Social security coordination and visas for short term visits

Jan 13, 2021


Free movement of people between the EU and the UK has ended. All movements are now subject to the EU's and UK's existing immigration legislation applicable to all third country nationals.

Those individuals who were already in a cross-border situation between the EU and UK before 1 January 2021 are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and their rights to remain will continue as normal.

The EU had already taken the decision to allow UK nationals short-term visa-free visits of up to 90 days within any 180-day period, as of 1 January 2021. The UK has decided that visa-free short-term visits for EU citizens will be allowed. 

Visas will be required for long-term stays of over 90 days for any purpose (work, research, study, training).

There will be some coordination of social security benefits, such as old age pensions and healthcare. The Agreement also ensures that only one set of rules applies to a person at any given time. This will avoid the risk that such a person would pay double social security contributions or that no legislation applies to them at a given moment and are therefore left without social security protection.

See HMRC for more guidance.

Irish and UK citizens will continue to benefit from the right to work and travel in either jurisdiction under the terms of the Common Travel Area.  Read more.

We will look at the implications of the Agreement for posted workers and business travellers in the next edition of Brexit Digest.

Part 2 Heading Four of the Agreement deals with Social Security Coordination and Visas for Short-Term Visits.