Brits to pay $8 to travel to Schengen

The European Commission will charge UK citizens for visa-free travel from 2021

British citizens visiting a country within the Schengen area will soon have to pay for visa-free entry.

European Commission will require Brits to pay $8 to enter the Schengen area — EQRoy / Shutterstock Brits to pay $8 for travelling to Schengen
The European Commission will require Brits to pay $8 to enter the Schengen area — EQRoy / Shutterstock

The European Commission has decided that after Brexit, the United Kingdom will be considered a third country, similar to the United States.

From 2021, Brits will have to pre-register for an electronic visa waiver and pay $8 every three years.

The measurement will be a part of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias) which implements special conditions for certain non-EU countries that do not require full visas.

“Once Etias enters into operation, all visa-exempt non-EU nationals who plan to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply via Etias,” a European Commission source told Sky News.

Natasha Bertaud, coordinating spokesperson for the current president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, confirmed that Etias would apply to British tourists after Brexit, but that it was “way cheaper” than an Esta.

Esta is the system that requires citizens from certain countries to pay $14 for visa-free entry into the US.

With Etias being implemented, nationals from a total of 61 countries will be allowed to travel within the EU’s Schengen zone for up to 90 days without a visa.

According to the BBC, the EU has decided to bring in more controls over the countries with the new rule because of the current migrant crisis and security concerns over terrorism.

Under the Brexit deal, EU citizens and UK nationals will continue to be able to travel freely with a passport or identity card until the end of the transition period in 2020.

The deal is still to be accepted by the British parliament. A “meaningful vote” on the agreement was postponed by prime minister Theresa May on 10 December, and it must now be held by 21 January.

Travellers aged under 18 and over 70 won’t be required to pay the fee, meaning that the new measure will apply to an estimated 40 million Brits.