What do I need to do to travel from the UK to Europe/ from Europe to the UK after Brexit?
If you are planning to travel between the UK and the EU in 2020, you can expect everything to stay the same as before. But when Brexit transition period comes to an end in December 2020, some changes will take place for travellers from both sides of the English Channel.
We have collected the most useful information for you to know about it.
It’s better to renew your passport
After the transition period, Europe will require British passports to be issued less than 10 years ago. You will also need to have at least 6 months of validity after your intended return date: it’s a common rule when travelling internationally. If you ignore this requirement, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries, as well as to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
The same rule applies to EU citizens: to enter the UK you will need a passport that expires in no less than 6 months.
You will not need a visa for a short trip
British tourists will be allowed to stay in EU countries, Liechtenstein, Iceland Norway, and Switzerland for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. But it’s possible, that in 2021 and beyond you may need a visa or permit for a longer stay. There is also a chance that at border control you may be asked to show a return ticket.
One more change we should expect: when arriving at Passport Control UK Residents will not be able to use the EU Nationals speedy check lanes. So prepare to spend more time entering an EU country than before.
British will need to pass the ETIAS Travel Authorization (but not right now)
The ETIAS, or the European Travel Information and Authorization System, will be an online system established by the EU. It will be compulsory for citizens of over 60 world countries that so far didn’t need a Schengen visa for short trips. And the UK is in this list as well. Under ETIAS visitors to the Schengen Area will have to obtain an authorization before their trip and pay a €7 fee. An approved ETIAS will be valid for three years or the date of passport expiry. You will be able to use it for stays of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.
Anyway, according to the latest news, the implementation of ETIAS system has been postponed. Now it’s expected to come in force only by 2023.
British drivers may need an International Driving Permit for riding abroad
It’s quite possible, that from 1 January 2021 some European countries will require UK drivers to have extra-documents (especially for longer visits). International Driving Permit is easy to buy at Post Offices for £5.50. It is still under discussion if IDP will be needed in the EU, but this document is quite useful anyway, as it’s already required or recommended in over 140 countries.
You might also need the Green Card or International Insurance Card for your car, which proves that your insurance covers the minimum cover in the country you’re driving in. Ask your insurance company if they can supply you with one.
Free mobile roaming may end (but it’s also not certain yet)
Anyway, it will up to individual providers to decide whether or not they set charges. Currently the key UK networks like O2, Vodafone, Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff, etc. assure that they have no plans to change free roaming in Europe. But in future, their positions may change.
However, you will be protected from mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing. Operators are also required to send an alert once you’ve reached 80% and 100% of your own data roaming limit.
You may need to declare your cash at the border if you have £10,000 or more
From 1 January 2021, it will be compulsory to declare cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you take it between the UK and the EU (as well as between the UK and any non-EU country). Cash declaration can be easily done online.
You may need new insurance
The future of the European Health Insurance Card for UK citizens is not certain. The EHIC currently entitles you to state-provided medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident in any country of the Schengen area. But if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the EHIC will no longer be valid. The government is currently advising those who are planning to travel within the European Union or to Switzerland, to ensure they purchase adequate travel insurance.
- Make a UK passport photo for online application
- Make a EU (Schengen) visa photo for a long term stay in the EU after Brexit
Last update: March 10, 2020.