Okay, So WTF Does This Brexit Deal Mean For Aussies With UK Passports?

If you’ve been asleep for the past 24 hours, we imagine waking up to this whole Brexit deal has got you like:

And that’s understandable, honestly.

TL;DR: The UK voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to resign, Scotland itself is pushing for another referendum on their independence from the UK, there are rumblings about a reunification of Ireland, and the whole ordeal tanked international financial markets which were (quite literally) banking on the Brits choosing to remain an EU member. 


It’s a lot to take in, and Lord knows we’ve already written about the move’s ha-yooge ramifications, but this here article is about the many Aussies who currently hold British passports (and if you’re reading this, you’re probably in that number, or you’re fanging to get a UK passport). More specifically, it’s ’bout how Brexit will affect work and travel allowances in Europe, now and in the future. 

Without further ado, here’s whatcha need to know about using that passport…


As simply as it can be said – and this is not a simple issue, no sirree – Australians with British passports looking to enter the UK shouldn’t be adversely affected by the change at all. After all, the UK is still the UK, and yesterday’s referendum results didn’t do anything to change that. (Well, like we said, Scotland is pissed. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, yeah?)  

If your international flight is touching down at Heathrow, you can expect your trudge through customs to remain about the same on account of your British passport-holding statusBut, since the super-special fast-tracked lines for EU citizens will no longer be a thing in the future, the world’s air travel hub will likely funnel everyone else through the same giant rigmarole. Bummer for them.

Once you’re out of there with your UK passport in hand, actually traveling and working in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland shouldn’t be too much different. Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, an expert in the field of migration and visas said “leaving the EU [will] have no impact on these passports or visas” issued under UK laws.

Similarly, if you’re dreaming of tending bar in Shepherd’s Bush via the working holiday visas on offer to those under 31 years of age, good news! That scheme doesn’t seem to be affected by the changes, either. 

Last night, our Prime Minister reiterated that, despite the Leave result (and his deep-rooted desire for us to shed the last vestiges of colonialism and become a republic), the UK and Australia are still super-duper close on a cultural basis. Besides, now the UK have kicked away from the EU, they’ll likely want to strengthen ties with “traditional” partners – like us.

So, it’s quite unlikely Brexit will have any chilling affect on diplomacy – and travel restrictions – between Australia and the UK.

On the other hand, things are looking mighty different…

Basically, you might just want to revisit that Community GIF at the top of this article for a summation of what’s in store for British passport holders.
The EU has given the UK two years to get its act together and figure this all out, but for the duration of the next 24 months, British passport-holders will be given a “grace” period where current rules still apply.


Well, actually, opinions differ. In the lead-up to the referendum, proponents of staying in the EU warned the exit may spur some European nations to start demanding UK visitors obtain visas before traveling, when they previously weren’t required. However, it’s far too early to tell if that will come to fruition… But it might, ’cause this decade is already munted. 
As for work, UK passport holders were previously clear to work without visas in all 27 EU member countries. You can bet your bottom dollar that allowance will be changing. Once again, we can’t say for sure what that change will entail.
Presuming you also hold an Australian passport, and you’re looking to totally bypass the UK on your continental travels, it may just be easier to whip out the Aussie one. SmartTraveller’s most recent advice on the matter (from November 2015, mind you) reiterates that, for the most part, “Australian tourists planning to spend less than a total of 90 days within a 180 day period in the ‘Schengen area’ do not require visas”.
For reference, have a gander at this map. Obviously, yesterday’s result turned the UK a totally different shade, but hey:

via BBC.


Like we said earlier, Brexit represents a massive, unprecedented change in international relations. Even the experts are a little baffled at how all of this will play out. Still, if you want to see what the experts who are actually in charge of your passports have to say, go ahead and visit the UK Government’s site.

And maybe book your flights to the UK, anyway – ’cause the GBP is still pretty dang low.  

Source: news.com.au / ABC / Australian Financial Review / PerthNow / Traveller / SmartTraveller / The Independent.
Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty.