Brexit: What you need to know
Living and working in the UK
Swiss citizens and their family members wishing to remain in the UK beyond 2020 must apply to the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme for a residence status called settled or pre-settled status by 30 June 2021. This includes those with a British spouse and those who already have a ‘document certifying permanent residence’. More information on the EU Settlement Scheme and application process can be found on the UK government’s dedicated webpage or the Embassy’s Brexit FAQ.
Swiss citizens arriving after 1 January 2021 will be subject to the UK’s new immigration rules. Economically active persons who intend to work in the UK will have to demonstrate that they fulfil a specific set of requirements under the UK’s new Points-Based System (PBS). Further guidance regarding this new system may be found on the UK government’s dedicated webpage.
Travel between Switzerland and the UK
Swiss citizens will continue to enjoy visa-free travel for short-term trips to the UK from 1 January 2021. However there will be changes to some regulations around travel between the UK and the rest of Europe and if you travel using a British passport you may need to renew your passport earlier. Full details can be found on the following UK government webpage. For further guidance for people travelling with pets or for driving between the UK and Switzerland from 1 January 2021 please consult the Embassy’s Brexit FAQ.
Trade and Business between Switzerland and the UK
Switzerland concluded a trade agreement with the UK which replicates the vast majority of the trade-related rights and obligations that currently apply under the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. The Swiss-UK trade agreement will become applicable from 1 January 2021, covering mutual rights and obligations in free trade, procurement, fraud, agriculture and customs, amongst other areas. The full text of the agreement and further related agreements can be found on the website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, where any further guidance will also be published.
Studying in the UK
Swiss students coming to the UK from 1 January 2021 onwards to study for a period longer than six months will need to apply through the Student Route of the Points-Based System (PBS) under the UK’s new immigration rules, ahead of arrival in the UK. This includes those who have already started their courses remotely before January 2021. Swiss students who are already resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 do not need to apply for a visa if they have applied for residence status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Further guidance can be found on the following UK government webpage. Further information regarding tuition fees and the financial support available for courses in the 2021/2022 academic year can be found on the following UK government webpage and on this dedicated page on the Embassy website.
We appreciate your understanding that the Embassy of Switzerland cannot give binding information on individual cases. In light of the ongoing Brexit process and the negotiations about the UK’s future relationship with the EU and with Switzerland, there are many questions concerning the future legal situation which may not be answered with any certainty at this moment in time.
For more detailed information on Brexit and in particular the EU Settlement Scheme, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or the Swiss FDFA’s webpage on Switzerland–UK relations post Brexit.