If you or your travelers are planning travel overseas, specifically to the EU, you may have concerns about Brexit.
Brexit refers to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. While this was set to go into effect on January 21, 2020, both sides agreed to keep many things the same until December 31, 2020, to allow enough time to agree to the terms of a new trade deal. A new trade deal came into effect December 31, 2020.
With Brexit now currently in effect, we’ve put together a quick reference guide for those with travelers holding UK passports to help you stay informed and Brexit-ready.
Reviewing and familiarizing yourself with this information now will help save time in the future knowing what’s changed, what hasn’t, and what to expect when planning any upcoming business travel trips in this region.
1. Does Brexit affect my travel plans if I am a U.S. citizen with a U.S. passport?
No. Brexit is a specific to the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. This withdrawal only affects those who currently hold a British passport.
2. I have a British passport. Is it still valid for travel into Europe?
If you (or any of your travelers) have a British passport, you will need to, on the day of travel to Europe, have at least six months validity left and ensure it’s been issued within the last 10 years. You can use the UK Government's passport checker to see if you need to renew your passport.
This rule does not apply to Ireland where travelers can continue to use their passport as long as it is valid for the length of stay.
3. Are long-term stays in Europe possible without a visa?
No. There is now a limit on how many days a British passport holder can spend in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If they are due to spend more than 90 of any 180 days in these territories, then they will need to make sure they have the correct paperwork.
Travelers may be refused entry if they do not have the correct visa or work permit, or if they have exceeded 90 days in 180 days.
Employees may also need a visa or work permit if they are:
- Transferring from the UK branch of a company to a different country, even for a short period of time
- Carrying out contracts to provide services to a client in a country where the employer has no presence
Such restrictions applied to USA passport holders and are now extended to the British passport holders.
For more information about country specific requirements as they relate to USA passport holders, please visit travel.state.gov. for the latest.
4. Are short-term stays possible in Europe without a visa?
Yes. Short business trips in Europe will not require a visa for British or USA passport holders.
Those traveling on short trips, perhaps for a business meeting or conference, will not need a visa. Travelers can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
5. How will border crossings be affected?
UK passport holders now have to use border queues for non-EU passport holders. Border checks could take longer so it is worth taking this into consideration alongside journey disruption. Please ensure you allow yourself enough time to avoid missing a flight, train or ferry.
6. Is travel to the Republic of Ireland still permitted?
Yes. Travel rules between the UK and Ireland have not changed. This is due to separate arrangements for the Common Travel Area which covers the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
We understand it can be difficult to navigate the varying travel regulations during these uncertain times. Therefore, we encourage you to review the extra requirements specific to UK business travel provided here from the UK Government. For USA passport holders please visit travel.state.gov for all other country requirements.
For further questions or support regarding your business travel program, please feel free to contact FCM today.