Brits with second homes furious over ?7 visitor visa

Brits with second homes furious over ?7 visitor visa

Brits with second homes furious over ?7 visitor visa

British citizens with second homes in EU member states are taking to social media to vent their fury over the EU’s projected Etias €7 visitor visa.

On Wednesday, representatives of the European Parliament and the European Council accepted a proposal to introduce a post-Brexit visitor visa charge of seven euros for Britons wishing to visit their families or second homes in EU member states. British tabloids hit out with headlines such as ‘EU must be joking’ and ‘Brexit Bombshell’, and social media comments ranging from the angry to apoplectic all called for reciprocity measures to be introduced.

Although it’s unlikely if not impossible that it will affect expat Britons already resident in popular destinations within EU member states, British citizens and their children used to visits to family living overseas as well as those who’ve bought a second home for holidays and eventual retirement will be hit hard financially. It’s still not certain how the thorny issue of travel will be reconciled, but if a UK citizen-wide exception to Etias isn’t agreed, even regular business travellers will be affected.

Etias, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, is an electronic means of tracking the movements of people who are at present able to enter the Schengen zone visa-free, and will apply to all travellers from non-EU countries. Its intention is to identify possible security threats by gathering, forward-tracking and updating necessary information on all travellers falling under its remit. Its use will be mandatory for all countries allowing visa-free entry under the Schengen Treaty and will also make it easier for those travelling for medical purposes and those in transit. Travellers red-flagged by the system will be disallowed entry, thus dealing with security issues before they arise.

A possible sop to infuriated Brits is the stated intent that the Etias visa, once granted, will be valid for five years, thus allowing multi-entries to all EU member states. Recent social media comments are suggesting something similar should be introduced for EU citizens wishing to visit the UK, with many suggesting the scheme will fail and the EU will be lift with egg on its face. Others are stating that, as the main point of Brexit for many was border security and strengthening, the UK’s lack of enforcing something similar would make its break with Europe even more of a farce than it is already.

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