After Brexit Will I Need A Visa For Europe

If you’re a British citizen, you may have heard about Brexit – which is the UK’s exiting of the European Union. The silver lining is that there are numerous countries outside of the EU with lower taxes and much more relaxed visa policies. You could be well on your way to a new life in one of these countries with the chance to start over and be financially better off. You can travel, relocate or even retire overseas quickly, without incurring severe financial loses.

In June 2016, a group of 52% of voters in the United Kingdom arranged to secede from the European Union. This came about as an effect of many years of campaigning by various individuals and organizations. The implications for Britain and the European Union will potentially be wide-ranging.

With Brexit negotiations bringing forth no considerable results, many of those who voted remain are growing insecure about the future of the UK along with their own immigration status. The EU is the largest tourist destination in the world. Almost 250 million tourists visit the European Union every year and about 60 million of them travel to the United Kingdom annually.


One of the major changes following Brexit is the length of time British visitors can remain in the Schengen Area without a visa. Now that the UK is outside the EU, British passport holders can stay for a maximum of 90 days per 180-day period.

UK passport holders can cross an external EU border using just a valid passport and stay anywhere in the Schengen Area for up to 3 months.

To stay in the Schengen Area for longer than 90 days, a visa or another kind of travel permit is required.


British passport holders do not need a visa to visit countries in the Schengen Area short-term after Brexit. The UK has now joined a group of visa-exempt third countries which means that, although the UK is now a third-nation, its citizens are not subject to visa requirements.

Whilst a visa is not needed for short trips, an ETIAS is. Fortunately, ETIAS is much quicker and easier to apply for than a visa for Europe. The ETIAS application process will be fully online with no need to visit an embassy or consulate in person.

ETIAS is not a visa, it is a visa waiver valid for business, tourism, and transit purposes. British citizens who wish to enter for other reasons such as to work should check the visa requirements of the specific EU member state.

Checks for all types of travel

You may need to do extra things before you travel to an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, such as:

  • check your passport
  • get travel insurance that covers your healthcare
  • check you have the right driving documents
  • organise pet travel – contact your vet at least 1 month before you go

Check the travel advice for the country you’re visiting for the latest information.

You’ll need a permit or certificate to take some items – for example, certain beauty products, exotic leather goods and wooden musical instruments. Check if you’re taking an item protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Travelling for work or business – including carrying goods to sell

There are more things to do if you’re travelling for business – for example:

  • going to work meetings and conferences
  • providing services (even with a charity)
  • touring for art or music
  • taking goods to sell – even if it’s a small amount or you’re selling to a friend or relative

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), read the advice for travelling during the pandemic before you plan your trip.

Passports: check if you need to renew

How much time you need on your passport depends on the country you’re visiting. Check the travel advice for the country you want to travel to – read the entry requirements section.

You may need to renew your British passport before you travel if there’s not enough time left on it.

If you’re travelling to Ireland, you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay

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