UK citizens to enjoy visa-free travel in EU for short stays after Brexit

European Union – Travelling with no visa requirement after Brexit: agreement between the European Council and Parliament – Press communiqué issued by the European Union Council¹

Brussels, 3 April 2019

The Council and the European Parliament have agreed that, following Brexit, UK citizens coming to the Schengen Area for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should be granted visa free travel. This agreement was confirmed yesterday by EU ambassadors on behalf of the Council and by the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee today. The text now needs to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

According to EU rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity. The government of the United Kingdom has stated that it does not intend to require a visa from EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays. In the event that the United Kingdom introduces a visa requirement for nationals of at least one member state in the future, the existing reciprocity mechanism would apply and the three EU institutions and the member states would undertake to act without delay in applying the mechanism. The Commission would monitor the respect of the principle of reciprocity on a continuous basis and immediately inform the European Parliament and the Council of any developments which could endanger the respect of this principle.


Visa policy towards third country citizens travelling to the Schengen Area for a short stay is regulated under EU legislation. Existing rules include all third country nationals in one of two lists: nationals of third countries required to be in possession of a visa and those exempt from this requirement. Following Brexit, as a third country the United Kingdom will need to appear in one of these two lists./.

¹ Source of English text: European Council website.

Published on 15/04/2019

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