With most people in the world not having travelled for at least a year now, probably even more, many of us may find that our passports need to be updated before we can travel again. This is something we did not plan for because nobody expected the pandemic to hit nor to last as long as it did. For this reason, people forgot that it is now 2021 already, half of it almost over too, and they forgot that their travel documents are close to expiring. Furthermore, with the changes to international travel as a result of the pandemic as well as the changes to the EHIC card scheme following the UK leaving the EU, a very important question remains with new issues at hand. Is it worth renewing your EHIC card when travelling abroad, and if so, how and where?
In the article ahead we explore the newfound world of travelling and what needs to be done and changed on your end. If you plan to travel somewhere this year, and we fully expect that you do because the situation in the world seems to be going back to normal in most parts, you will have to consult your documents. Read on to learn more about EHIC and GHIC cards as well as how you can do all that is expected of you.
What Is a New GHIC Card?
Since the United Kingdom left the European Union at the end of 2020 during the now popular Brexit, the traditional EHIC card scheme changed to accommodate the new rules and regulations that come along with the agreement from the EU. With a large majority of the European countries still accepting the new GHIC card, there are very few changes that differentiate this new Ghiccard.co.uk scheme from the original EHIC card when you are travelling to mainland Europe. This is good news right off the bat because it means there are no additional steps nor anything more difficult than before.
How Can You Apply for a GHIC Card?
With everything what was said already, it can be argued that the application process for your new GHIC card is exactly what you remember it to be. Still however, we will now do a deeper dive into it just in case you forgot how it looks and works. When you are looking to apply for a GHIC it is important to make sure that you are aware of the criteria that you should have to even apply. Not only do you need to be a permanent resident of the UK in order to apply for a GHIC card, but you also need to make sure that you are following other, more specific criteria. Other crucial things you should follow are listed next.
– You must either live in the UK, or currently be living in the UK but studying in one of the EU countries.
– If you are living in the EU, you have to be issued with a UK S1 or A1 Document.
– You have to be eligible by a family member or one of the other criteria listed above.
Applying for GHICs for Family Members
In addition to making sure that you yourself fit this relatively easy to follow criteria, it is important to make sure that you are applying for GHIC cards for the whole family. Whether it is your spouse, a civil partner, or your children, or perhaps all of you, you need to make sure that you are applying for a GHIC card when you are travelling. Though this will take time to organise and plan out accordingly, it is important to make sure that you are leaving a large enough time window for your GHIC cards to arrive at your door before you are set to leave your home and travel with either your friends or family. It is similar to arranging other documents. You should never do it on the last day or leave too little time for things to settle. Many people have had to cancel their big plans because of similar mistakes so make sure toe educate your fellow travellers on the right timing and way of doing this.
How Can It Benefit You When Travelling?
When you have successfully done all of the above, you are set for your next adventure over the Channel. But do you know how the card can help you while touring Europe and what it actually does? Well, when you are travelling it is important to stay safe at all times and as a result, it is important to make sure that you are organised and aware.
With a GHIC card by your side, you will gain access to the medical care you may end up needing at a reduced cost and even medication to ensure that you have everything you need, should you fall ill when you are travelling or need assistance following an injury or an accident. By allowing yourself to get this organised well before the date of your travel arrives, you can begin to make sure you have a plan in place to cover you or your fellow compatriots in case of an illness or other medical emergency, giving you complete peace of mind throughout the course of your trip. Being covered like this is always enough for a peaceful and stress-free adventure since there is nothing worse to require such help so far away from home where nobody knows you.
Conclusion and Takeaways
So there you have it fellow travel enthusiasts, all you need to know about the new GHIC cards. With this information in mind, you now know about several of the most important reasons why renewing your old EHIC card is just as important as having a passport when you are looking to travel in 2021. All that is left for you now is to go to your closest relevant institution and start the process of application and renewal. Do not wait for the last second as you will not be able to travel if you do so. Even if your next trip is months ahead, do it in your current leisure time and never worry about it again.