Brexit travel: Brits to enjoy more time in EU without charge as major plans pushed back

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The original date for countries in the Schengen Area to start charging a fee for visitors was originally September 2022. Countries that are part of the Schengen Area have abolished passport controls between each other effectively allowing borderless travel between signatory countries.

The majority of EU countries are part of the Schengen Area although the Republic of Ireland is a notable exception.

Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus are not in the Schengen area but plan to join in the future.

There are also four non -EU countries that are part of Schengen: Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

From November 2023 British passport holders will need to pay €7 (£5.92) to enter the Schengen area.

They will also need to complete additional forms online.

Following the completion of the online application form the system will conduct checks to judge if the user can be authorised to travel in the Schengen area.

It is possible that there could be some cases where further checks are needed and it may take up to 30 days for travellers to be given authorisation to travel.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will not just apply to British travellers, but is being introduced for all visitors who come from countries that are not in the EU or Schengen area but do not need a visa to enter. 

It is being designed in a similar way to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) scheme in the United States where travellers who qualify for visa waiver status have to apply for authorisation to travel.

ETIAS is being justified on the basis that it is a way of tackling potential migration issues and criminality.

According to the EU’s border control information British travellers will need ETIAS authorisation for short visits.

They said: “British nationals, like all travellers coming from visa-exempt countries, will be required to have a valid ETIAS travel authorisation if they travel for a short stay (90 days within a 180 days period). 

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“British nationals who wish to stay for a longer period must meet the entry requirements according to national or EU migration law, such as visa or residence permit,” the EU’s border control information states.”

According to the EU ETIAS will be needed for all visits to the bloc with the exception of the Republic of Ireland.

However it is unclear what exactly the requirements will be for other non-Schengen EU countries Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania.

They said: “The ETIAS Regulation applies to all EU Member States with the exception of Ireland.

“Nevertheless, when travelling to EU Member States that are not yet part of the Schengen Area (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania) please check the entry requirements for these countries before you travel as they might differ from country to country.”

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