On January 1, 2021, the zero hour struck from which the first real effects of Brexit begin to be seen. At the end of a long and complicated process that began in 2016 with the Referendum on the stay of the United Kingdom in the European Union, with the end of the negotiations and negotiations which took place on January 31, 2020 - date of departure from the Union - a period began transitional that allowed citizens and businesses to progressively adapt to the new regulations until 31 December 2020.
The transition period obviously also involved travel to and from the United Kingdom: if before Brexit the document required to enter the country was the only valid identity card for expatriation, a passport will be required in the future.
This is probably the most obvious variation from the past, but it is certainly not the only one and perhaps not even the most important. So let's try to shed some light on what awaits us from January 1, 2021.
We illustrate the innovations introduced through simple questions, hoping to give you all the answers you are looking for.
What documents are required to travel to the UK?
For travel to the United Kingdom until 30 September 2021 it is possible to use the usual identity card also valid for expatriation (also in paper format), but from 1 October 2021 it will be mandatory to show up at the border with a valid passport for the entire duration of the trip.
Until 1 October 2021, we recommend that you also bring your valid passport with you if you are traveling with a paper identity card, as border controls are very strict and a document damaged or renewed with a simple stamp affixed by the Municipality of residence could create entry authorization problems.
For European citizens residing in the United Kingdom, who have obtained registration in the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021, they will be able to continue traveling with their identity card until at least 31 December 2025.
Do I need a visa to enter the UK from January 1st 2021?
If you are going to the UK for tourism you do not need to apply for a visa, but you can stay in the country as a tourist for up to 6 months. You will only need to provide a passport or travel document valid for the duration of your stay.
While you are in the UK as a tourist, you cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person. In addition, during your stay you may also be asked to prove that you are visiting the UK for tourism, that you are able to support yourself and your family members during your trip, and that you have accommodation for your stay. If you are under 18 and traveling alone you may need to produce a declaration from your parents or guardians that contains their and your details and consent to travel to the UK. You will find much more information in the online questionnaire, and from the immediate response, which you can find at the following link https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y.
The entry visa for travel to the United Kingdom is instead required for most non-EU citizens, even if legally resident in Spain, as the United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen area of free movement.
Those who intend to travel to the United Kingdom for study or work for a period longer than 6 months must take steps to obtain an entry visa. For work it is possible to obtain visas of different nature: skilled work, temporary work, domestic worker in the family, for business and starting a new business, in addition to many other possibilities. As regards the entry into the United Kingdom by students, a portal has been activated in which to apply for a study visa: https://www.gov.uk/student-visa/apply.
Can I continue to use my roaming rate plan at no extra cost?
The agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union contains measures calling for cooperation between telephone companies to promote fair and transparent tariffs for international mobile roaming. But to date there is still no positive official information regarding this indication so the calls you will receive or make during your travels in the United Kingdom may have a high cost.. We will keep you posted.
Is European health coverage also valid when traveling to the UK?
No, the previous European health coverage from 1 January 2021 is no longer valid in the United Kingdom, therefore it is advisable to take out a private health insurance that can guarantee the reimbursement of any medical expenses that may arise.
Can I use my European car driving license in the UK?
No new or different specific measures appear to have been adopted at the moment, either at national or European level. Therefore you can use your driving license issued in Spain when traveling to the UK.
If you have other questions to ask, feel free to do so in the comments below, we will try to answer all your doubts.