Your Visa guide for travelling around Europe after Brexit

Currently a Brexit deal has been agreed with the EU. Both the UK and the EU ratified a Withdrawal Agreement on 31st January 2020 and we are now in a transition period lasting until at least 31st December 2020. This means that throughout 2020 there will be no changes to how you enter the EU or its Member States. You will not need to worry about visas for short trips after this transition period either. The great news is you will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period if you're a UK business traveller or a tourist looking forward to an extended break.

It's very likely you'll need a visa or permit after this transition period, 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.

Will my British passport change after Brexit?

During 2020 you can continue to travel without any changes. Valid passports can still be used and you do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU, but your passport does need to be valid for the whole of your trip.

At present what you need to show at a UK border will not change. 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.

From 1st January 2021, according to the UK Government website, you'll need to have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed. If you do not have enough time left on your passport then you'll need to renew it before travelling to most European countries, after this date.

If you're worried about how your passport will need to change after Brexit, then check out our useful guide on Brexit and Passports.

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 the UK Government website.

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.

Travel Insurance for Europe

It's important that you have comprehensive travel insurance when you're booking a European holiday. At Holiday Extras we have over 25 years experience selling travel insurance, with policies providing up to £10 million in medical cover. We have four policy levels available for you, our Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum packages. Our Platinum insurance provides our most premium level of cover, and includes up to £500 in Gadget cover as standard.

If you're travelling with a visa, or your usual passport, our travel insurance provides cover if your travel documents are lost or stolen. We could help with additional travel and accommodation costs that you've paid in order to collect emergency travel documents and we could provide cover for the cost of purchasing them.

Please see our table below to illustrate the amount of baggage, lost passport and personal money cover available with each policy:

Policy Type
Baggage Cover
Passport Cover
Personal Money Cover

To get a quote or book your policy online simply click on the booking engine above and let us know where you're travelling to, and for how long. Remember to declare any pre-existing medical conditions you have, or have had in the past as well, so that we can provide appropriate cover to suit your particular needs.

All information correct as of February 2020. Sources: the UK Government website and The ABTA website.

Further Information on Brexit

If you found this guide to visas in a post-Brexit Europe useful, then here are a few of our other top guides for further information to help you prepare for the Brexit deadline.

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