By Kyla Allyna Donnelly
After we were all summoned to stay at home and not travel abroad, unless it was essential during the pandemic, it is only fair now to take a well-deserved holiday with our friends and family. However, your holiday destination might be limited depending on the passport or visa you hold following Brexit. In this blog is a list of what type of visas you will need to go abroad:
Nearly one-year after the Brexit transition period ended, there had been no significant changes in terms of what type of visa a Philippine passport holder would need in order to travel to EU. Back in 2018, I went to Benidorm, Spain for two-weeks with my family. During that time, I still had a Philippine passport, so I had to go to Spanish Visa Application Centre in London to get a Schengen visa. We applied for this visa one-month before we were due to travel and it was a smooth process. The good news is after Brexit, the process is still the same for Philippine passport holders!
After obtaining my British passport, I do not need to apply for any tourist visa since I can rely on Schengen visa waiver. My first vacation abroad with my British passport was in France for a skiing holiday with my boyfriend. However, we had to fly to Switzerland first to get a coach from Geneva to Bourge St Maurice near the Alps. This is a privilege for British passport holders because from my experience, everything went smoothly, and all the Covid-19 travel restrictions were scrapped in March, prior to our departure.
However, Brexit is not Brexit without any future complications. The Schengen visa website recently wrote that EU and Swiss countries would now require previous countries who originally could travel to EU and Swiss countries visa-free, to undergo the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). The purpose of this authorization process is to address security concerns with terrorism and the migrant crisis happening in Europe. ETIAS is a completely electronic system that allows and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. This system is set to take place in May 2023 and each application will only cost €7. ETIAS is valid for three-years or until the end of the travel document registered during the application, whichever comes first. Since the United Kingdom is officially a non-EU member, there is a high chance that British passport holders will have to pass this security check too. However, the UK and the EU are still in the process of negotiation, so it is not official yet if the UK is required to comply to this new rule. For more information about the ETIAS, visit https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/etias/.