ETIAS Requirements for UK citizens

Europe’s requirements for British visitors

Travelling abroad means meeting the entry requirements of the destination country. Europe is no exception. For British citizens, there are few requirements to travel to most places on the continent.

To visit any country in the Schengen Area, the only requirement at present is a valid UK passport.

An electronic visa waiver system called ETIAS will be implemented in November 2023 for the Schengen Area and countries in process of joining Schengen. This will be a new requirement for British passport holders.

Do Brits need a visa for Europe?

British citizens do not need to obtain a visa to enter any of the countries in the Schengen Area, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. This is because the UK is on the EU’s visa exemption list. This will most likely continue to be the case in the future.

Starting in November 2023, it will be necessary for Brits to register online with the ETIAS visa waiver platform to continue to enjoy visa-free entry to Europe.

Will UK citizens need ETIAS?

Yes, British visitors will have to register their details with ETIAS before they travel to any Schengen country from November 2023.

ETIAS is not a visa. It is a waiver that will allow travellers from the UK to continue to visit Europe without applying for a visa.

How can British citizens register with ETIAS?

Citizens of the UK must complete the ETIAS application form online to obtain their visa waiver for Europe.

This involves providing information about the traveller. The applicant must enter the following details:

  • Basic personal information
  • Passport details
  • Means of contact
  • Security information (questions about health and past travel)

The ETIAS requirements for UK citizens include providing the following items:

  • Valid UK passport
  • Current email address
  • Method of payment (credit or debit card)

The email address is important as all correspondence, including confirmation of the ETIAS approval will be delivered to the account provided by the British applicant.


Personal information required for ETIAS

The following personal information is required from British passport holders applying for ETIAS:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality and place of birth
  • Gender

Contact information required for ETIAS

In addition, British applicants must provide contact details, including the following:

  • Home address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

British passport requirements for Europe

The only current requirement for British citizens visiting Europe is a valid passport. This will continue to be important when the ETIAS is launched.

An up-to-date UK passport will be required to complete the ETIAS form. The following details must be provided:

  • Passport number
  • Date of issue
  • Date of expiry

How many months do you need on a UK passport to travel to Europe?

At present, British citizens must have a UK passport that will continue to be valid for at least 6 months to travel to most European countries.

However, it is likely that the UK passport requirements for Europe will change with the introduction of the ETIAS in November 2023.

The ETIAS requirements state that applicants’ passports must be valid for at least 3 months after the date of arrival in the Schengen Area, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. This will most likely include the British passport requirements for ETIAS.

How to cancel a lost or stolen passport?

If a British citizen’s passport is lost or stolen after registering with ETIAS, they should immediately report it online via the UK government’s website. It will then be necessary to replace the passport.

The travel authorisation will be rendered invalid with the old British passport, since it is linked to the document originally registered on the ETIAS platform.

Therefore, the traveller will be required to register with ETIAS again using the replacement passport.

British passport applications abroad

If a UK passport is stolen while travelling in the Schengen Area, the British citizen is advised to report it online immediately to cancel it. If they do not plan to travel in the next 6 weeks, they can apply for a replacement passport.

However, if the individual plans to travel within the following 6 weeks, they will need to apply for an emergency travel document.

How to obtain an emergency travel document

Emergency travel documents for British citizens can be obtained by applying online, providing contact details and proof of the UK national’s travel plans. It is often necessary to attend an appointment at the nearest British embassy to receive the emergency travel document.

It usually takes around 2 working days to process an application for an emergency travel document for Brits overseas.

Countries that Britsh can visit with ETIAS

The ETIAS will grant British citizens entry to any of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. These states share an open borders policy, meaning that visitors from the UK can travel freely between the different nations once they enter the first Schengen destination.

The Schengen Area is comprised of 22 European Union (EU) countries and the 4 European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states. These nations share a common immigration and visa policy towards British nationals. There are 4 nations in the processs of joining the Schengen area who will also require ETIAS: Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania.

There are also 4 European microstates that are only accessible from Schengen countries and have no additional visa requirements. This means that Brits will be able to visit these countries with the ETIAS visa waiver as well.

Passengers from the UK who have registered with ETIAS will be able to visit the following destinations:


Type of trip that requires an ETIAS

The ETIAS will allow citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to enter Schengen countries for the following purposes:

  • Tourism
  • Business
  • Transit

British travellers with an ETIAS visa waiver will be able to stay in the Schengen Area, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania for a total of 90 days within any 180-day period.

The 90 days are not specific to any one country. For example, if a British citizen is staying in Spain for most of their visit, but makes a short trip to France for a week before returning to Spain, the time in France counts towards the 90-day total, since both countries are in the Schengen Area.

Brits who intend to stay in a Schengen country in the long term and/or work there will require the relevant visa and/or permits for that state.

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