The United Kingdom Unveils a new Visa Waiver Program

ETIAS Center
ETIAS Center
After Brexit, the UK's Conservative government has suggested a US-style visa waiver scheme for EU citizens. EU travelers would be required to register for a digital visa waiver before entering the UK under the updated Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system unveiled by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on December 2nd, 2019.
ETIAS UK

The Home Secretary said that new rules would assist the country boost border security, stressing that the present EU agreement “limits border capability” for the UK.

It is a terrible fact that drugs and guns travel from Europe to our streets, fueling violence and addiction. People traffickers aren’t afraid to put people’s lives in danger for a profit. Worst of all, we see that terrorists were able to infiltrate the country by taking advantage of free mobility.”

However, both parliamentary and professional sources have criticized the proposed new restrictions, claiming that losing access to central EU criminal data and the EAWS (known as the European Arrest Warrant system) will put the UK at greater risk. They also cautioned that reciprocal restrictions could impact UK nationals visiting the Schengen Zone after Brexit.

What impact would the new rules have on European nationals after Brexit?

EU citizens can travel to the United Kingdom with an ID card or a legitimate passport. If the new guidelines presented by the Home Secretary are finalized and implemented, this will alter after Brexit.

One of the most significant changes is that EU residents will be forced to request a digital visa waiver up to three days before traveling to the United Kingdom for short visits. They must also obtain the necessary security pass and pay an administrative fee.

Another significant difference is that EU citizens will be required to have a passport rather than an ID card and have a valid visa waiver.

The system is planned to work similarly to the ESTA system, which has been in effect since 2010. This allows travelers from all over the globe to enter the United States after first getting online authorization from the US Department of Homeland Security. It also allows for numerous journeys for 90 days for two years.

These online travel authorization methods are not the same as visas; the waivers are far faster and easier to obtain, eliminating the need to visit an embassy.

After Brexit, will UK nationals require a visa to travel to Europe?

British nationals are unlikely to require a visa to travel to EU nations. However, the EU plans to provide its ETIAS program for third-country people visiting the Schengen area by 2022. As a result, it will likely become a necessity for UK travelers.

ETIAS will allow UK passport holders to travel to all 26 Schengen nations for 90 days over the course of 2 years.

Visitors must apply for an ETIAS visa waiver online by providing personal information, stating their trip arrangements, submitting information on supporting papers (such as a passport), and paying a fee.

From 2022, UK nationals will be subject to additional restrictions when traveling to Europe and getting an ETIAS travel authorization. The following subjects were recently covered in the details of these changes:

  • Validity and issuing date of passports
  • Driving in the European Union
  • Taking a pet to an EU country
  • Medical insurance coverage
  • Charges for mobile roaming

Other Brexit-related changes for UK nationals in the EU

It will be compulsory to declare cash worth more than £10,000 (€11,000) taken between the United Kingdom and European Union countries.

There will be some extra adjustments for business travelers, such as the requirement to file a customs declaration when bringing products abroad to sell or use for business purposes.

Regulations and rules will be finalized as the transition period concludes. UK travelers should keep up with the newest information.

Many nationals now have visa-free travel to and inside the European Union and Schengen zone. However, with the implementation of the ETIAS, these visa-free travelers will soon be required to seek ETIAS permission before starting on any European journey.
ETIAS Center
ETIAS Center
Citizens of countries that currently enjoy visa-free travel to Europe will be required to apply for and acquire ETIAS permission before starting any European travel in 2023. The European Union maintains a list of approximately sixty countries outside the European Union and Schengen Area currently visa-free in Europe. These nations are now considered "third countries," and people from these countries will need an ETIAS to travel to Europe for any reason or length of time starting in 2023.
ETIAS Center
ETIAS Center
Gibraltar is now part of the EU's borderless Schengen zone. Following Brexit, the United Kingdom and Spain negotiated a temporary agreement, which the European Union will develop into a treaty in the following months.
ETIAS Center
ETIAS Center

    Get Notified!
    Sign up to get notified as soon as ETIAS becomes mandatory for traveling to Europe.
    Your data is in the safe hands. Privacy policy