The TCA is aware British riders are struggling to navigate the impact of Brexit on their racing and training and that the removal of free movement has left many riders concerned about how to get to Europe to meet their contractual commitments.
Riders may need a visa, work permit or other documentation if they are planning to stay for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period. Riders need to Check the entry requirements and rules of the country they are visiting to find out if you need a visa or work permit.
The impact and solutions depend on a rider’s personal situation. We have set out below some examples of different circumstances of nationality, residency and employment which impact how a rider should proceed. It may also differ depending on whether a rider is self-employed vs employee.
- You are a British national + You live in the UK + You are employed in the UK
- You are a British national + You live in the UK + You are employed in the EU
- You are a British national + You live in the EU + You are employed in the EU
- You are a British national + You live in the EU + You are employed in the UK
- You are a British national + You live in the UK + You are self-employed in the UK
- You are a British national + You live in the UK + You are self-employed in the EU
- You are a British national + You live in the EU + You are self-employed in the EU
- You are a British national + You live in the EU + You are self-employed in the UK
A non-EU national who stays in the Schengen area beyond 90 days (without a residence permit or long-stay visa) is illegally present, which can result in a re-entry ban to the Schengen area – which could have serious implications on their future racing career.
Riders staying less than 90 days, still need to check whether they need a visa and/or work permit. It will depend on the country they are travelling to, the purpose of their visit and whether they are receiving payment or not (many riders are still not financially reimbursed by teams).
The TCA can support its members with finding the right solution for their circumstance
We provide British riders who live in the UK and need to travel to Europe with a checklist of information so that they can get their administration in order before attempting a border crossing. We advise riders that they must keep a ‘folder’ of all their documents and ensure they update their paperwork regularly.
- You’ll need to provide written evidence from a United Kingdom or English national governing body for your sport confirming your status as a domestic elite sportsperson – request this with “British Cycling”.
- Please also note, that this status of 'domestic elite sportsperson' gives riders exemption to self-isolate (due to current pandemic) on their return to the UK ONLY if they have been overseas to participate in training for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Read more here from GOV.UK (as published on February 11th at the time of writing this article)
- Before you travel, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), or travel insurance with health cover. Apply here. Make sure your insurance covers the whole territory of Schengen with a minimum of € 30.000.
- Check if you need a visa or work permit and meet the professional requirements to travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for work. Even for stays of less than 90 days, you may need a short-stay Schengen visa (as mentioned earlier in the article). Read this FAQ for more information.
- Demonstrate your financial stability – have copies of bank statements and at least the last three months’ payslips paperwork with you.
- Check any Covid-19 requirements before travel and ensure you have all the correct paperwork. Ensure that you are checking all requirements for the country of the final destination and the countries through which you may travel or make a stopover.
- Check if you need to renew your passport before you travel to Europe (in most cases at least 6 months is required)
- Check what you need to do to make sure you can travel through the border of the country you are visiting
- Check whether your mobile phone company has changed its mobile roaming charges before travelling to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
- Check for disruption to your journey before you travel between the UK and the EU - border checks may take longer
TCA also advises riders to plan and keep track of their days spent in Europe.
Riders will most likely need a visa, work permit or other documentation if they are planning to stay for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period. Riders need to Check the entry requirements and rules of the country they are visiting to find out if you need a visa or work permit.
- Plan ahead – TCA can support with a bespoke tracker* to enable riders to calculate how many days they would need to spend in Europe to complete their training and races.
- By planning ahead riders can prepare in advance whether VISAs and/or work permits are needed and apply for those documents in time!
- Riders with residency in an EU country are still bound by the 90 days in a 180-day period, so must also check their days spent in the EU, excluding their country of residence.
Tracker is *only available to paying members. Not a member, then join the TCA here as a full member.
TCA hereby calls upon the teams employing riders as well as their National Federation to take their responsibility and support riders.
Other considerations riders need to be aware of:
- If riders are earning money in the EU. Then they might need to tell HMRC that they will be working in the EU. Check whether you’ll need to pay social security contributions in the country you’re working in.
- Most countries have a limit on the value of goods you can bring in duty free, this includes equipment that riders need to race such as the bikes.
- If riders (or teams!) are taking ‘sporting goods’ to another country temporarily for business reasons and they are over the duty free limit, you can usually get an ATA Carnet to avoid paying duty. See this link for more info: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-use-your-ata-carnet - “You must show the carnet to customs each time you import or export your goods or pass through a country including the UK.”