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EU Countries: Visas

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 146829, tabled on 1 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what bilateral discussions he has with individual EU member states to negotiate an extension to the 180 day limit on visa-free access to the EU for UK visitors.

Answered on

9 February 2021

The Government discussed arrangements with the EU for British Citizens travelling to the Schengen Area. Regrettably, the EU consistently maintained that British Citizens will be treated as Third Country Nationals under the Schengen Borders Code from 1 January 2021. This means that British Citizens are able to travel visa-free for short stays for up to 90 days in a rolling 180-day period. This is the standard length of stay that the EU offers to nationals of eligible third countries that offer visa-free travel for EU citizens, in line with existing EU legislation. British Citizens planning to stay longer will need permission from the relevant Member State. This may require applying for a visa and/or permit.

The UK's Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU confirms that both the UK and EU currently provide for visa-free travel for short-term visits for each other's nationals in accordance with their respective laws. The detail of those arrangements is set by domestic law.  The Government does not typically enter into bilateral agreements on visa-free travel.

Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.