EU, EEA and Swiss must need passport to enter UK 

From 1st October 2021 most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens must hold a valid passport in order to travel to the UK.

Currently, and until 1st October. European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens are permitted to travel to the UK with a valid passport or a national identity (ID) card. However, from 1st October an ID card will no longer be accepted for travel to the UK, unless a limited number of exemptions apply.

British nationals using Gibraltar ID cards, and Irish nationals using Irish passport cards, can however continue to use these to travel to the UK as they do now.

In 2019 just under 10 million passengers used an ID card to enter the UK, which equates to around a third of all EEA and Swiss air passengers.

Are there exemptions?

Yes – a limited number of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will be exempt from this change until at least 31 December 2025 and can continue use their ID cards to travel to the UK.

These exemptions are for:

  • Those who have received settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • Those who have made an application to the EUSS but have not yet received a decision on their application
  • Those with an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • Those who are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • Those with a frontier worker permit
  • Those who are Swiss nationals and have a Swiss Service Provider from Switzerland visa

Full information on exemption criteria can be found on GOV.UK - HERE

Why is it changing?

The UK government says the change from 1st October will

  • Aid security.
  • Pave the way for a strengthened and fully digitised border.
  • Reflect the end of free movement on 31 December 2020 which means EU, EEA and Swiss passengers are subject to the same entry requirements as those from the rest of the world.

Where can I find more information?

Full information can be found on GOV.UK - HERE