ETIAS Requirements for UK Citizens

As of November 2023, ETIAS is an obligatory requirement for UK citizens to travel to Europe. This electronic visa waiver is being introduced to pre-screen visa-exempt visitors to European countries. You can find up-to-date information about the launch of ETIAS on this site.

ETIAS for UK citizens is a mandatory requirement to travel to European countries from the United Kingdom as of November 2023.

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. This electronic visa waiver program was first approved by the European Commission in 2016 to strengthen security checks on visa-exempt travelers to the countries in the Schengen Area.

An approved ETIAS visa waiver for UK citizens will allow British nationals to visit any and all of the Schengen countries. These are countries in Europe that have signed the Schengen Agreement that allows passport free-travel for their citizens.

These currently include 22 European Union countries, as well as 4 non-EU countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland). ETIAS will also be required to travel to pending member countries of the Schengen Zone.

ETIAS will pre-screen visa-exempt travelers, including British citizens, against a number of European security databases, before an authorization is approved. These databases include the Schengen Information System (SIS) and the Visa Information System (VIS).

ETIAS ensures that any threats to Schengen border security and public health, such as terrorist activity or illegal border crossings, are detected before travelers arrive. This makes for a safer Europe for both visitors and residents alike.

Do UK Citizens Need a Visa for Europe after Brexit?

UK citizens do not need a visa for Europe after Brexit. They can visit the European Union visa-free using a British passport and receive entry/exit stamps on arrival and departure.

However, as of November 2023, they must apply for an ETIAS for UK citizens before visiting any of the Schengen countries for a short-term stay.

ETIAS for British citizens is not a visa. It is an electronic travel authorization/visa waiver.

The ETIAS application for UK citizens is simple and easy to complete, and can be filled out in a matter of minutes exclusively online. There is no need to visit an embassy or consulate or supply supporting documents in paper form.

ETIAS for UK citizens allows the holder to visit European countries visa-free for purposes of:

  • Tourism
  • Transit
  • Business
  • Medical treatment
  • Short-term medical treatment

An approved ETIAS visa waiver for UK citizens is a multiple entry electronic travel authorization. This means British nationals do not need to apply for ETIAS before every trip to Europe.

What Countries Can UK Citizens Visit with an ETIAS?

An approved ETIAS for UK citizens allows the holder to visit any and all of the Schengen countries.

These countries consist of member states who signed the Schengen Agreement in Schengen, Luxembourg in 1985. This treaty allowed the countries to abolish passports and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.

The Schengen Area includes countries in the European Union including France, Germany, Spain, Greece, and Italy. 4-non EU countries also make up the Schengen Zone. These are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Additionally, there are several EU countries which have pending membership of the Schengen Area but have not yet fully met the acquis. These are Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, and Romania.

As of November 2023, it is also necessary to have an approved ETIAS for British citizens to visit these countries.

A full list of countries you can visit with a UK ETIAS, as well as an interactive map, can be found below.

ETIAS Countries

Apply for an ETIAS for Citizens of United Kingdom

It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out an ETIAS application for UK citizens. You can apply completely online from the comfort of your own home using any type of electronic device (laptop, phone, tablet, etc.).

The online form first asks applicants to provide basic personal, passport, and travel details.

These include:

  • Name
  • Surname
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Birth date
  • Place of birth
  • Passport number
  • Passport expiry/issue date
  • Schengen country of first intended entry

After you provide all of this information, you should double check the details provided to ensure it is error-free. Correcting any mistakes can help you avoid processing delays or even the rejection of the UK ETIAS application.

Finalizing an ETIAS Application from the UK

You also need to answer a few security and health-related questions before you can submit an ETIAS application from the UK. These include queries about serious criminal convictions such as:

  • Terrorism
  • Human trafficking
  • Drug trafficking

The applicant also needs to answer questions about prior travel to the Schengen Area and prior visits to any conflict zones.

Next, you will need to pay the ETIAS for British citizens fee in order to submit the request for processing.

ETIAS UK applications are usually processed within 24 hours. However, you are advised to submit your request at least 72 hours before traveling to Europe to allow for sufficient processing time in the rare case of delays.

ETIAS Requirements for British Passport Holders

There are very few requirements for British passport holders to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver for UK citizens.

However, applicants should keep the following in mind:

  • The UK passport used to apply should have a biometric chip and must be valid for at least 3 months from the intended arrival in the Schengen Area
  • It is necessary to have a credit or debit card authorized for online payments to pay the ETIAS UK fee
  • You must supply a current email address at which to receive notifications and a copy of the ETIAS once approved
  • Each traveler must have an individually approved ETIAS (including all minors under the age of 18, even if they are included on their parent’s passport)
  • Parents who are legal guardians may complete an ETIAS application for UK nationals on behalf of any children, but they must submit an individual form for each child.

Additionally, you must use the same passport to travel to Europe that you used to complete the ETIAS application from the UK.

This is because the authorization is electronically linked to one passport. Dual nationals should be aware of this requirement.

On arrival in the Schengen Area, you can simply present your ETIAS-linked passport to border officials. They will then scan the document to confirm your entry to Europe.

UK Citizens Traveling to European Countries

A large number of UK citizens traveling to Europe choose to visit Spain as their primary destination.

The country is a popular option for Brits due to the incredible wealth of options for a beach holiday, particularly in the Balearic islands such as Mallorca and Canary Islands like Tenerife and Lanzarote.

Other coveted destinations for Brits traveling to Europe include France, Italy, and Greece. Germany and Portugal are also becoming more popular for holidays for UK citizens.

How Long Can UK Citizens Stay in Europe?

The ETIAS for British citizens allows the holder to stay in Europe for up to 90 days with each entry, within every 180-day period.

An approved ETIAS for UK citizens allows multiple entries and the authorization is valid for a total of 3 years, or until the associated passport expires.

The ETIAS visa waiver for UK citizens does not authorize the holder to travel to Europe for purposes such as to work or study long-term. In such cases, British nationals require an approved Schengen visa from an embassy.

While ETIAS allows the holder to visit all the Schengen countries, a Schengen visa is only issued for one individual member state.