Article 50 Passport Stamping and EU Passport Lanes in Schengen

The topic of Withdrawal AgreementWithdrawal Agreement The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.   If you are resident in Austria at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Austria.   Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations.   beneficiaries, passport stamping, the right to use EU Passport lanes, gets asked frequently in the BiA Travel Group and other groups.

The following article provides a summary of how Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries “should” be treated at the external Schengen border with official sources.

Schengen Rules

The main rules regarding the treatment of Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries (and other nationalities) at the external Schengen borders, are contained in the Schengen Border Guide, together with Annex 42 and Annex 43 (links below).

Note: The Annexes listed below are as at 18th January 2024 and may be subject to change.

Passport Stamping

Treatment of Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries is covered in several places in the Schengen Border Guard Guide (e.g. Section 33, page 13). It is also covered in an article on the European Unions Citizens’ Rights Page – Rules for UK nationals when entering or leaving the Schengen area. Which states the following:

The Commission considers that there is little practical use in stamping passports of Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries

The Schengen Border Guard Guide Annex 42 (Page 6) clarifies this even further:

Regardless of the implementation scheme, the following are the basic rules for the treatment of Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries at the external Schengen borders:

– The passport of a UK national or a family member must not be stamped if s/he holds a new Withdrawal Agreement residence document issued under Article 18(1) or 18(4) of the Withdrawal Agreement or a certificate of application issued under Article18(1)(b) of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

Summary: Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries should not have their passport stamped at the external Schengen border.

Stamp Annulment

In “theory” if you always travel with your Article 50 card or you can prove you are a Withdrawal Agreement beneficary, having a stamp in your passport should not matter.

However, if you have been stamped in error, you can ask for it to be annuled at the border control that stamped it. The process for this is on page 89 of the Schengen Border Guard Guide (link below).

EU Passport Lanes

The right to use EU passport lanes is covered in Annex 42 of the Schengen Border Guard Guide (Page 10). It states the following:

Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries have to use the “all passports” or “visa not required” lanes.

The exceptions to this, are if the Withdrawal Agreement beneficiary is travelling with an EU family member or they are a Dual National (EU). However, Border officials do have discretionary powers and may permit the use of the EU Passport Lanes.

This has been confirmed with Your Europe Advice, details below.

Summary: Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries have no automatic right to use the EU passport lanes. They may do so, at the discretion of the Border officials.

Non-Schengen EU Countries

There are several non-Schengen countriesSchengen Area The Schengen Area is European border control-free travel area, consisting of all EU Member States except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. in the EU (i.e. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania). It is thought that Bulgaria and Romania, as they are aiming to join Schengen, may be applying Schengen rules.

It is not clear what rules are currently being applied in Cyprus and so you may need to check with the Cypriot authorities or the British Embassy.

Ireland is part of the Common Travel Area (CTA), with the UK and so the passports of British Nationals will not be stamped.

Useful Links

Schengen Border Guard Guide

Annex 42 of the Schengen Border Guard Guide

Annex 43 of the Schengen Border Guard Guide

Your Europe Advice WA beneficiary and EU Passport Lanes

European Commission Citizens’ Rights Page

BiA Article – Can the Article 50 card be used as a travel document

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