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Do You Need a Visa to Travel Around the UK and Europe?

Posted on
July 21, 2021

Brexit has not only disrupted trade at the ports caused by delays with the new customs and border procedures, but it has also caused a lot of confusion amongst those who wish to travel abroad. There are many questions about whether travel remains the same, to and from the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) and whether you need a visa or not. 

This article will look at whether you need a visa to travel around Europe. 

Short travel from the UK around Europe

If you plan to travel within the EU with the status of a tourist for a short trip, then you do not need a visa. This only applies if your entire trip lasts no longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, which means even if you visit more than one country within the EU, it must total less than 90 days. 

This also includes travel to Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, or Liechtenstein.


For travel in Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, and Bulgaria, the rules are different and they have their own 90-day limits which are separate from the countries above. 

Short travel from Europe to the UK 

If you are an EU, European Economic Area (EEA), or Swiss citizen, then you can enter the UK with your passport for short trips and holidays without applying for a visa. From 1st October 2021, you will no longer be able to use an EU ID card to enter the UK, unless you have a work or EU Settlement Scheme permit, which grants you access with your EU ID card until 31st December 2025. 

Short travel from United States of America (USA) to the UK

If you are traveling from the USA, you can stay in the UK for up to 6 months and 26 countries within the EU for up to 90 days without a visa. 

Longer travel around the EU and UK


If you plan to take a longer trip to the EU, for example, because you plan to work, study or reside in the EU, then you may need to apply for a visa or permit. 

If you are a citizen outside of the UK and plan to reside in the UK, then you need an Indefinite Leave to Remain (IRL) status, which can be obtained by completing a UK ilr application

The type of travel you wish to embark on will determine whether you need to apply for a visa or permit. It is important to note that, regardless of where you are traveling to or from, you will need to ensure your passport and/or visa is up-to-date for the entire stay. If you are planning a short trip to the UK or Europe, although you might not need a visa, you will need to consider other things, for example, travel insurance, health insurance, driving documents, and pet travel.

It is crucial that, wherever you are planning your next trip, you conduct thorough research to ensure all papers and documents are in place before you travel, to save for any complications, delays, or penalties, and you can enjoy your travels.


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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog