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Working in the EU - Changes from 1st Jan

31 Dec 2020

If you are a UK citizen planning to work a season in an EU country everything changes from 1st January 2021!

Despite the recent trade agreement between the UK and the EU there are now new regulations impacting  the thousands of British season workers who have for years spent a few months abroad working a ski season or a summer season in an EU country. Once the UK officially leaves the EU on 01/01/21 there will be no more free movement of labour for UK nationals.

There has been some discussion on the possibility that the EU may in the future allow seasonal working visas for UK workers to permit them to work a winter or summer season on some kind of Australian-style "holiday working visa", but nothing has been finalised yet so the new rules apply from 1st January 2021.


From 1st January 2021 a UK citizen will have to apply to work a season through the visa or work permit regulations of the individual country that their job will be located in. Arrangements may be different for each EU country.

For example, France have published this statement within their official Brexit Portal:

"As from 1 January 2021, in the absence of an agreement on the future relationship between the EU and the UK, it will no longer be possible for an employee affiliated to the British system to be posted to France. In order to come and work in France, you will have to meet the conditions of the lawfulness of residence in France and pay contributions into the French social security system."

You will not need a visa to visit EU countries for up to 90 days as a tourist but you will need a visa or a work permit if you want to work for any duration. You can check each country’s travel advice page on the UK Government Foreign Travel Information page  for information on how to get a visa or permit.

The only exception is in Ireland where, under the Common Travel Agreement (CTA), UK citizens do not need a visa or residency permit to live, work or study in Ireland. Both the UK and Irish governments are committed to protecting the CTA and the UK exit from the EU will not change this.


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