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Countries British citizens can live or work in without a visa

Brexit has reduced the rights of non-restricted travel for UK citizens. There are few countries where Britons can now reside without a relevant visa, and are capped with time restrictions too.

For more information about British citizenship processing queries, or to have any questions or concerns you might have answered by a legal professional, reach out to us today on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

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Post Brexit

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This decision made by the British Government impacted many things, including British citizens rights to reside in other countries in the EU.

UK citizens remain protected in a common travel zone between Ireland and Britain.

Britain and Ireland agreed that provisions of their deal would remain in force until Britain exited.

UK passport holders can still enjoy many freedoms, such as living and working overseas in an approved country with no visa required, however the list of available places has been reduced significantly.

5 places Brits can reside post Brexit without a visa

Outside of the UK itself, there are only four places that Brits can live and work visa free.

These are:

  • The Common travel area (Jersey, Guernsey, Man, Ireland);
  • The Isles (Guernsey, Man);
  • Gibraltar;
  • Paraguay;
  • Belize.

Brits have the option of living studying and working in these four places, some may require a permit to work.

This is due to all of these places being previously claimed under the British Empire.

The UK still retains its status within these countries due to the Commonwealth, and sees these countries as extensions of the United Kingdom, although they act independently as sovereign states.

Can British citizens travel without a visa?

A British citizen with an approved UK passport may travel to the above destinations without the need for a visa, however a permit or fee may need to be acquired depending on the country.

In all other instances, if a Brit wishes to live and work in another country, they will need to get the relevant visa and complete the route in accordance with that countries immigration rules.

Rights of UK citizens in Ireland after 31 December 2020

If you are an Irish citizen who resides in Ireland there are similar rights and privileges for an English citizen.

This right was created in 1922 under the British Governments bilateral agreements with Irish citizens.

These rights include:

  • Entering Ireland without a visa;
  • Travelling between the UK and Ireland;
  • Working without an employment permit;
  • Accessing the public healthcare system;
  • Voting in general elections.

Family members of British citizens who are not themselves either British, EEA or Swiss citizens, must apply for residency.

Non-EEA people who lived in Ireland before 31 December 2020

The rules for non-EEA family members of UK nationals who want to live in Ireland are different depending on whether they were living in Ireland before the transition period or not.

If you are a family member of a UK national and you lived in Ireland legally before 31 December 2020, you will retain your residence rights in Ireland, enabling you to continue to live, work or study in Ireland.

However, you must exchange your current valid Irish Resident Permit (IRP) Card for a new one stating that these residence rights derive from EU Free Movement under the Withdrawal Agreement. The deadline for exchanging your IRP was 30 June 2022.

Non-EEA people who came to Ireland from 1 January 2021

Separate arrangements have been put in place for UK nationals who came to Ireland after 31 December 2020 and wish to bring their non-EEA family members.

You have to apply for a visa or for preclearance if you are from a country whose citizens do not need a visa to enter Ireland, such as the UK.

British Overseas Territory

There are 14 British Overseas Territories. These countries do not form part of the UK, but have significant links to the UK in a historical and constitutional sense, in part due to the British Empire which has since ceased to exist..

The BOT are technically still owned by Britain. As opposed to the Commonwealth countries, BOT countries are not independent sovereign states and are the responsibility of Britain.

British Overseas Territories citizens (BOTCs) enjoy visa-free entry to a number of countries and territories.

However, in some cases, foreign authorities only grant them a visa-free entry if they present a passport with an endorsement stating their right of abode in the United Kingdom.

Generally speaking, Brits do not have an automatic right to relocate to a country in the BOT and live visa free. They would have to undergo the immigration process of that country in order to reside there.

This rule also applies to citizens of the BOT who do not have an automatic right to British citizenship, unless an individual holds dual citizenship to both a BOT country and the UK.

Belize

Belize’s 30-day Temporary Visa enables individuals to live and work in the country for up to 30 days, with visa renewal costing under £10 every 30 days.

As well as working, foreign nationals are able to buy property or land with the same rights as Belize’s national citizens.

ILR is available after 5 years.

Paraguay

Brits in Paraguay can enter the country visa free and stay for up to 90 days. They are also able to apply for a permanent resident permit, along with a deposit of £2,698.

Uncommonly, Paraguay grants its residents the opportunity to only visit Paraguay once every three years in order to keep citizenship; in stark contrast to the UK’s immigration rules.

Furthermore, Paraguay law states that individuals do not need to be a citizen to buy property, all that is required is a valid passport.

ILR is available after 3 years and proof of ties to the community.

The Common Travel Area

Brits do not need a visa to live, work or study in these places (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).

There is no naturalisation period.

Gibraltar

Brits are able to move to Gibraltar visa free and enjoy the same freedoms as Gibraltar citizens.

ILR is available after 5 years.

an aerial view of Gibraltar

How can IAS help?

The relationship between BOT and the UK can be difficult to navigate regarding immigration controls and who is eligible for what.

Our capable immigration lawyers are well informed on every facet of immigration, and can advise individuals seeking assistance with this complicated topic.

Citizenship is a lengthy process and oftentimes requires a legal aid to simplify complicated legal jargon.

Here is where our immigration lawyers can help you. With a wealth of expertise and experience, we will help you solve your issues and advise you to the best of our knowledge.

For more information about British citizenship processing queries, or to have any questions or concerns you might have answered by a legal professional, reach out to us today on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

Do you need help with an immigration issue? Our lawyers can assist you.

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