I know, I know, I’m sorry; but I need to talk about Brexit. There’s a hundred billion other sites doing exactly the same at the moment, and it seems that every other minute we find out new and often contradictory information; but, I hear the bandwagon is nice this time of year so I’m going to jump on…
In the current situation, with the UK still a part of the EU, travels with the Schengen Area are relatively simple. The existing agreement is that a British citizen, in possession of their burgundy EU passport can work and travel within the member states completely freely as that is one of the base principles of the Union. Most countries however, do require registration in each country for stays over 90 days which for the majority of travellers and holiday-makers is of little to no concern.
Once Brexit actually happens on
29 March 12 April (insert actual date here) British citizens will no longer be able to move around as before.
Before I continue, let me quickly explain the difference between the Schengen Visa and ETIAS. Well, as I covered in my previous article: Enter The Schengen, most of the European nations have relaxed borders between each other for free movement of people; the Schengen Area. Whereas ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) is not a visa; but is in fact a travel authorisation system. The application should only take about 10 minutes to fill out, provide limited information such as passport details, email address, home address and card details to pay the processing fee; this will then be valid for 3 years.
As of the actual Brexit date, or 2021 at the latest, it will be a requirement for British citizens to apply for ETIAS before any travel to the Schengen Area.
I bet you’re asking yourself now, how will this affect my travels? Well, it won’t be a major hurdle but there will be a little more planning to a holiday than at present. On your first booking to the continent you will need to ensure you have filled out and received your ETIAS waiver as you will need it to book any flights, trains, planes and ferries. On subsequent trips however, you will not need to reapply (if it’s within the 3 year validity) but you will still need to have the document to hand in order to book transport. For the majority of holidaymakers, spending a couple of weeks in the south of Spain won’t be too heavily affected, but those who wish to travel longer will have to plan their trip a little more carefully. As you will only be granted 90 days visa free (within 180 day period) in the Schengen area, after those 90 days you will have to travel somewhere outside the zone; now that could mean either heading back to the UK, or to non-Schengen countries such as Croatia, Bulgaria or Romania.
One point to mention, that like the rest of this Brexit catastrophe is completely out of your hands, is that this visa waiver is solely based on reciprocity. If the UK decide to introduce visa requirements onto EU citizens, then the EU will do exactly the same back.
Until this actually comes into force, I can’t provide much information but I will list the sites on which I found this information in the hopes that maybe when anybody has any idea as to what is going on, they can perhaps shed some light.