Visa Service, Work Permits and How Brexit Affects You

Just over 18 months ago, the most pressing matter amongst Business Travellers was Brexit and how it affected your movement, visa requirements and work permits. With Covid hitting at the same time as Brexit, it suddenly was put on the back burner but as you begin to travel more, it is important than you know the variety or rules and regulations to make sure you are compliant.

We work with one of the most trusted Visa Service Companies in the UK and we can either gather information and apply for work permits or visas on your behalf or we can set you up with your own access to their portal. We have heavily discounted rates to the retail prices and we can have this billed to us and we just add it to your monthly account.

If you feel you would benefit from this please get in touch with either your dedicated consultant or reach out to myself mike@businesstravelcentre.com and we can get you set up or advise you of the possible steps you need to take. There is no set up fee for the portal and you will only be charge for the services you use.

So How Has Brexit Changed The Requirements of Travel?

Free movement rights under the agreed transitional
arrangements following Brexit (“Transition Period”) ended
at 23:00 on 31 December 2020.

The UK and the EU agreed that their nationals could travel between the 2 areas “visa free” for business and tourist purposes.

They would be allowed to do so for 90 days within a 180 day rolling period

Agreement was made at a EU level but different definition for business activities falls down to each of the 27 EU member states’ immigration laws.

The type of activity that you will be engaging in will dictate whether you qualify as a business traveller

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has been ratified by the EU, but each State still has different interpretations and many areas where not covered by the TCA.

How are UK Travellers into the EU impacted?

Different rules and processing times apply for different permits

Long Term Assignments or Local Employment (> 90 days) – Work & Residence Permits

Short Term Assignments (up to 90 days) – Work Permit or Work Permit Exemption

“Business Visitors” (one day – few weeks) – If activities are business no immigration requirements however if activities are work, work permit or work permit exemption required.

How does this affect Business Travellers needing to travel now

AM I TRAVELLING FOR BUSINESS OR WORK? This is not a simple question to answer! It varies from country to country.

Negotiating and signing deals/contracts provided any work agreed to is carried out either outside the UK or by UK colleagues with the correct work permission to do so is for example PERMITTED in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany but NOT PERMITTED in Hungary and Netherlands.

Carrying out site visits and inspections is NOT PERMITTED in Austria and Netherlands, PERMITTED in Czech Republic on CONDITION and PERMITTED in Germany and Hungary.

Attending a training event, which is classroom based or involves familiarisation or observation. Practical training is allowed if it does not amount to “training on the job” or the person filling a role – is PERMITTED on CONDITION in Austria and Netherlands, NOT PERMITTED in Czech Republic and PERMITTED in Germany and Hungary.


Key Takeaway Points

  1. Short stays may still need work permits
  2. Same activity in different countries may have different regulations
  3. Need to fully understand and define work activities
  4. There are exemptions but you need to be clear on the activities

Short stay-Entry Requirements (Visa Free but added requirements)

Passport must
be issued within last 10 years

Passport must
have a validity in excess of ideally 6 months to enable travel

Justify the
purpose of travel

Proof of
financial means for the duration of
the stay

Itinerary for
the stay (where he/she will stay, and proof of return)

sickness insurance for the stay

The stay will
not exceed 90 days in a period of 180 days in the Schengen territory

Practical Guidance – What You Need To Be Thinking About

COMPLIANCE needs to be the starting point of any travel discussion

Clearly understand
and map the activities travellers undertake – Business vs Work

Monitor the days spent out of UK – both leisure and business

Ensure all travellers get the right permit and not the easiest/cheapest

Consider global
workforce for new assignments – especially with long process times

Remember our portal and visa service is not just for the EU but worldwide visas and advice.


Weekly Travel News 24.11.21

Booster jabs added to NHS Covid Pass for international travel

Travellers will be able to show proof of a booster vaccination within the NHS Covid Pass for international travel.

Booster vaccination and third doses will automatically appear in the pass for people in England within five days of receiving the jab.

