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EU Countries: Visas

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL1337, tabled on 23 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have put forward to secure UK citizens the right to remain in the EU for 180 days without the need for a visa; on what grounds the EU did not agree to those proposals; and what steps they have taken since 31 January to reopen the matter in discussions with the EU.

Answered on

7 July 2021

During negotiations with the EU, the Government discussed arrangements 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, in line with existing EU legislation. British Citizens who are planning to stay longer than 90 days in a rolling 180-day period 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 notes 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, reflecting the UK's position as a non-EU Member State. Negotiations with the EU have concluded and the Government is focused on the smooth, robust and effective implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The Government does not typically enter into bilateral agreements on visa-free travel.