In a post-Brexit world, you can still travel with a British passport. You can even live and work overseas. However, the rules have changed. Many countries, including the UK, have strict requirements for residency or work visas.
If you still dream of living overseas after Brexit, we’ll take a look at the rules, where you can live easily and what you need to think about.
Often, living isn’t the problem. If you stay somewhere you aren’t allowed to work, study, or receive social security and healthcare, in time life could become difficult. Of course, if you’re a digital nomad or remote worker who can work online, that’s less of a problem.
Do you need a visa to travel after Brexit?
Most countries will allow you to visit, live, study or work there as long as you have the right visa. A visa offers official permission for a foreigner to enter and stay in the country, subject to the visa conditions. If you want to live, work or study there, you need a specific visa that will allow that. If you try to work on a tourist or student visa, you could be fined, jailed or deported.
Before Brexit, British passport holders didn’t need a visa to live, work or study in Europe. Now, you can spend up to 90 days in every 180 days in Europe, but you need a visa to live, work, study or volunteer.
Where can you live visa-free after Brexit?
Before Brexit, British citizens could live and work anywhere in the European Union. Following Brexit, that’s no longer the case. But there are still a few places you can live and work freely.
The Common Travel Area
The Common Travel Area was introduced in the 1920s. It’s an agreement between the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Ireland that allows British and Irish citizens to live and move freely. There are a few extra rules for Jersey and Guernsey, but most people with a British passport can live, work, study, vote and access health care and social security anywhere in the Common Travel Area without a visa.
The Isle of Man and Alderney
The Isle of Man and Alderney are part of the UK. You can live and study there, but you need a work permit if you want to work.
If you have a valid British passport, you don’t need a visa to live or work in Gibraltar.
If you have at least six months left on your British passport, you can stay in Belize without a visa. You’ll need to pay a monthly fee for your first year. However, after that, you can apply for residency.
Where can you live for six months after Brexit?
There are several countries where you can live for six months without a visa, although a few have other requirements like being able to support yourself financially while you’re there. Six months is long enough to decide whether you want to go through the process of applying for residency. Don’t forget: you’re not allowed to work there without a work visa! The list includes:
- Canada (ETA)
- Georgia (one year)
- Hong Kong
- India (ETA/eVisa)
- New Zealand (ETA)
- St Helena (entry permit on arrival)
The countries marked ‘ETA’ require an electronic travel authorisation, which you can get by filling in an online form or, in some cases, paying a fee.
If you want to work overseas rather than just live, consider Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos. British passport holders can both live and work in these countries for six months.
What about digital nomads?
A growing number of countries are offering special six-month or one-year visas for digital nomads. They’re easier to get than full working visas, and they allow you to live there and work remotely. Many require a minimum income; however, if you meet the requirements and like to work in exotic places, it might work out.
Traveling Lifestyle maintains an up-to-date list of countries offering digital nomad visas. If this lifestyle appeals to you, it’s worth considering.
Brexit isn’t the only travel restriction right now. A lot of countries have Covid-related travel restrictions right now, and things can change at short notice. Even if you’re technically allowed to enter a country, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Make sure you check the latest restrictions and travel advice before you book flights. It’s a good idea to book your flights on a credit card – you get more protection that way. And before you leave, get travel or health insurance.
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