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The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) makes commitments which affect temporary business travel. The provisions offer UK and EU professionals access to the market of the other party.

The Agreement includes commitments related to:

  • short-term business visitors;
  • business visitors for establishment purposes;
  • intra-corporate transferees;
  • contractual service suppliers; and
  • independent professionals.

The UK and EU have agreed not to impose market access restrictions such as economic needs tests and, in certain circumstances, work permits.

This briefing explains what’s changed for UK and EU businesses and people who travel to sell services in each other’s market.

27 regulatory regimes

Business visitors in categories covered by the TCA will be treated similarly to domestic suppliers during their stay. However, various reservations and exemptions apply, which means they will not enjoy the same rights as EU members. From 1 January 2021, UK service providers face the 27 different regulatory regimes of each Member State.

National immigration regulations, rules on work permits and employment regulations of the respective EU Member State must be observed. The UK maintains control over its own immigration rules and access to work.

Touring musicians

A case study of UK musicians in the EU shows that under the TCA, touring creative performers no longer have guaranteed visa and work permit-free travel across Europe to give paid performances. Out of the 27 EU Member States 22 do offer visa and work permit-free routes, however time limits and other restrictions apply. Industry representatives are calling for an EU-wide visa waiver for creative industries or a ‘cultural exemption’ to the TCA.

Documents to download

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