UK nationals travelling to the EU: essential information

Information on the rights of UK nationals travelling in the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Area (EFTA), and Switzerland.

Latest updates

If there is no EU Exit deal, you will need to take new action before travelling to an EU destination. This page will provide information on what you need to do before travelling.

This page will be updated regularly. Check back before travelling.

Staying up to date

We will publish country-specific information on the travel advice pages to help you prepare for travel after EU Exit. You can also receive the latest updates by signing up for alerts on each country page.

See also our guidance for UK nationals on living in the EU, EEA, EFTA and Switzerland.

Current status of UK nationals travelling to EU destinations

Until the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the UK remains a full member of the EU. As a UK national, there will be no change to your rights or status when travelling to an EU destination up until 29 March 2019.

You can:

  • continue to travel freely within the EU using a UK passport
  • enter another EU country without a visa

Visa and border arrangements

If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change after 29 March 2019.

The European Commission has proposed that in a no deal situation, if you are a British Citizen, you would not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU. You would be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit.

If you are intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.

Travel to EU countries currently outside the Schengen area (Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus) would not count towards the 90-day total.

On arrival in the Schengen area, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EU nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.

The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work in the Schengen area. Most countries will require a visa and work permit.

You should check with the Embassy of the country where you plan to travel for what type of visa, if any, you will need. You can find information about entry requirements on our country-specific travel advice pages.

Travelling in an EU country after 29 March 2019: plan ahead

It is possible that the UK will leave the EU without a deal. This means your rights and status when travelling to an EU country could change.

More information on the types of action you may need to take ahead of travelling in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU Exit:

Travel documents

  • check your passport here

  • the rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel

  • adult and child passports should have at least 6 months remaining from your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. These extra months will not count towards this so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel

Travel insurance

  • you should continue to take out appropriate travel insurance (including health cover) before travel abroad. Read more about travel insurance

Consumer rights

Driving and other transport

Animals and pets

Published 21 December 2018
Last updated 19 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip
  2. EU Exit update – added visa and border arrangements information
  3. Updated with new information on financial services.
  4. First published.