In just a few weeks, when the Brexit transition period officially ends at midnight (CET) on 31 December, UK nationals will lose the automatic right to come and go in the EU that has been in place for over 40 years. From 1 January, only those who have already established lawful residence or EU citizenship will have unlimited access to a particular member state.
If you spend a lot of time or have a holiday home in an EU country and enjoy being able to visit when you like – but intend to remain UK resident – things are about to become much more complicated. Similarly, if you are thinking about moving to the continent after 2020, you will need to jump through more hoops than if you moved today.
The EU has agreed to add the UK to its list of visa-exempt countries. So, unless there are alternative bilateral agreements, UK citizens will be limited to visiting countries in the ‘Schengen’ area for up to 90 days within any 180-day period without a visa.
The 180-day clock would start when you first enter any Schengen state from 2021 as a non-EU citizen, with each subsequent departure and entry recorded and counted at border control. While being away for a full 90 days would allow a new stay of up to 90 days, once you have used up your allowance you will not be permitted to enter another Schengen country without a visa.
New conditions and rules will apply for stays over 90 days or the right to work in an EU/Schengen country.
If you arrive in your chosen EU country before the end of 2020, register for residency and commit to meeting the residence requirements, you will lock in the right to remain and receive citizens’ rights protections under the Withdrawal Agreement for as long as you live there. While you actually have until 30 June 2021 to apply for residence, delaying your application could be highly risky, especially if there is a processing backlog or questions about your paperwork.
Once you become resident abroad it is highly likely you will be deemed tax resident too, so you must take care to meet your obligations there.
This information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from each country’s relevant authorities.
Source: BLEVINS & FRANKS