Though the transition period for travel is expected to last until December 31, 2020, the U.K. has been undergoing a major publicity blitz to ensure travellers remain invested in their British holiday. For wander-lusting individuals looking to pursue a visa application in the U.K., here’s everything you need to know to manage your EU getaway.
Can You Still Book a Normal Holiday?
The short answer is yes—you can plan your holiday as normal without any changes to flights, ferries, cruises, Eurostar, Eurotunnel, and bus or coach bookings that haven’t yet been affected by Brexit. Holidays occurring in 2021 are likely to stay the same, though may require additional travel documents.
Passport Renewal Before Travel
If travelling to Europe within 2020, British citizens need not renew their passports, so long as they aren’t yet expired. By January 1, 2021, after the transition period, new passport rules will apply but may not necessarily require a renewal.
Brits, however, may need to secure an additional 15 months on their existing documents, which necessitates double-checking on your passport if you need anything updated. If you’ve renewed your passport before its expiration date, you can carry on up to 9 months onto your new passport, which ensures a maximum validity of 10 years and 9 months.
Having said that, the 9 months won’t matter if you’re heading over to the EU. Under these circumstances, you’ll need an additional 6 months on your passport to meet the 15-month requirement to enter the EU. With thousands of passports expected to have expired as a result of the lockdown, renewal processes may take longer than anticipated.
Why Pursue a 15-Month Extension?
Once the transition period expires, Brits travelling to Schengen Area countries such as Spain, France, and Greece will be subject to the same rules as visitors who are originating from non-EU countries. Thus, Brits will need at least 6 months left on their passport to enter any of the aforementioned regions. Additionally, the passport must have at least been issued within the last 10 years.
This loophole makes the extra 9 carried-over months invalid within the Schengen Area, which means Brits will need to have at least 15 months left on their passports validated after Brexit.
Do I Need a New Travel Visa to Enter Europe?
During the transition period, Brits need not apply for a travel visa to visit Europe so long as they keep their visit within 90 days over a 180-day period. If you are planning to work or study in Europe or simply need to surpass the 90-day window, you may need to apply for an additional visa. These requirements, however, will depend on the country you are intending to visit. Once the transition period has passed, you may need to present proof of a return or onward ticket and that you can financially cover the remainder of your trip.
Can I Drive Into Europe?
If you’re driving into Europe, you’ll need to obtain an insurance “green card” and an International Driver’s Permit that will depend on the country you’re visiting. These will usually cost no more than GBP5.50 under different varieties—1949, 1968, and 1926.
While it may seem that Brexit has ruined your travel plans, don’t fret just yet—you still have options to consider. In the meantime, you can begin working on your passport renewal and plan meticulously for the coming years of travel.
If you need help with your visa application in the U.K. you can seek our help at Travcour. With a 100% success rate, we’re the go-to method for securing a much-needed visa that can get you into your destination country.