What is Brexit?
On the 23rd June 2016, the British public voted to leave the European Union. The exact terms of this decision have been debated ever since. As a member state of the EU, free movement, and the right to work, study and travel without requiring a visa was established.
However, Brexit has caused a colossal reshuffle. Since 2016, the British government has been trying to establish a deal with the EU which was finally agreed on 24 December 2020. This process has inevitably impacted those looking to move to Europe after Brexit. Check out this BBC article to gauge a better idea of what changes have been implemented since 1 January 2021.
UK Citizens Currently Living in Europe
Good news! The British Government has struck a deal with the 31 EU countries that accept freedom of movement, along with Norway, Iceland Liechtenstein and Switzerland. If you currently reside in any of these countries, your rights are well protected under the Withdrawal Agreement. As such, living in Europe after Brexit will not be too difficult for you. Basically, all British citizens who lawfully reside in any EU member state before 31st January 2021 can continue to to live, work, study and travel in the EU. Yay!
Sounds simple right? While UK citizens currently living in an EU member state can live in Europe after Brexit, in most cases, you will need to apply for a residency permit. You will have until the 30th June 2021 to get your permit so our advice? Get it done ASAP!
Be sure to check the website of the government of your specific member state for updates on residency requirements as they are responsible to reach a settlement for British residents.
What About My Drivers’ Licence?
If you drive, it will also be necessary to switch over your drivers’ licence to that of your new residence, and apply for a car insurance green-card. For more information on how your vehicle will be affected by Brexit, have a look at this article on how Brexit will affect your car insurance.
Perhaps a quick joke can lighten the mood! What kind of car does Yoda drive? A toyoda 😊
Can I Move to Europe After Brexit?
As a UK citizen moving to Europe after Brexit, the process for your move to an EU country will be harder than before but you can still move with no problems!
We’ll get the not so great news out of the way – The cost of moving to Europe has become more expensive due to increased VAT costs and VAT duty for bringing items into Europe. Your move will be subject to the immigration rules of your destination country and sadly, you can no longer exercise free movement.
This generally means you will have to apply for a visa and demonstrate you have the right to live and work in the country. It’s just a few extra steps to take before you start your new life in a new country!
Although you don’t have to be a resident to purchase a home, if you are moving to the EU after Brexit you will need a bank account in your destination country which in turn requires a permanent address and therefore a visa.
So to sum up? Getting a visa is now the first step you need to complete! Check out the UK Government’s website for more details on what you need to do before moving to your chosen country.
There is one exception to this change – if you are moving to Ireland after Brexit! Irish and UK citizens have the right to live, work, travel and study within the Common Travel Area, although this does not relate to goods or custom issues. So lucky you if you’re moving to the Emerald Isle 😊
What about Short-Term Moves?
So what about a holiday? Or if you’re moving to Europe after Brexit for just short period of time? Thankfully, Brexit will not have much of an effect on going on European holidays as the EU has agreed to add the UK to the list of visa-exempt countries, provided that the UK returns the favour. This allows UK citizens to travel for up to 90 days visa-free.
It is only if you intend on staying in Europe longer, or if you intend to work in Europe after Brexit, then matters become a little bit more complicated. But don’t panic – we will help you every step of the way!
So how will Christmas dinner be different after Brexit? No Brussels (sprouts) 😉
Impact of Brexit on Your Move to Europe
In February, we spoke to moving companies in the UK to get a sense of how Brexit has changed moving to Europe from the UK. There has been many implications that we think you, the customer, should be aware of. This will help you reduce the risk of additional unbudgeted costs and delays. Here are some of the things you should know:
1. Communication Issues
There has been a major lack of communication in the supply chain as everyone was trying to figure out what they have to do and when. No need to stress though – By picking a trusted mover, you can expect everything to run smoothly! Clear and consistent communication between you and your mover is key for an easy and efficient move.
It’s important to check company reviews and request quotes to make sure you choose a mover who is up to date with new regulation. Otherwise, you can request quotes through us and we can assure you, we will match you with up to 5 expert removal companies who will move you to Europe hassle-free 😊
You can also ensure your move is successful. By taking extra time to pack with care, you can help complete your move with ease! Your belongings should be labelled very clearly in different boxes so at customs, your mover knows exactly what’s what. Gone are the days of simply writing “kitchen items” on your moving box!
2. Extra Documentation
These changes brought the need for extra documentation. We advise you ask your mover about what documents you need to have beforehand so you know exactly what is required.
This change also concerns your pets! Moving your pet to Europe is now much more complicated as that also requires additional documentation. Make sure to tell your mover immediately if you are bringing any furry friends so they can take all the necessary steps to guarantee your pets move freely – We wouldn’t want them to be left behind!
3. Increased Costs
Due to all these changes, the costs have increased massively for moving companies and in turn, increases costs for customers. These extra costs cannot be absorbed by each mover as they don’t have the profit margins to absorb them. The main reason for increased costs is the increase in paperwork, so you should anticipate an increase of £200-£300 minimum on your move.
Overall, close contact with your mover will make this process go much smoother. It is a learning curve for all parties involved so be sure to stay updated through your mover on every step of the process!
Are There Any Further Changes to Be Expected in 2021?
There are two further milestones for Brexit negotiations expected in April and June 2021, therefore freight adjustments will keep occurring. This is a new process for all parties involved so it is important to make research to stay up to date on this.
Most movers will have figured out the process by now so if a moving company is still unclear about the whole process, we recommend choosing someone else! There are several companies that make moving to Europe easy so with our help, you’re sure to find the right one for your move.
If you already found your moving company, make sure to communicate and ask your questions to not only be reassured but also to understand exactly what is happening. The key to your move to Europe is simply finding a trusted expert mover 😊
Sirelo Top Tip: We highly recommend you start planning your move early to avoid any surprises. Why not check out our moving abroad checklist for a step-by-step guide on what you need to do before your move!
What Does This Mean For You?
It is important to be aware of the implications and additional costs that could occur when moving from the UK to Europe. Although moving to Europe comes with extra expenses, choosing the right international moving company guarantees you to have a safe and transparent move – don’t be solely persuaded by the price!
Remember, “Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage” – Paulo Coelho
Here at Sirelo, we are here for you every step of the way. With our expert advice and experienced partners, we can ensure you will feel supported during this process. It is easy to feel intimidated by the tasks at hand so we’re here to tell you relax! We will help you move with a smile and be totally prepared for your move to Europe after Brexit.
Check out our country pages to learn more about your destinations. And for any further related moving queries, explore our website!