While Brexit will affect travel to and from the United Kingdom, there is no reason to cancel your trip. If you know ahead of time how the regulations will change after March, you will be able to avoid disappointments and extra charges. Depending on where you are coming from, research will be the difference between getting sent right back home when you arrive to the UK and enjoying a successful holiday. Here are some things you should know.
If you are from the United States, Canada, Australia, you don’t need a visa to enter the United Kingdom for up to six months, but European countries have to negotiate visa terms. You will have some time before this goes into effect. The government intends to extend the existing non-EU migration policies and apply them to EU citizens after December 2020. That gives you some time to get in that British vacation before visas are required.
Students who plan on staying more than six months will need to apply for a short-term study visa, which costs just under £100 for six months and £186 for 11 months. Work visas, on the other hand, are dependent upon what you plan to do in the UK. While the number of skilled and unskilled workers is capped from countries outside the EU, citizens of Europe will be subject to the same restrictions after Brexit becomes official. However, if one of your grandparents was a citizen of the UK, you are eligible for a UK Ancestry Visa that is good for up to five years.
The cost of air travel will change as well. Currently Britain is included in the Open Skies air agreement. Britain’s departure from the EU will affect travel from Europe as well as the United States. Budget airlines have been able to offer cheap flights to and from the UK due to these relaxed regulations. Now, as Brexit approaches, these conditions will have to be renegotiated. With Britain leaving the market, it is likely that flight prices will go up for people traveling to and from the UK.
In the uncertainty that comes with Brexit, it is definitely a good idea to purchase travel insurance as soon as possible after booking a trip. While you won’t need a visa until 2021, it can still affect when the UK leaves the market in late March. The safest way to get around this risk is to book a package holiday, but some people aren’t interested in that. If you know the risks, you can avoid disappointment and high prices. You will likely be okay to travel after Brexit is official, but it doesn’t hurt to protect your holiday purchases. According to a specialist from MoneyPug, a site frequently used to purchase cheap travel insurance, taking out some sort of insurance policy is better than having none at all.
One beneficial aspect of traveling to the UK as a citizen of the EU is that the currency rate has changed and will continue to change. The pound dropped to its lowest rate on December 17th after Theresa May decided to delay the parliamentary vote on Brexit. Currently the exchange rate is 1.11 pounds to a euro. While getting a visa in will be new for EU travelers, so will the changing currency rates.
EU Settlement Scheme
If you are currently living in the UK and wish to stay indefinitely, you will have to apply for settled or pre-settled status. This goes into effect in 2021, but EU citizens will need to apply when the application is available after March but before June 30, 2021. For the citizens of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, the Settlement Scheme status has yet to be determined.
When to Book
If you have been planning on taking a vacation in the UK, the best time to book and to go is now. You can avoid all the headaches, visas, charges, and general annoyances by going to the UK before Brexit is official. Even if you book now for after March there are risks in regards to air traffic disruptions. Take advantage of the lower currency and lack of restrictions while you still can, you will have a relaxing holiday without the stress.