Nine in Ten Brits Don’t Know the Cost of New EU Visa-Waiver

With new rules coming in for holiday makers travelling to the EU, which affect entry requirements for eight of the ten most popular holiday destinations booked by Brits in January 2023, a research has been conducted into how knowledgeable Brits are about the upcoming changes. The study also explores how UK citizens are planning to make cut backs in order to pay for their upcoming holidays with the rising cost of living in mind.

Nine in ten people do not know how much they will be charged to enter the EU under new visa rules due be introduced next year, according to the latest research from Comparethemarket. More than half (56%) of people were also unaware that the EU plans to introduce the rules at all. The new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will require Brits aged between 18 and 70 to pay €7 per person to apply for a visa-waiver if they are travelling to the bloc. Each visa-waiver will remain valid for three years. The ETIAS was due to come into force this year, but it has recently been delayed until at least 2024.

The ETIAS is part of a wave of new rules for UK citizens planning trips to the EU, which includes eight of the ten most popular holiday destinations booked by Brits in January 2023. The research reveals that more than three in four (77%) people are also unaware they will be required to have their fingerprints and photographs taken every time they travel to the EU under the bloc’s new Entry and Exit System (EES) set to be in place by end of 2023.

The research found that the new rules already appear to be worrying holidaymakers many months ahead of their introduction. Almost two in three (63%) people are concerned the plans to take fingerprints and photographs from UK citizens will create delays when going on holiday and almost half (45%) think the plans are an invasion of privacy.  

The new rules are being introduced at a time when many holidaymakers are already under pressure from the rising cost of living. Comparethemarket found that more than four in five (84%) people say the rising cost of living has impacted their holiday planning. To afford their next holiday, over one in three (37%) are eating out less, 35% are spending less on clothes, and 33% are using less gas and electric. 

On February 2 2023, HM Passport Office increased the cost of passport applications for UK citizens. Just 30% of people are fully aware the price hike has taken place. The price for a standard online application has risen by 9% from £75.50 to £82.50 for adults and from £49 to £53.50 for children. When informed about the increase, 69% percent of people think the price hike is unfair given the rising cost of living.  

The passport price hike will put off more than one in three (38%) people from renewing their passport altogether, according to Comparethemarket. The increase will also mean that 42% of people delay renewing their passport as long as possible. However, this strategy carries the risk that holidaymakers will allow their passport to expire and not receive their new passport before their departure-date. HM Passport Office advise people to allow 10 weeks for passport applications to be processed.

Helen Phipps, Director at Comparethemarket, commented:  

“It’s important that people familiarise themselves with the new rules coming into force in 2023 and 2024. The stricter requirements are designed to keep people safe, and with a little bit of planning, should be straightforward to follow. However, it’s concerning that very few people know about the new rules, meaning that many holidaymakers may get caught out. It’s a good idea to check the requirements of anywhere you’re traveling to and incorporate the cost of visas and passports into your holiday budget.  

“Many of us are really looking forward to getting away on holiday to escape the pressures we’re all facing right now. Travel insurance can be a good way to protect your holiday plans and help ensure you receive the right support if something goes wrong before or during your trip.”  

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.