Travel to Western Europe

Passport (11): Almost always required to visit a Western European country.

Visa (12): Typically, Western European countries require visas for citizens of South Africa, but not for citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, or the US (for stays shorter than 90 days).

Immunizations (20): Travelers to Western Europe should be up to date on vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hae- mophilus influenza B, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B.

Work Permit (12): Required for all foreigners planning to work in Western Europe, except for citizens of countries in the EU.

Driving Permit (59): Drivers in Western Europe need an International Driving Permit.


Information on European consular services at home, foreign consular services in Europe, and specific entry requirements is located in individual country chapters; it can also be found at at or


REQUIREMENTS. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the US need valid passports to enter Western European countries and to reenter their own country. Most countries do not allow entrance if the holder’s passport expires in under six months. Returning home with an expired passport is illegal and may result in a fine.

The idea of European unity has come a long way since 1958, when the European Economic Community (EEC) was created in order to promote solidarity and cooperation. Since then, the EEC has become the European Union (EU), with political, legal, and economic institutions spanning 15 member states: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. In 1999, the EU established freedom of movement across 15 European coun- tries-the entire EU minus Ireland and the UK, but plus Iceland and Norway. This means that border controls between participating countries have been abol ished and visa policies harmonized. While you’re still required to carry a pass-port (or government-issued ID card for EU citizens) when crossing an internal border, once you’ve been admitted into one country, you’re free to travel to all participating states. Britain and Ireland have also formed a common travel area, abolishing passport controls between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. This means that the only time you’ll see a border guard within the EU is while traveling between the British Isles and the Continent.

Travel to Western Europe Photo Gallery

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