business activities while on Business Visitor entry/visa in the UK:

General activities

The EU citizen employee may:

(a) attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews;

(b) give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser;

(c) negotiate and sign deals and contracts;

(d) attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling;

(e) carry out site visits and inspections;

(f) gather information for their employment overseas;