People: Working in the EU Post-Brexit

In this section: recognition of professional qualifications, business travel, visas, freedom of movement

The agreement confirms that the mutual recognition of professional qualifications will end. This means that providers will need to conform to the qualification requirements in each EU member country they wish to work in. Although the agreement includes a mechanism for qualifications to be recognised in future, there is currently no guarantee that this will happen.

The mutual recognition of professional qualifications for UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens residing in the UK before the end of the transition period remain protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The agreement confirms that visa-free short-term business trips will be limited to 90 days in any 180-day period. The list of activities permitted in the agreement for short-term business visitor are limited to:

  • Meetings and consultations

  • Research and design

  • Marketing research

  • Training seminars

  • Trade fairs and exhibitions

  • Sales (taking orders, negotiating sales or entering into an agreement, but not supplying the goods or services themselves)

  • Purchasing goods or services

  • After-sales or after-lease service (e.g. repair and maintenance)

  • Commercial transactions (e.g. insurers, bankers)

  • Tourism personnel (e.g. tour operators, guides)

Those professionals whose activities fall outside those permitted in the agreement are unlikely to benefit from visa-free business trip. Furthermore, individual member states may have additional requirements or restrictions. For example, Austria requires a work permit for market research.

Work trips will also be permitted for establishment purposes, including intra-company transfers (who can be accompanied by their partners and dependents) and contract fulfilment (up to 1 year).

Freedom of movement between the UK and EU has ended. The government have brought in a new UK points based immigration system, replacing the current, reciprocal automatic rights to work and settle.

Check out our Key Areas of Change for living and working in the EU or UK on our Brexit hub.