The Pass will show a 2D barcode for your full course of vaccinations in addition to your booster vaccination, with the most recent jab appearing first.

The government advises that you download an updated PDF version of your NHS Covid Pass, or store an updated version in your Apple Wallet, if you’re about to travel.

The government said that the proof of a booster will not be immediately available in letter format, but that this will be “updated in due course”.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid commented:

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad. This update to the NHS COVID Pass will mean people can have their complete medical picture at their fingertips if they are going on holiday or seeing loved ones overseas.”

This move comes after countries including Israel, Croatia and Austria introduced a time limit for the validity of the Covid vaccination for quarantine-free travel.

The government states:

“Some countries now require travellers to demonstrate that they have received two doses of a Covid-19 approved vaccination within 180 days, or a booster dose no less than 14 days before entering the country. You should check the Covid-19 status requirements of the country you intend to visit before planning your travel.”

People travelling into England will not be required to show proof of a booster vaccination. Additionally, at the time of writing, the booster jab is not being added to the domestic Covid pass.

The NHS Covid Pass launched in May and allows travellers to share their vaccination record when travelling abroad. It can now be used in venues in over 40 countries, including those in the European Union.

Business travel expected to fully recover by 2025

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has released its annual BTI Outlook, which predicts that business travel will fully recover by 2025.

The report projected a 21 per cent increase in business travel spending in 2021, with the majority of the gain expected to come at the end of the year due to the rollout of vaccinations and rise in consumer confidence. It also forecasts that there will be a significant pick-up in group meeting activity and international business travel in 2022.

Annual business travel spending growth is expected to slow down in 2023 but remain above historical average rates of growth of 4.6 per cent. By the end of 2024, annual business travel spending is expected to reach approximately US$1.4 trillion, which nearly equates to the 2019 pre-pandemic revenue peak of US$1.43 trillion.

Emirates to conduct a test flight using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel

Emirates has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with aircraft engine supplier GE Aviation to conduct a test flight using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel by the end of 2022.

The airline plans to operate a B777-300ER flight powered by GE90 engines using SAF. The test flight aims to show how wide-body commercial aircraft using jet fuel made from alternative sources can lower lifecycle CO2 emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels with no operational issues.

At the moment, the sustainable aviation fuel approved for use is a blend of petroleum-based Jet A or Jet A-1 fuel and a SAF component with a maximum blend limit of 50 per cent. One of GE’s fuel experts charts an international taskforce which is aiming to develop standardised industry specifications supporting the adoption of 100 per cent SAF, which does not require blending with conventional jet fuel.

Emirates first powered a flight by SAF in 2017 from Chicago O’Hare airport. It also received its first A380 powered by SAF last year, and flights from Oslo have also begun operating on SAF under the Norwegian government SAF mandate policy.

Adel Al Redha, COO of Emirates Airline, said:

“Emirates is committed to supporting initiatives that help minimise its CO2 emissions, and we’ve already made great strides in fuel efficiency and conservation as well as operational advancements across different areas of our business. Our agreement with GE Aviation will support progress on the industry’s collective commitment to net zero emissions, and we look forward to continuing this close collaboration. Our partnership with GE Aviation to prepare for the test flight will be an important step towards securing certification of flights that are powered by 100% SAF.”

John S. Slattery, President and CEO of GE Aviation, added:

“GE Aviation is committed to pursuing efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from commercial aviation, including developing technologies for the fleet in service and the future of flight. This collaboration with Emirates is key to our efforts to standardize 100% SAF globally, which could provide a significant opportunity to expand the impact of SAF on aviation’s carbon reduction efforts.”

All GE Aviation engines can operate with approved SAF, which is made from plant oils, algae, greases, fats, waste streams, alcohols, sugars, captured CO2 and other alternative feedstock sources.

Manchester Airports Group serves 51 per cent of pre-pandemic traffic in October

Manchester Airports Group served over 50 per cent of pre-pandemic traffic last month compared to October 2019.

Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted airports served a total of 2.7 million passengers in October. The latest figures mark six months of sustained growth in passenger numbers.

October 2021 signalled the first month since February 2020 in which both Manchester and London Stansted airports have each served over one million passengers.

MAG said that the increase in passengers was due to the half-term holidays and the “pent-up demand for international travel after more than a year of Covid-related disruption”. Indeed, the airports served one million passengers during the half term break alone, marking the busiest period since the onset of the pandemic.

Charlie Cornish, MAG CEO, said:

“These figures demonstrate clearly how the demand for international travel is ready and waiting for when restrictions are eased.

“It is hugely positive to have seen our traffic levels recover month on month, and the removal of costly barriers and uncertainty is giving consumers renewed confidence to get back to travel.

“We need to see this positive trend continue following the reopening of transatlantic services to the US in early November and as we continue to rebuild Manchester Airport’s network of direct long-haul connections.

“To ensure we continue on this path to a full recovery, we are calling on the Government to set out a clear ambition and plan for removing remaining restrictions on travelling abroad at the earliest opportunity.”


Latest Travel News 10.11.21

British Airways powers New York flight with 35 per cent sustainable aviation fuel

British Airways made history when it performed a parallel take-off with Virgin Atlantic on Monday on its first flight to the US since the easing of travel restrictions.

But the dual take-off was not the only noteworthy point about the flight – BA has confirmed that the A350 aircraft which operated the flight was powered with 35 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The carrier said that it believes it was “the first commercial transatlantic flight to ever be operated with this high percentage blend of sustainable aviation fuel”.

The SAF was provided by BP and is made from used cooking oil.

BA said that the combination of the SAF usage, alongside the “modern aircraft efficiency” of the A350, meant that the flight’s overall CO2 emissions were “more than 50 per cent less than those emitted by the now retired B747 aircraft that previously operated on this route”.

The carrier also confirmed that it had offset all emissions associated with the flight.

In September BA operated its first flight using SAF, on the carrier’s service from London to Glasgow, and pledged to do the same for all flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the COP26 conference.

Air France to offer 122 weekly flights to the US this winter

Air France has outlined plans to increase its US schedules in the coming months, following what it said had been “a significant increase in bookings” since the easing of travel restrictions.

The airline has now conformed that it will serve a total of 11 US destinations this winter, with up to 122 weekly flights.

There will be frequency increases to New York (from three to five daily flights), Miami (from seven to 12 weekly flights) and Los Angeles (from 12 to 17 weekly flights), and the airline will also resume service from Paris CDG to Seattle on December 6.

A new twice weekly route between Pointe-a-Pitre and New York will also launch on November 24.

Air France’s US schedules to and from Paris CDG this winter season will be as follows:

  • Atlanta: 14 weekly flights operated by an A350-900
  • Boston: seven weekly flights operated by an A350-900
  • Chicago: five weekly flights operated by a B777-300
  • Detroit: five weekly flights operated by a B787-9
  • Washington DC: seven weekly flights operated by a B777-300
  • Houston: five weekly flights operated by a B 777-300
  • New York JFK: 35 weekly flights operated by B777-200 and B777-300 aircraft
  • Los Angeles: 17 weekly flights operated by B777-200 and B777-300 aircraft
  • Miami: 12 weekly flights operated by B777-300 and A350-900 aircraft
  • Seattle: three weekly flights operated by an A350-900
  • San Francisco: seven weekly flights operated by a B777-300

Duty of Care and Corporate Travel

The moral and legal responsibility of a company on the duty of care does not limit within their home or office of work. It must be able to give them protection irrespective of where they travel for business. For the corporate traveller, the duty of care offers them protection and confidence even if they are landing in a strange city, and the feeling of their company being there to back them in case of any emergency alleviates stress to a great extent. When an employee is sent on a business trip, many things can potentially go wrong. The employer needs to be vigilant and to be prepared for whatever happens. Some problems that corporate travellers face frequently are missing flights, misplacing important documents, illness, and accidents that require medical attention, etc.

