Do You Need A Visa To Travel To Europe in 2022?
As we're fast approaching the summer, we thought it would be a good idea to update our readers on the visa requirements for travel to Europe.
Now that the UK is out of Europe, the travel requirements are not entirely straightforward, and it's important to make sure you have the right documentation before booking your trip.
In this article, we'll answer the question: do you need a visa to travel to Europe?
Do I Need A Visa For Europe From UK After Brexit?
The short answer is no; you do not need a visa to travel to Europe from the UK after Brexit.
Now that the UK is no longer a member of the EU, British citizens were told to expect to have to provide visas for any travel into/out of Europe - at the time of writing any short-term visits do not require any additional paperwork.
However, as of May 2023, travellers from the UK will need to ETIAS.
What Is ETIAS?
ETIAS or European Travel Information & Authorization System is an electronic travel authorization system that is being introduced by the EU for all visa-exempt travellers.
The aim of the system is to screen visitors for security and immigration risks before they arrive at the EU border, in a similar way to the US ESTA or Canadian eTA systems.
As ETIAS is still in the process of being introduced, it is not yet possible to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
As the system is not yet live, we do not yet have all the information on how it will work in practice.
However, we do know that the application process will be electronic and that travellers will need to provide personal data and answer questions on their background and the purpose of their visit.
It is likely that ETIAS will be valid for multiple entries into the Schengen Area over a period of 3 years.
Will I Be Able To Stay Longer Now Britain Is Outside The EU?
The good news is that, even though the UK is no longer part of the EU, you will still be able to stay in Europe for up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
This rule applies to all Schengen Area countries, as well as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.
If you want to stay for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa from the country you wish to visit.
Is The UK Part Of The Schengen Area?
The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their mutual borders.
The area covers most of the EU, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Since the UK is no longer part of the EU, it is also no longer part of the Schengen Area.
Where Do I Apply For The ETIAS Visa Waiver?
Applications for the ETIAS visa waiver will be made online, through the ETIAS website.
As mentioned earlier, the website is not yet live, but when it is, travellers will need to provide personal data and answer questions on their background and the purpose of their visit.
Specific requirements are not yet known, but applicants will need to have a valid passport.
When Do I Need To Apply For ETIAS?
Applications for ETIAS will need to be made before travelling to the Schengen Area.
It is not yet known how long in advance applications will need to be made, but it is likely to be similar to the ESTA system in the US, where applications can be made up to 3 days before travel.
Can I Still Work Or Study In The Eu After Brexit?
If you want to work or study in the EU after Brexit, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa from the country you wish to visit.
Depending on the reasons for why you want to stay longer than 90 days, you may need to apply for a different type of visa.
For example, if you want to study in the EU, you will need to apply for a student visa.
If you want to work in the EU, you will need to apply for a work permit.
You can find more information on the types of visas available here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration
Checks for all types of travel
- 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
Passports: check if you need to renew
You can renew your passport if it’s expired or will expire while you’re away. You should also check whether your destination has any entry requirements.
For example, some countries need at least 6 months validity on your passport.
Any non-EU members (now including the UK) travelling to the Schengen Area (26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their mutual borders) must hold a passport valid for at least 3 months beyond their period of intended stay. It must also have been issued within the last 10 years.
Check the rules on travelling with children as they may need extra documents.
Healthcare: check you’re covered
The EHIC of old is now a thing of the past for UK citizens, however you can apply for a new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
This will give you the same access to state-provided healthcare as an EHIC in any EU country, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
You should also get travel insurance that covers your healthcare.
Driving abroad may be different to driving in the UK.
Check you have the right driving documents and familiarise yourself with local driving laws and customs before you go.
A UK sticker on your car is now also required if driving in the EU.
You may also need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in some countries - again, check before you travel.
If you’re hiring a car, make sure you have adequate insurance cover.
Pet Travel: Allow At Least 1 Month To Arrange
Bringing your pet to the continent now requires some preparation.
Dogs, cats and ferrets now all need an animal health certificate (AHC) as well as a microchip.
The AHC must be issued no more than 10 days before travel by an official vet registered with the government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
It must list all of the microchip details, vaccinations and tapeworm treatments your pet has had.
Travelling with assistance dogs is unaffected.
You should also contact your vet at least 1 month before you go to check that they can issue the AHC, as not all vets are registered with the APHA.
You can find more information on pet travel here: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
Pets now also need an animal health certificate (AHC) as well as a microchip.
Check your passport, get travel insurance, check you have the right driving documents, and organise pet travel before you go.
So, whether you're a UK citizen travelling to the EU after Brexit or you're an EU citizen travelling to the UK, make sure you check all the necessary requirements and take the necessary precautions before you go.
The government has made it easy for travellers to find the information they need on their website - just be sure to read up on everything so there are no surprises when you're at the border.
And most importantly, enjoy your trip!