April 22, 2024

Brexit Conundrum: Can I travel to the UK with my ID card?

Since Brexit, the requirements for European Union (EU) citizens to enter Great Britain have changed fundamentally. One of the most frequently asked questions is about the possibility of entering the country with an ID card. In this article we explain whether and under what circumstances EU citizens, particularly Germans, can travel to Great Britain with their identity card.

Brexit Conundrum: Can I travel to the UK with my ID card?

With Brexit, the United Kingdom not only left the EU but also ended freedom of travel for EU citizens. This has a direct impact on the travel documents accepted for entry into the UK. From October 1, 2021, entry for EU citizens will only be possible with a valid passport. The previous practice of entering the country with an identity card has been abolished. This restriction also applies to transit passengers passing through the United Kingdom only.

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Exceptions for those in “settled status” or “pre-settled status”.

Special conditions apply to EU citizens living in the UK who have acquired settled status or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. In principle, you are allowed to enter the country with your ID card, as long as it is linked to your digital residency status. The regulation makes it easier for victims to prove their status at border controls.

Freedom of travel within the EU

Freedom of travel with a German ID card allows German citizens to travel to many countries without a passport, especially within the Schengen area. This ID card is recognized as a valid border crossing document and hence makes everyday travel much easier. It not only allows entry into many European countries, but also serves as proof of identity abroad.

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However, there are restrictions outside of Europe and in some cases, when traveling to the UK after Brexit, an ID card may not be sufficient. So before travelling, it is important to know about the specific entry requirements of the destination country.

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