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I'm a UK citizen and am about to move to the EU (Austria, specifically). Since the Brexit transition period lasts until the end of the 2020, I can travel without a visa for now, and my current understanding is that I can stay in the EU after Brexit without applying for a visa, the same as if I had moved a year ago (source).

However, suppose that I travel back to the UK for a few days, via a different Schengen area country (e.g. France/Belgium/Netherlands), either during/after the ending of the transition period. Will my Austrian "e-card" and residency permit be sufficient to re-enter the other Schengen country from the UK, or as a non-EU-citizen, must I apply for a visa to do this?

  • You won't have an Austrian national ID card as these are issued only to citizens of Austria. – phoog Jul 16 at 3:16
  • @phoog I see, I meant my social security "e-card", and have updated my question. – user13536357 Jul 16 at 3:32
  • You'll need your British passport and Austrian residence permit. I'll edit the answer. – phoog Jul 16 at 3:41
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Everyone with a residence permit from any Schengen country can travel through any other Schengen country without a visa.

must I apply for a visa to do this?

No.

Will my Austrian "e-card" and residency permit be sufficient to re-enter the other Schengen country from the UK

You'll generally need your British passport along with your Austrian residence permit. No other document ought to be necessary.

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    @user13536357 In case it’s relevant, from 1 Jan 2021 on the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both have at least 6 months left, and be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left) gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021 – Traveller Jul 16 at 7:11
  • @Traveller It is not 100% clear what happens if your passport is valid for 10 years 5 months or 10 years 7 months. My interpretation is that you can use it for 9 years 11 month in the first case, and exactly 10 years in the second case. Others claim you can use it for 9 years 6 months only. – gnasher729 Jul 18 at 13:48
  • @gnasher Indeed. My interpretation chimes with yours. Eg passport issued 20 Sep 2011 expiring 20 Mar 2022 is valid for travel out of the UK to Europe up to 20 Mar 2021. – Traveller Jul 18 at 16:22
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    @Traveller there is no six month requirement in the Schengen area. There is a three month requirement from the date of anticipated departure. But that requirement does not apply to people with residence permits because there is no date of anticipated departure. Note that the page you link to explicitly concerns visiting, and, as further evidence of its imprecision, let me note the use of "Europe." – phoog Jul 20 at 14:46
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    @gnasher729 the requirement under discussion does not apply to people with residence permits, and see my previous comment on the actual nature of the requirement. – phoog Jul 20 at 14:47
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Any EU country could require UK citizens to have a visa if they visit that country in 2021 or later, and the UK could require EU citizens from any country to have a visa to visit the UK as well. As long as no country starts this nonsense, we can all go visa free. If one country starts requiring a visa, I would be sure that the other country retaliates and requires a visa as well. So far I haven't heard that anyone seriously wants to require visas.

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    That's not exactly true. Except Ireland (and until last year the UK), EU countries are not free to impose arbitrary visa restrictions for visitors, at least not within the context of current EU law. You're also ignoring the OP's assumption that they would have some sort of residence right in Austria and the legal consequences of that throughout the Schengen area and associated countries. – Relaxed Jul 18 at 14:30
  • @Relaxed are Bulgaria and Romania bound to follow Schengen Annex II rules? – JonathanReez Jul 18 at 16:49
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    @JonathanReez I think they are, as part of their accession treaty, see e.g. this page from the Bulgarian ministry of Foreign Affairs. – Relaxed Jul 19 at 21:09
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    The recognition of Schengen visas and residence permits (for those who do require a visa) is more complex as it rests on the interaction between several regulations and treaties. My reading is that it requires a kind of opt-in in the form of a unilateral decision from each of the candidate countries (rather than being formally imposed by the EU) but once they are in this system (which they all are AFAIK), the decision doesn't make room for additional restrictions or discrimination by citizenship. – Relaxed Jul 19 at 21:11
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    @Relaxed indeed. I decided to avoid the question of visa requirements for UK visitors in my answer because they simply are not relevant for someone with an Austrian residence document. Some people will want to keep up with developments on that front, but in this instance it just complicates things needlessly. – phoog Jul 20 at 14:40

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