I will be going to France with my girlfriend at the end of November. She is a UK citizen. Is there any chance she may be required to get a visa in case of no-deal brexit?
The European Commission published its Notice on Travelling Between the EU and the United Kingdom Following Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU in November 2018 and most recently updated it July 2019.
It states that:
In view of the uncertainties surrounding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, persons who plan to travel (for private or business reasons) from the United Kingdom to the EU (and vice-versa) on the withdrawal date or thereafter, ... are reminded of the legal repercussions, which need to be considered when the United Kingdom becomes a third country.
Subject to the transition period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement, as of the withdrawal date, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom has the following consequences ...
So my interpretation is that the conditions it lays out are intended to be those that will exist permanently, only potentially being modified in the short term if there is a withdrawal agreement. Secondary sources (here: CNN) have reached the same conclusion.
It continues (section 2.1, page 5):
UK nationals ... will be subject to thorough checks of all entry conditions for third country nationals upon entry.
The entry checks on UK nationals will include verification of:
the possession of a valid travel document for crossing the border; the document needs to have a validity of no more than ten years, and shall be still valid for three months after the intended departure from the Member States;
the duration of the stay:
- for short stays in the Schengen area, UK nationals will be subject to limitations as regards the authorised duration of stay within the Schengen area (with a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period);
- for long stays, they will in principle require a residence permit or long stay visa issued by national authorities, under the national rules;
relevant databases with a view to verify:
- the identity and the nationality of the third-country national and of the authenticity and validity of the travel document for crossing the border, and in particular:
- if an alert has been issued in the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the purposes of refusing entry and to check possible threats to public policy, internal security, public health and international relations;
the purpose (e.g. tourism or work) and the conditions of the intended stay (e.g. accommodation, internal travels);
the existence of sufficient means of subsistence (i.e. having sufficient means to pay for the intended stay and return travel).
With box outs:
Please note that UK national passports issued prior to the withdrawal date remain valid travel documents.
The EU has exempted, as part of its Brexit contingency actions, UK nationals from the requirement to be in possession of a short-stay visa (“Schengen-visa”) when crossing the external borders, where the intended duration of the stay in the Schengen area is 90 days within a 180-day period. A continued exemption from Schengen visa will require that nationals of all EU Member States are equally exempted from UK short-stay visa requirements, following the visa reciprocity principle.
So my understanding is:
- as long as the stay is for 90 days or less within a 180-day period, no visa is required;
- there'll be extended questioning at the border, but similar to that you'd face when visiting any other country; and
- this is currently intended to be the case regardless of whether a deal is agreed.
Standard caveats, of course: I'm only an armchair observer just like most of us, and in politics things can change very quickly.