I have a British passport and my husband and son have South African passports, we currently live in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), and want to travel to England for the weekend to visit my sister. What visa would we need to get for my husband and son, if any? Brexit will be in effect and we wont be able to travel visa free after Brexit.

  • 1
    Nobody knows if and when Brexit will be in effect.
    – gerrit
    Oct 8, 2019 at 8:23
  • @gerrit Seems sensible to ask what to do if it happens on the 31st though, doesn't it?
    – MJeffryes
    Oct 8, 2019 at 8:26
  • @MJeffryes Yes.
    – gerrit
    Oct 8, 2019 at 8:29
  • This page gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-after-brexit provides guidance
    – Traveller
    Oct 8, 2019 at 8:35
  • 2
    Do your husband and son have an Irish residence permit stating that they are the family members of an EU citizen?
    – MJeffryes
    Oct 8, 2019 at 9:08

2 Answers 2


In the event of a no-deal Brexit, free movement rules will remain in place until December 31, 2020, at least (possibly longer if the UK leaves the EU under the terms of a withdrawal agreement). They may be modified somewhat, however. I have not been able to find any draft legislation to change them, but the government has been making some fairly vague assertions about changes that are in store. Therefore, unless you're planning a weekend trip for 2021 or later, it is quite possible that your family members will be able to travel there with the EU family card and no UK visa.

The gov.uk page on this says:

Third country family members accompanying EU citizens

EU citizens who move to the UK after 31 October 2019 may be accompanied by their non-EU citizen family members. This includes direct family members (such as a spouse, civil partner or child), and extended family members (durable partners and dependent relatives), as now. They will need to be in possession of a valid national passport and an EEA family permit and will be able to stay in the UK until the end of 2020.

This also applies to short-term visitors. I suspect that the author(s) of this page simply forgot to consider the case of third-country family members who are in possession of Article 10 cards, so whether the Article 10 cards continue to be valid will depend on the changes that are made to the The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, if any, between the exit date and your trip.

  • 1
    This seems encouraging, but it's not clear that the UK will accept the validity of Article 10 permits issued to the family of UK citizens, since they won't actually be family of EU citizens anymore, even though (as Mark's answer says) Ireland will give them equivalent status.
    – MJeffryes
    Oct 9, 2019 at 9:34
  • 1
    @MJeffryes family of British citizens have never been "family of EEA citizens" as defined in the regulations, so the departure of the UK from the EU will not change their status under the regulations. Mark Johnson seems to be unable to accept this, but perhaps you will be able to. See regulation 2 for the definitions and regulation 9 for the special case treatment of family of British citizens.
    – phoog
    Oct 9, 2019 at 12:03

Based on this Get ready for Brexit: check what you need to do - GOV.UK form
(which does not ask if a spouse is UK Citizen) :

Based on your answers, we know:

You do not own or operate a business or organisation
You are not an EU or British national
You live in Ireland
You plan to travel to the UK


You and your family
Take out appropriate travel insurance with health cover before travelling to the UK

You will be charged for your care if you do not have the right insurance.

Read the guidance: Healthcare after Brexit: citizens of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland visiting the UK

Do it as soon as possible

The same results turn up for non Irish EU-Citizens

  • independent of whether they live and work in Ireland or in another EU Country

For Irish Citizens nothing has changed

  • independent of whether they live and work in Ireland or in another EU Country

Ireland Information note on non-EEA family member of British citizens seeking EU Treaty Rights

If you are the holder of a valid Stamp 4 EUFam card
who is currently entitled to avail of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015, you should have no concerns regarding your continued residence in Ireland after the 31 October 2019 (unless the draft Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before then). In a no-deal scenario you will no longer be subject to the provisions of the Free Movement Directive and the exercise of EU Treaty rights and entitlements. However, arrangements are being put in place for non-EU/EEA family members of British citizens who have been exercising Free Movement rights here up to 31 October 2019 to facilitate their transfer under domestic immigration arrangements to provide for their continued residence in the State. Insofar as possible, the objective is to retain similar rights to those that you would have enjoyed as a family member of an EU national including access to the labour market.

Family members of British citizens existing Stamp 4 EUFam card will be automatically converted to a corresponding normal Irish Residence Permit.

If we are reading the Common Travel Area (Version 5 from 4th September 2019) pdf corrrectly, holders of normal Irish Residence Permits does not automatically allow short visits (up to 3 months) to the UK from Ireland.

Citizens of South Africa and others that normally needed a UK visa, should contact the British Embassy for information on what is exactly needed.

Assume that a appropriate travel insurance with health coverage will be needed.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JoErNanO
    Oct 9, 2019 at 6:43
  • @JoErNanO wonderful! Now those comments are available in two different chats! My chat message explaining why free movement will initially continue to apply to family of British citizens eligible for the Surinder Singh route despite Mark Johnson's assertions to the contrary is only in the first.
    – phoog
    Oct 9, 2019 at 12:08
  • @phoog Problem solved mate. Thanks for bringing this up.
    – JoErNanO
    Oct 9, 2019 at 12:42
  • @JoErNanO Oops. I've called attention to the same problem in a couple of previous instances, but I've never before seen this solution to it. It's not a great solution, however, in that both (nearly identical) streams of messages are now present in the same chat room, in succession, so it's a bit confusing. I'll try to sort it out.
    – phoog
    Oct 9, 2019 at 14:32

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