Post-Brexit: EU Passport Required When Travelling to the UK

Post-Brexit: EU Passport Required When Travelling to the UK

EU nationals as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will no longer be able to use their country’s national identity cards as a means of entry into the UK from the end of September.

Previously, travellers who had citizenship in EU countries could use their national ID cards to enter the UK. However, from 1 October 2021 onwards, travellers will only be able to enter the UK using their passports.

Under EU rules, citizens of member states that issue national identity cards can use them for travel within the EU and Schengen area instead of a passport.

This was the case for travel to the UK when it was part of the EU. The change in rule in October is a result of Brexit.

Passport Requirement

In general, far fewer people own passports in these EU countries compared to national identity cards, which are obligatory in states such as France.

But the change of rule for travel to the UK may force many to apply for passports.

However, there will be some exceptions.

The UK Home Office states that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals can continue to use the national ID cards to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025 if they meet any of the following conditions:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme
  • have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but not yet received a decision
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

Travellers will need to have the appropriate documents to prove the above status at the UK border. EU travellers do not need a visa for short trips to the UK.

Irish citizens can continue to use a passport card to travel to the UK.

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