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Brexit main changes and practical issues outlined

As of January 1, 2021, the agreement on Brexit will come in force between the United Kingdom and European Union, with changes to come regarding travel, residence, and economy.

Foreign Ministry, Transport Ministry and Agriculture Ministry of Latvia have compiled the main practical changes that will affect Latvian residents and nationals.

Travel documents

As of October 1, 2021, the only valid travel document to the UK will be the passport. The ID card will not be valid. 

EU citizens who have registered for a temporary or permanent residence in the UK with their ID card will be able to continue using it for travel until December 31, 2025 or even longer.

Underage persons will have to show a legal travel permit.

Visa

As of January 1, 2021, those who wish to travel to the UK for a long time (to study or work) will have to obtain a visa. Travelers without a visa may not stay in the UK for longer than six months. 

Issues on the necessity of a visa for regular short term trips are still being clarified.

Studies

Students who wish to start studies in the UK will have to obtain a visa. Visa will also have to be obtained by those who have started studies in the UK remotely. Students will have to pay for the right to use the UK healthcare services.

Students who have not arrived in the UK until December 31, 2020, will not be able to apply for a temporary or permanent residence permit.

Work

Starting January 1, 2021, everyone who goes to the UK to work will have to obtain a visa. One will also have to pay for the right to use the UK healthcare system services.

To obtain a work visa, the person will have to meet certain criteria, such as language skill, employer's confirmation and promised salary.

Residence in the UK

EU citizens who have arrived in the UK until December 31, 2020, will have to form a permanent or temporary residence permit until June 30, 2021, to be able to continue living, working and studying in the UK.

Persons who have arrived in Britain by the end of this year will be able to apply for both temporary and permanent resident status.

Persons who have stayed or lived in Britain for a maximum of five years will be able to apply for temporary status. Persons who have stayed in Britain for more than five years will be eligible for permanent resident status.

Health insurance

As of January 1, 2021, European  Health Insurance Card (EHIC) [Latvian - EVAK] will not be valid in the UK. Persons traveling to the UK for a short-term period will have to obtain separate life and health insurance.

Customs control

As of January 1, 2021, the free movement of goods between the EU and the United Kingdom will end.

In future, all goods entering the customs territory of the EU from the UK or vice versa will be subject to customs supervision and control. 

At the same time, goods purchased in the UK will have to be declared on entry into the EU if their value exceeds a certain threshold. Detailed information is available on the State Revenue Service website.

Driving licenses

From 1 January 2021, the current recognition and exchange of driving licenses for Latvian and UK vehicles will be changed, the Ministry of Transport said.

The changes will not apply to those drivers who are temporarily staying in Latvia or the UK (not permanent residents or residents of Latvia or the UK), such as tourists or people who are temporarily travelling for work. During a temporary stay in Latvia or the UK, drivers will be able to use valid Latvian or UK driving licenses.

Vehicle driving licenses issued and valid in Latvia may be used for travelling in the UK until their validity has expired. At the same time, irrespective of the term of validity of the driving license, it will be valid for a maximum of three years after the driver has become a resident of the UK or at the age of 70 (whichever comes first). It must then be exchanged for the UK driving license.

The conditions apply to all driving licenses, including cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks.

 

 

 

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