Guidance

Common Travel Area: rights of UK and Irish citizens

Information for UK and Irish citizens on their rights under the Common Travel Area arrangements (CTA).

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If you’re a British or Irish citizen, you will not have to take any action to protect your CTA rights now that the UK has left the EU.

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland.

Under the CTA, British and Irish citizens can move freely and reside in either jurisdiction. British and Irish citizens enjoy associated reciprocal rights and privileges, including the right to work, study and vote in certain elections, as well as to access social welfare benefits and health services.

Both the UK and Irish Governments have committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that the agreed CTA rights and privileges are protected, including entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 8 May 2019, reaffirming the joint commitment of both Governments to the CTA and to maintaining the associated reciprocal rights and privileges of British and Irish citizens.

On 31 January 2020, the UK left the EU. Under the CTA arrangements, the agreed CTA rights and privileges of British and Irish citizens will be maintained, as set out in the MOU. This means that British and Irish citizens can continue to enter, live, work, study, access benefits and healthcare and vote in certain elections in the other state.

Published 22 February 2019