The concept of duty of care and risk management in business travel is often misunderstood and sometimes regarded as synonyms. But in reality, these two are related but have a different definition. Duty of care as mentioned is the obligation a company owes to the safety, security, and wellbeing of its employees while they travel for work. In order to fulfil the duty of care, a company must undergo a large number of processes and tactics. Travel risk management is one such tactic or strategy. The risk management process is the means by which the company will uphold its ‘duty of care’. In other words, you can fulfil some of major your duty of care aspects through implementing travel risk management procedures. 

Post-Covid: Additional Responsibilities

Covid -19 outbreak is regarded as one of the deadliest pandemics in the first half of the 21st century. The impact of this pandemic on business travel is massive and forced travellers around the world grounded from March 2020. Many individuals are self-selecting themselves out of the skies due to concerns over health risks and potential exposure to the virus, and many employers calling time on business travel in order to keep their employees safe. With the growing concern for the safety of their employees, companies have been voluntarily making alterations in the duty of care.  

After the newly introduced vaccines, the situation seems to be getting back to the good old days of locomotion sooner. When we take the case of other historic pandemics, everything had returned to normal eventually and no pandemic had stayed forever. Now companies have started planning and thinking about how they can protect their employees in a post-Covid world. The duty of care could see some additional responsibilities in the coming years.

  • Companies will need to properly monitor the infection rates by geography and where they can safely allow employees to travel.
  • Must consider private transfer options as opposed to mass transit.
  • May need to favour certain travel providers, airlines and hotel which follow better and strict controls.
  • Entertainment activities will have to be cut down including dining out and activities including large gatherings.
  • Evacuation and medical assistance teams should be up for the employees on travel round the clock. 
  • Should pay attention to travel tracking and alert systems provided by the company.

Check out this video which shows Pinpoint our preferred Traveller Tracking Tool.

If you want to know more about your Duty of Care and how we can assist please get in touch

Email mike@buisnesstravelcentre.com


WTTC: business travel spend to reach two thirds of pre-Covid levels by 2022

A new report by the World Travel and Tourism Council forecasts that business travel spend will reach two thirds of pre-Covid levels by 2022, with the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions set to lead the way.

The report – entitled ‘Adapting to Endemic Covid-19: The Outlook for Business Travel’ and produced in collaboration with management consulting firm McKinsey & Company – suggests that a modest rise in business travel spend of 26 per cent during 2021 will be followed by a further rise of 34 per cent in 2022.

But the report also forecasts that the growth rate will vary across different areas of the world, with the Middle East leading the pack with a rise of 49 per cent in business travel spending this year, followed by a further 32 per cent next year.

Asia Pacific follows with rates of +32 per cent in 2021 and +41 per cent in 2022 – by contrast business travel spend is only forecast to rise by 14 per cent in the Americas this year, followed by a further 35 per cent next year.

In positive news for the business travel sector, the rise in business travel spend across the Middle East, Asia Pacific, European and African regions is set to outstrip the rise in leisure spend this year.

In Europe for instance, business travel spend is forecast to rise by 36 per cent in 2021, while leisure spend is only forecast to rise by 26 per cent.

But the WTTC notes that the above rises follow “a 61 per cent collapse in business travel spend in 2020, following the imposition of extensive travel restrictions”.

The report added that some business travel sectors have fared better than others, “with early rebounders including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and construction companies while service-orientated and knowledge industries including healthcare, education, and professional services are likely to experience longer-term disruption”.

It also highlighted the importance of business travel for the travel and hospitality industry, noting that prior to the pandemic, business travel accounted for around 70 per cent of all global revenue for high-end hotel chains, while between 55 and 75 per cent of airline profits came from business travellers, who made up around 12 per cent of passengers.