Imagine living in Europe and not being a citizen of the European Union or EU. You have to use the non-EU lines at other European airports, which is not fun at all. I should know, I had six years of doing just that.

The transition period for the British exit from the EU, commonly referred to as Brexit, ends on 31 December 2020. This means that from 1 January 2021, people from the United Kingdom travelling elsewhere in Europe will need to use the non-EU lines at Passport control in airports.

What Are The Non-EU Lines Like?

Several things spring to mind immediately, such as… Not fun. Time consuming. Irritating. Queues. Questions. At the time I held an Australian Passport, and any travel from Dublin, where I am based, to the UK or the continent meant pain on arrival.

First, I was standing in a queue of people from outside of Europe, which often moved slowly. The reason for that is everyone was being checked and with the inevitable language barriers and so on, speed became a distant memory.


Then we have the questions. Why are you here? Where are you coming from? How long will you be staying? While European immigration officially are generally more pleasant than those based in the United States, they are still just as serious about border security.

Expecting to land and breeze through Passport control and out of the airport with no hassles is going to be a thing of the past. The non-EU lines are a unique kind of hell when you live on the continent.

Overall Thoughts

Happily for me, I put the non-EU lines behind me when I became an Irish citizen. The difference was chalk and cheese – now I could fly through Passport control with barely a second glance.

I do wonder how all of my English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish friends are going to cope from next year. Indeed, how will I cope if I am travelling with them? I’ll sail through Passport control then have to wait an hour for them to get through. Ugh!

Are you ready for the experience of the non-EU lines in future? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street via mirror.co.uk.