In light of Brexit, the EU has rolled out and approved an immigration-friendly draft law that allows UK nationals to travel to the EU without the need for a visa. The EU approved the draft law on April 04, 2019 in the midst of Brexit discussions. The approved draft law exempts UK nationals from needing a visa to enter the EU for short visits for up to ninety days, in any 180-day period, for business, tourism or to visit relatives or friends. The law does not, however, provide work authorization nor does it permit stays in the EU for longer than 90-days.
This law adds the UK to the list of countries whose nationals are exempted from needing to apply for a short-term visa. Looking into the future, after January 01, 2021, UK nationals will need to apply for ETIAS travel authorization before traveling to the EU. This law will take effect once the UK leaves the EU and is dependent on reciprocity, thus, if the UK requires EU nationals to apply for a visa, then the EU will reintroduce visa requirements for nationals of the UK seeking entry into the EU.
The application of the draft law extends to all EU member states, except Ireland, and extends to the non-EU Schengen countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway. Those travelling to these locations may wish to consider Cars Iceland or other car rental services to ensure that they can travel freely around those countries. UK and Ireland nationals will continue to benefit from the 1949 Ireland Act which provides visa-free travel to Ireland and the UK, even if the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.
We will continue to monitor updates of this development to determine whether the draft legislation will be formally adopted and published in the Official Journal of the EU.