Vander Elst Visa Holders Working in the UK / EU
without a work permit

In simple terms, under the current EU rules, companies established in any of the member states have a right to provide services to other companies based in other member states. In order to provide these services, they are allowed to deploy their employees, regardless of their nationalities, to their clients’ sites without being subject to any resident labour market test or having to obtain work permits or authorisations.

Under this EU principle, employers based in one of the Member States can send their non-EU employees to another Member State do provide a service on their behalves.

Although the same set of rules should apply across all member states, we know from experience that this is not the case and that different requirements are imposed depending on the country of destination.

For the UK, Entry clearance (i.e. a visa) is compulsory for both visa and non-visa nationals.

The requirements to be met by the non-EEA employee are that they:

  • are lawfully resident in the EU Member State in which the employer is established;
  • are lawfully and habitually employed by an employer who is temporarily providing a service in the UK;
  • do not intend to take any other employment;
  • intend to leave the UK at the end of the period during which his employer is providing the service.

Successful UK Van der Elst visa applicants are issued with a code 4 endorsement: D: FOR EMPLOYMENT WITH [add NAME OF COMPANY].

Visas are normally issued for the length of the contract of services granted to their EU employer.

Although applications from family members are treated in the same way as EEA family permit, family members are issued with code 1 dependant visas endorsed with D: TO JOIN/ACC [NAME OF VAN DER ELST EMPLOYEE].

Unfortunately, there are no official UK guidance at present on the process to follow or the documentation to submit in support of a UK Posted Worker / Vander Elst Visa and with Brexit now looming it is now unclear if this route into the UK will remain opened for long.

Over the last 6 years, we have successfully assisted a number of businesses across the EEA wishing to post existing non-EEA employees to the UK and other EU member states.

Recently we have also successfully arranged for the UK posting of a non-EEA employee already posted in another member state.

The experience of dealing with Van der Elst applications in various visa hubs across Europe has provided us with the necessary expertise to guide employers through this often unchartered territory.

We can advise on the correct form to use, the process to file the application and the documents / documentation that will be needed to support the application.


For more information contact us.