Before travelling outside the UK it is essential to check the passport and visa requirements of the country you are visiting.

Before travelling outside the UK check the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings at GOV.UK.

Passports 

Before you travel outside the UK you need to make sure you have a valid passport and the relevant visas.

In the United Kingdom, British passports (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) are issued by HM Passport Office.

In conjunction with the Post Office, it is possible to submit most passport applications at a number of branches.

Alternatively it is now possible to apply for or renew your passport online.

HM Passport Office advise people not to leave their application for a British passport to the last minute and to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their passport

More than 5 million people delayed applying for passports during COVID-19 because of restrictions in international travel.

For more information on passport processing times and the levels of demand, follow this link.

Full details of how to apply, renew or update your UK passport and passport fees are available from GOV.UK.

Premium (1 day) and Fast Track (1 week) service is also available at this link.

If you lose your passport or your passport is stolen you must cancel it immediately with GOV.UK.

If you are outside the UK and your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full or has recently expired you can obtain an emergency travel document (sometimes called an ‘emergency passport’) at GOV.UK.

Visas

A travel visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes you to be in the country you are visiting.

Although many countries require a visa to gain entry, British Citizens can currently visit 192 countries without a visa - details are available this link.

Certain other countries will issue visas on arrival.

To check whether you need a Visa to enter your destination of travel, follow this link.

Travel to Europe post Brexit

Travel to Europe has changed significantly now that we are no longer a Member of the European Union (EU). British citizens’ EU citizenship and free movement rights ended when the Brexit transition period expired on 31 December 2020. Those rights had enabled them to visit, live, work or study in an EU Member State without needing a visa.

Details of the changes are available at the following links:

Travel to a country in the ‘Schengen area’

The countries in the Schengen area are:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Your total stay in the Schengen area must not be more than 90 days in every 180 days. It does not matter how many countries you visit. The 180-day period keeps ‘rolling’.

You can work out if your stay is within the 90 day limit, at this link.

Also your passport must be:

  • Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

Details of all entry requirements to a Schengen country can be found at:

Lost or Stolen documents

There are steps you can take to prevent any loss or theft of important documents like your passport or driving licence, as well as ways of making sure you get replacement documents as soon as possible if they are lost.

Full details are available at this link.

Travelling by Air

Under EU rules which will continue to apply to the UK post Brexit, air passengers are entitled to certain rights covering delayed flights, overbooking and lost luggage in the form of financial compensation or suitable assistance from the airline.

A comprehensive guide to travelling by air including your rights, luggage restrictions and how to claim compensation is available at:

Help and Advice when travelling abroad

Check the latest travel advice by country, your rights at the airport, getting help abroad and other things you should do when you travel internationally.

Help and advice for British Nationals oversees is available at this link.

Detailed specific help and advice to 226 individual countries is available at this link.

A comprehensive guide to living abroad is available at this link.

Useful Apps to Download before travelling

Free apps that make travelling easier and enhance your holiday experience are available at this link.

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