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Visas for EU travel post-Brexit

Currently a Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU. Both the UK and EU need to sign and approve the withdrawal agreement. This will depend on the result of the next UK general election taking place on the 12th December 2019. If the UK secures a deal, then there may be no changes to how you enter the EU or its Member States for a transition period. You will not need to worry about visas for short trips after Brexit either, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to European Commission proposals. The great news is you will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. It's very likely you'll need a visa or permit, once we finally exit the European Union, to stay or work for longer than this period of time though. If you're an Irish citizen you'll still be able to enter to study or work in the UK without needing a visa - including in the event of a no-deal.

According to the European Union justice minister, in the longer term, visas may be a requirement for EU citizens that want to visit the UK, or vice versa but this will be dealt with in the post-withdrawal negotiations. Many expect that the UK will negotiate a deal whereby travellers from the United Kingdom will only need their passports to travel to Europe. There are pre-emptive rules in place as to what will happen with regards to passports. However, this isn't certain until a final deal has been reached, so you should keep an eye on negotiations until a deal is finally struck.

Value of the British passport after Brexit

With the extended deadline of 31st January 2020, it's expected that you'll have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival in a country, which will be applicable to both adults and children. This deadline may change depending on the result of the next UK general election.

At present what you need to show at a UK border will not change after Brexit - even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, according to the UK Government website. You will still need to show a valid passport or national identity card if you're a citizen of either:

  • an EU country
  • Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein

At some airports you can use your automatic biometric passport also known as an ePassport (if your passport has a chip) and you're 12 years or over. These ePassport gates tend to be quicker to get through. If you're not a citizen of an EU country or Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein you'll need to show a valid passport.

For those who have just renewed their passports, you'll get three extra months of leniency, and you'll have nine months in total from then onwards. On top of this, any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months of travel you're granted. These new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

If you're also worried about how your passport will need to change after Brexit, then check out our useful guide on Brexit and passports for advice if you are a UK traveller. Also if you are a UK business traveller concerned about your travel post-Brexit, then check out our useful guide to how Brexit will affect UK business travellers so you're prepared for any changes you may need to make when visiting Europe for work after we leave the EU.

Brexit and Visas

How long can I stay in Europe without a visa?

If you have a British passport, then you can stay for 90 days in any 180 day period if you're travelling within the Schengen area. However, if you're based outside of this area, then you'll need a visa to stay for longer. If you're wondering how Brexit may affect other aspects of travel within the EU then a great point of consultation is right from the horse's mouth, via gov.uk.

How long can a UK citizen stay in Europe?

For Schengen areas, the allowance is 90 days. However, for those not in the Schengen agreement, this varies country to country. Once you return home, this time limit resets itself and you can return to stay for another 90 days.

Holiday Extras Brexit Disruption Cover

We want to ensure that no matter where and when you're travelling, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, you can have enhanced protection. That's where Holiday Extras Brexit Disruption Cover comes in.

Brexit Disruption Cover is available as an add-on to your travel insurance policy. To book, simply complete your initial travel insurance booking and select Brexit Disruption Cover from the list of optional add-ons. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to speak to someone, call our Kent-based call centre on 0800 316 0104, and one of our agents can talk you through the process. For a complete rundown, visit our Brexit Disruption cover page.

All information correct as of November 2019. Sources: the UK Government website and The Association of British Travel Agents website.

If you found this Brexit and visas page useful, then here are a few of our other top Brexit guides for further helpful information.

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