The Brexit stunned people across the globe, especially those who had voted against it. Even though some weren't aware of the impact it would have in the UK, it is set to leave by the end of March 2019. While the European Unions and the United Kingdom continue negotiations there are a few things worth discussing when it comes to travel.
What does the Brexit really mean for UK citizens traveling to Europe?
Currently, British citizens can travel to any country in the EU by presenting a valid passport at the border. When the UK separates from the European Union, all those with British nationality will be considered “third country nationals”. This means that they do not have an automatic right of admission. The European Union has been working on strengthening its borders and an initiative is being developed to control who comes to the region. The European Travel Information Authorization System, ETIAS, will be required from all non-EU citizens who wish to visit Europe.
This program was not created in response to the Brexit. Immigration has always been a pressing concern for the region and the EU has been engaged in finding a way to heighten its borders before the referendum. However, it’s worth noting that after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union all UK citizens traveling to European nations will be treated under the same regulations as citizens from countries like Canada, Australia and others. The ETIAS will be officially active in 2020 and non-EU nationals will be required to enroll before visiting countries in the EU.
The ETIAS visa will offer an online form in which people have to provide their personal information: full name, address, contact details, passport details as well as their occupation. A series of questions regarding the traveler’s state of health will be included. Additional inquiries regarding convictions in the past twenty years, serious crimes, fraud, etc will be a part of the enrollment process. It will be necessary to specify the reason for travel.
Not having internet will not be an acceptable excuse to not fill in the ETIAS. Every single person who is from a non-EU country is obliged to complete the form. Entry to the region will be denied otherwise. Most applications are approved within minutes, however, the EU has said that 96 hours could pass before an application is approved or rejected, therefore, people are strongly advise to sort their ETIAS well in advance before their trip.
The EU has also made it clear that having an approved ETIAS cannot guarantee admission. This travel authorization does not grant right of entry automatically, it is simply an additional mandatory requirement to enhance security.
Outdated documentation will have an impact
In order to have an approved ETIAS the passport has to be valid for at least 3 months after arrival date. Escapades to the EU will be viable, but documentation will be closely examined and if a passport nears its expiration date it’s likely that the application will be denied.
British passports in particular can be valid for ten years and nine months, however, it has been pointed out by the EU that a British passport with only nine months left could be rejected.
Those who think that they can travel without the ETIAS should think twice before they try to entry the EU without it. Airlines, ferries, trains, buses will be checking your documentation. All travel transportation entities will be required to verify that travelers have a valid travel authorization.
Even though there is still some time before the program is launched, people should be aware of the travel requirements that regions in different parts of the world are implementing.