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How Long Will British Nationals Be Able to Visit the EU For From 1st January 2021

How Long Will British Nationals Be Able to Visit the EU For From 1st January 2021?

Depending on when you read this article, the Brexit transition period may have already ended, or it may be imminent. If recent press is to be believed, some British nationals have only just realised what Brexit means for their rights and freedoms in Europe. The Daily Mail recently ran an article entitled, “Furious British ex-pats blast EU’s new post-Brexit travel rules which will ban them from spending more than three months as a time at their holiday home from January”. The main complaint raised by British nationals interviewed in the article is the disparity between the amount of time they can spend in the EU without a visa compared to how much time EU nationals can spend in the UK without a visa. While this is the case, it does beg the question after over years of discussions about the ending of free movement, why is this only being realised now? In this article, we will discuss how long British nationals can spend in the EU post-Brexit, and when a visa will need to be applied for.

The End Of Free Movement

The reality is that with the end of free movement, the UK has lost its say in how long British nationals can spend in the EU. Ultimately, this is a decision for the EU, and while some may demand parity, this is the flip side of not being a member of the trading bloc. The current rules state that for short trips to the EU, British nationals will not need a visa if they are a tourist staying for up to 90 days in any 180 day period. This means theoretically that a person can spend 185 days in a year – 90 days in the first 180 days of the year, 90 days in the second 180 days of the year, and five days in the remaining days of the year.

If you are visiting Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus or Romania, the rules state, “If you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total”.

Free movement doesn’t just mean that UK nationals need a visa if they are staying longer than 90 days in the EU, it also means that more border checks will be required. The Home Office states that travellers to the EU may need to show a return or onward ticket, show they have sufficient money for their stay and use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing at borders.

What Are The Other Impacts Of Brexit On UK Nationals Visiting The EU?

There are several consequences of Brexit which will impact on UK nationals visiting the EU from 1st January 2021, as follows:

  • Travellers will need to check they have at least six months left on their passport and are not more than ten years old
  • UK nationals will no longer be eligible to use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme, meaning they will need to purchase health insurance to cover the duration of their stay in the EU. As the Home Office guidance explains, if you have a pre-existing condition, it is vital that you disclose this when purchasing insurance to ensure you are covered (the EHIC scheme covered pre-existing conditions).
  • UK nationals will not be allowed to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries from 1 January 2021. The Home Office explains “There are some exceptions, for example, certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons”.
  • Depending on which countries you are visiting in the EU, you may need an international driving permit (IDP). Those taking their car to the EU by train or ferry will need a ‘green card’ and a GB sticker.
  • The Pet Passport scheme in place pre-2021 will no longer apply. For pet owners, this will entail a more lengthy and complex process starting four months prior to travel to the EU. At this stage, we still do not know whether the UK will have unlisted, Part 1 listed, or Part 2 listed status when it comes to taking pets to the UK. The exact process and rules depend on which category we are placed. Until we know, travellers will most likely need to follow the strictest rules which apply to unlisted nations, which require a sample of each pet’s blood to be sent to an EU approved blood testing laboratory, and then a three-month wait before travelling. For those making regular trips with their pets to the EU, the rules advise that “Pets do not need a repeat blood test before travelling again if they have had a successful blood test and an up-to-date subsequent rabies vaccination history”. For detailed information on what you will need to do if you are travelling to the EU with your pet from 1st January 2021, it is recommended you read the Home Office guidance for pet travel and contact our local vet for more information.
  • Mobile phone free roaming may end – the Home Office is advising travellers to check what will happen with their own network provider. They do also point out that a new system is in place in the EU which mandates that you are protected from incurring mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing. They also say that once you reach £45, you will then need to opt in to spend more than this amount.

Wrapping Up

It is a reality that Brexit will bring changes and inconvenience for British nationals travelling to an EU country. That said, we still don’t know if there will be a trade deal with the EU, and whether any additional concessions will be offered as possible ‘sweeteners’. With careful planning and by checking the latest guidance, the changes can be managed and not cause too much disruption for those going to the EU for work or travel.


Some of our Happy Client

Reiss Edwards Awards

ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers
ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated Three Best Rated
Department For International Development Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers Lexology Legal Influencers

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

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"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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