EU Van Der Elst Visa

This route permits non-EEA nationals who are legally employed by a company in an EU country to provide services on a temporary basis to a company in another EU country on behalf of their employer without the need to obtain a work permit. Usually, a ‘Van Der Elst’ visa is considered if the Non-EEA employee in question does not fully satisfy the terms laid out within the eligibility for a ‘Business Visitor Visa’.

Background of Van Der Elst visa

Raymond Van Der Elst was a Begian employer who employed Moroccan nationals in Belgium working and residing there legally. In 1994, Van Der Elst required the Moroccan national employees to provide some services for a client in France as part of a mutual business agreement. The employees were sent there on a short stay visa; but were challenged by the French Immigration authorities as they claimed that the Moroccan national employees did not possess a valid work permit. The French authorities fine Van Der Elst and this was appealed and finally ended up at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The ECJ found in favour of Van Der ELst and ruled that if certain criteria is met, non-EEA individuals working in an EU member state are able to work in another EU member state for the purpose of providing services for a limited period of time effectively upholding Article 59 and Article 60 of the EEC treaty. This route subsequently started to be known as Van Der Elst visa. Entry clearance applies regardless to whether the applicant is a visa or a non-visa national.

Van Der Elst visa requirements

The employee must meet the following requirements to qualify:

  • Must be lawfully employed by an employer who is providing a service in another EU country on a temporary basis
  • Be a lawful resident of the EU member state in which they are originally employed in
  • Leave the EU country applying to enter once the period during which the employer is providing the service is complete
  • Intend to take no other form of employment while in the EU country applying to enter.

Successful applicants are often granted a visa for the duration of the service contract in the other EU country. This approach is completely free and does not demand a minimum salary or skill set.