Big brother will take over from passport stamps. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


What a few post-Brexit years of travel transitions which were not helped by the pandemic.
Post-Brexit, Britons non-resident in EU countries have to obtain passport stamps when they exit and enter the Schengen Area.

This acts as proof that they have not overstayed their visa-free limit of 90 days in a 180-day period.
This has led to long delays at border controls in popular destinations like Palma, however, come the end of the year, the need to have passports stamped will be lifted and it will be replaced by a fully automated system.

In November the new automated Entry/Exit System (EES), is due to launch and it will register non-EU visitors digitally, removing the need for physical stamps.

“EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports, which is time consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow a systematic detection of overstayers,” reads a statement from the European Commission’s department for Migration and Home Affairs.

The EES will be an automated IT system for registering travellers from third-countries who are visa exempt or hold short-stay visas.

Each time a person crosses an EU external border, the system will register their name, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit. It will also record refusals of entry.

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All this, apart from tightening security etc. should make passing through border controls much faster and easier.

But, there is the other nugget and that is as the situation currently stands, if you have a British Passport you will need to have at least three months left on your passport and it must have been issued within the last 10 years for you to be eligible to fly.

When it comes to the time remaining on the passport, this depends on the country you are visiting and the company you are flying with.

For most European countries, such as Spain, HM Passport Office recommends that on the day you travel you have at least three months left on your passport - with the new EES system take this into account?

Also, Britons will have to apply and pay for a three-year visa to enter the EU which can in extreme cases be denied.

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Britons currently do not have to apply in advance to visit the European Union. But that will change when the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) scheme also launches in November 2023.

This system will require Britons to register online and pay in advance for an ETIAS permit to visit the bloc. This permit is a ‘visa waiver’ rather than a visa. Visitors will need to apply for ETIAS online before their trip at a cost of €7. If they are accepted, the authorisation will be valid for three years.