Life After Brexit: What Does Travel to the EU Look Like for Holders of an Antiguan Passport?
August 25, 2016 - Antigua and Barbuda Guide
Against all odds it happened – Britain voted out of the European Union in a referendum held earlier this year.
While the impact of Brexit on everything from the economy, to security and even global warming is still uncertain, what you need to know right now is how it will impact you if you choose to travel on an Antiguan passport.
Here are the top questions on most people’s minds:1. Will Brexit alter the ability for Antiguans and Barbudans to travel to the UK visa free?
No. Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are currently visa exempt for stays in the UK for up to 6 months (or 3 months if they enter from the Republic of Ireland). Moreover, as a former British Colony, many Brexiters believe the move will strengthen the UK’s ties with its former colonies (including those in the Caribbean). Britain is unlikely to change its historical travel arrangements with members of the Commonwealth of Nations, which Antigua has been a member of since November 1, 1981.2. But what about the EU? Will this impact my ability to travel to Europe on an Antiguan passport?
Travel to the EU Member States for Antiguan and Barbudan passport holders is governed by an agreement signed on 28 May 2009 which states that the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda may enter and stay without a visa in the EU Member States for a period not exceeding three months. To do so they need to hold a valid passport, sufficient funds to cover their stay and return to their country of origin, should not have an alert issued against them in the Schengen Information System (SIS) and not be considered a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the EU Member States.3. So Schengen is not the same as the EU?
The Schengen Agreement – named after a small town in Luxemburg where the agreement was signed on 14 June 1985 – is a separate agreement that allows free movement between European countries and stronger external borders. The Agreement was initially signed by five European countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Netherlands. Today, the Schengen Area covers a zone of 26 European countries.
In short, all countries that have signed and fully implement the Schengen Aquis are part of the EU but not all EU member states are signatories of the Schengen Agreement – the UK and the Republic of Ireland are not members. Moreover, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU but have signed associated agreements that make them a part of the Schengen Zone.4. I’m still a bit confused! Which parts of Europe can I travel visa-free on an Antiguan passport?
The Visa Waiver Agreement signed between Antigua and Barbuda passport holders and the EU allows visa-free travel in the European territory of the below EU Member States for a period of stay not exceeding three months*.
- The Schengen Member States: Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Malta;
- The Member States who not yet fully apply the Schengen acquis (thus who are not yet part of the Schengen area without internal borders): at present Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria; and
- The associated Schengen states: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland
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