Traveling to the EU and Schengen Area: A Comprehensive Guide

travel in europe post brexit

Do you dream of exploring the picturesque European countries? Now that Brexit has taken place, you may be wondering about the new travel regulations for visiting the EU and the Schengen area. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know before planning your trip. So, let’s dive in!

Visa Requirements for Short Trips

If you’re planning a short trip to the EU or the Schengen area, there’s good news for you. In most cases, you won’t need a visa if the following conditions apply:

  • Your stay is for 90 days or less within a 180-day period.
  • You’re visiting as a tourist or for specific purposes, such as studying a short course, receiving medical treatment, traveling for business on behalf of your UK employer, or engaging in journalism or other media activities.

It’s essential to check the entry requirements of the country you plan to visit to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Exploring the Schengen Area

The Schengen area consists of 26 European countries, each with its own unique charm. You have the freedom to travel to multiple countries within the Schengen area for a total of 90 days in every 180-day period. The countries included in the Schengen area are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Remember, the 90-day limit applies to your overall stay in the Schengen area and not specific to each country you visit. To determine if your stay falls within the limit, follow these steps:

  1. Check the date of your planned departure from the Schengen area.
  2. Count back 180 days from that date to establish the starting point of the 180-day period.
  3. Calculate the number of days you have already spent in the Schengen area during that 180-day period (refer to the entry and exit stamps in your passport).
  4. Determine the number of days you will spend in the Schengen area on your upcoming trip and add this to the total from step 3.
  5. Ensure that the combined number of days does not exceed 90.

EU Countries outside the Schengen Area

While most EU countries are part of the Schengen area, there are exceptions. Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania are not part of the Schengen area, but you can still enjoy a visit to these countries without a visa. Similar to the Schengen area, you can stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period in each of these countries. Importantly, the time spent in the Schengen area won’t affect the duration of your visit to these countries.

When a Visa Might Be Required

In some situations, you may need a visa or permit to visit EU countries. Here are two instances where this might come into play:

  1. Work: If you’re planning to work in a specific country within the EU, make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and requirements of that country.
  2. Stay Longer Than 90 Days: If your travel plans involve a stay exceeding 90 days or if you’re visiting for reasons other than tourism, it’s crucial to check the entry requirements of the country you intend to visit.

Understanding these visa requirements will ensure that your journey is stress-free and in compliance with the regulations of the country you are visiting.

In conclusion, exploring the EU and the Schengen area has become more accessible and straightforward for UK citizens. By adhering to the visa regulations and entry requirements, you can embark on an unforgettable adventure across Europe. Remember to plan ahead, research the specific rules of each country, and make the most of your stay within the designated timeframes. Happy travels!

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