What documents do I need to travel to the EU after Brexit?
If you’re planning your 2021 holiday, you may be wondering if you’ll need any additional documentation when you travel to the EU after Brexit. Here, we look at the extra documents that you might need so that you can ensure that you’re fully prepared for your post-Brexit trip.
As always, you will need a passport in order to visit the EU after Brexit. From 1st January 2021, your passport will need to fit the below criteria on the day of your departure:
Must have at least 6 months of validity
Must be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay
You will still be able to travel with a burgundy or ‘European Union’ passport after Brexit. New blue passports are being issued, so you can expect to be sent one of these when you renew your current passport.
You will not need a visa in order to visit an EU country as a tourist after Brexit. Tourists will be able to stay in the EU for 90 days in a 180 period, which is more than enough time for a holiday or longer road trip.
If you are hoping to stay in the EU for longer in order to work or study, or you’re travelling for business, you may need a visa in order to do this. This will depend on the entry requirements of the country(s) you’re staying in, so you should check these before you travel.
From 1st October 2021, changes to the government legislation will mean that most EU, EEA and Swiss national can only travel to the UK using a valid passport, unless they have applied to the EU settlement scheme by 30th June 2021 or otherwise have protected right under the Citizen’s Rights Agreements.
From 1st October 2021, an ID card will no longer be accepted for travel to the UK unless one of the above exemptions apply:
This will not affect EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who:
have received settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme
have made an application by 30th June 2021 to the EUSS but have not yet received a decision on their application
have an EU settlement scheme family permit
are an S2 healthcare visitor
with a frontier worker permit
are Swiss nationals and have Swiss Service Provider from Switzerland visa
Anyone travelling to the UK on an invalid travel document may be refused entry at the border.
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals in the groups above can still use their ID cards to travel to the UK until at least 31st December 2025. They’ll also be able to use them after that date, if the cards meet the security standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
This will also not apply to Gibraltar ID cards issued to British citizens or to passport card issued to Irish citizens, they will continue to be accepted for travel to the UK.
Once the UK leaves the EU you will still be able to rely on your EHIC for healthcare overseas until it reaches its expiry date. After this, you will be able to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which will cover you for state healthcare in the EU country you're visiting.
It's also advised that you take out travel insurance as your EHIC or GHIC won't cover everything e.g medical repatriation. Take your travel insurance documentation with you when you travel, whether this is printed out or on your phone. This way you can be confident that the details will be to hand should you need them. It’s also recommended that you leave the details with a friend or family member at home in case you need assistance at any point.
Find out more about medical treatment in the EU after Brexit before you travel.
If you’re taking your own vehicle, you will need a GB sticker. You might also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you meet certain criteria. You must also carry your UK driving license with you. For more information please visit our driving in the EU after Brexit page.
You will also need to have the Vehicle Registration Document (V5C), or if the vehicle is rented or leased a Vehicle on Hire Certificate VE103B which can be obtained from the company who you leased or rented the vehicle from. Your vehicle could be seized if you are unable to prove that you have the owners permission to take the vehicle abroad.
Now you know which documents you need to travel to the EU after Brexit, book your ferry crossing and start planning your next holiday today.