Brexit final day today – What will affect UK passort holders?

UK old passport

Will my old passport still work?

Yes, but it’s very important to check the expiry date well before your holiday. For travel from January 1, 2021 onwards, you will need at least six months left on your passport from your date of arrival in the EU country.

All current passports even those with European Union wording and colour on the cover will remain in force until their expiry date.

Will I need a visa to get into Europe?

Travel to Ireland will not change.

You will not need a visa for 2021 holidays in Europe, but you are likely to need a visa-waiver in future. The EU is looking to bring in the Europe Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), an online security-checking system, by the end of 2022. The ETIAS visa-waiver is set to follow a similar scheme to the USA’s ESTA pass. It is expected to cost €7 (around £6) and will be valid for multiple short-stay entries over a 3-year period.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the new UK blue passport

Short-stay trips are defined as up to 90 days of travel in any 180-day period within the Schengen Area (26 European countries that have removed passport and other border controls at their internal borders). Anything different to this, such as travel for business or education, will require specific negotiation between an EU country and the UK.

Will border control change as a result of Brexit?

Although the UK sits outside the Schengen Area, as members of the EU, Britons enjoy certain freedoms when it comes to movement across Continental Europe. This includes the ability to use the EU citizen lanes at the airport for border security. This will come to an end today December 31, 2020 and travellers may need to use separate lanes (other passport holders) from the EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. Brits may also need to show a return or onward ticket.