With a ‘roadmap’ on travel expected to be announced this week, islanders are being reminded to expect increased delays when travelling to and from Europe because of Brexit.
The Government is also advising people to check their passports and encouraging EU nationals living in Jersey to apply for settled status if they haven’t already.
External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst told Express that restrictions on travel caused by covid had masked the impact on British nationals of no longer having the automatic right to live and work in Europe.
“Even though we now have tariff-free trade with Europe, most of the difficulties that arise out of the changed relationship don’t arise out of EU-UK deal; they come out of the UK, and therefore Jersey, becoming a third country,” he said.
Pictured: Boat owners going to France will need to let their destination port know beforehand.
“We have to remind ourselves that travel will be more complicated when the borders reopen. There are islanders, perhaps with maison secondaires or those that spend several months of the year in Europe, who will have more difficulties.
“And equally, when we enter and exit the EU now, we are going to have to get used to more checking of cars and passports, and that could take some time to settle down. We will be expecting probably longer queues at the border than we’re used to.”
Luke Goddard, Acting Director, Immigration and Nationality at Jersey Customs and Immigration, said that British nationals would probably see longer queues in France as their passports would be checked and stamped on arrival and departure.
Islanders wishing to work, study or stay longer than the permitted 90 days in 180 would also need to apply for a visa from the relevant embassy or consulate in London, which would probably mean a visit in person so that biometric data can be recorded.
“We’ve been contacted by people pointing out the difference between Jersey, where EU nationals can stay for six months in any year, and the EU, where non-EU nationals can stay up to three months in 180 days,” he said.
“They both add up to the same over 12 months but clearly you can’t stay for as long a period in Europe, which some people have said is unfair. However, those have always been the rules; it’s just that they apply to more people now.
“I have every sympathy for people who might have a second home or saved up their whole lives to, perhaps, live somewhere warmer over the winter but it is simply a consequence of Brexit. And it is not about residency; it is all to do with nationality.”
Mr Goddard said that it was important that islanders checked their passports to make sure they had at least six months left from whatever date they want to travel.
He added that, when the travel restrictions are lifted, private boat owners will also need to give advance warning to the harbour authorities of any EU port they visit and should anticipate seeing an official when they arrive. They may have to show their passports on arrival and departure.
Meanwhile, EU nationals living in Jersey, who have not sought settled status, have just four months to apply.
Pictured: The checks on EU nationals arriving in Jersey on holiday will not be significantly different to the current passport inspection.
“We continue to invite people who were already living in Jersey by the end of last year to apply for settled status. We have received 16,000 applications and have processed close to 7,000. People have until 30 June to apply and they can now do so using the Yoti digital ID through gov.je," Mr Goddard said.
“We don’t have an exact number of people who still need to apply but three years ago we estimated there were 20,000 EU nationals living in the island. If that’s accurate, then we’ve clearly made good progress.
“We have now developed an online immigration status checker for people to be able to definitively prove their status, perhaps if they’re still going through the application process or if they’ve misplaced the certificate that we issue when settled status is granted.
“That will be going live in the next week and should helpfully be a great help to people who might, for example, need to prove their status to an employer.”
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