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Which countries can you travel to without a passport?

All the lights were green for the resumption of tourism in the summer of 2022: after two years of health restrictions which have prevented – and often canceled – many travel plans, the French want to set out again to take on the world. This was without taking into account the increasingly long delays in obtaining identity documents – sometimes several months in certain large cities.

⋙ Identity cards, passports… Why are the processing times so long?

To cope with the lengthening of these waiting times, the authorities have deployed additional means, hoping for a return to normal this summer. However, it remains difficult to imagine booking a vacation without having the precious sesame. If you think you will not be able to get your passport in time to travel, here is the list of destinations accessible with a simple valid (European) identity card.

⋙ Two months of waiting for an identity document: a return to normal expected this summer

All countries of the European Union are accessible without a passport

Know first of all that you can travel without a passport in the 27 countries of the European Union, namely Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France of course, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and finally Sweden.

Islands such as Corsica, in France, Sardinia and Sicily, in Italy, Madeira and the Azores, in Portugal, the Canaries and the Balearic Islands, in Spain, or even Crete, in Greece, are at the same time accessible without passport.

Exceptions to the rule…

Concerning the French overseas departments, regions and collectivities – Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre-et -Miquelon, the Southern Territories as well as the French Antarctica and the Islands of Wallis-and-Futuna, you are not a priori required to have any other identity document than the French (or European) identity card. Problem: these destinations are rarely accessible without going through a stopover outside the European Union, which requires you to have a valid passport.

What about Saint-Martin, in the Caribbean? Two cases arise: for French nationals, departing from Paris, the arrival is very often at Princess Juliana international airport, located in the Dutch part: they must then present a valid passport as well as a return or onward travel ticket, as “Sint-Maarten” is not considered European territory and is not part of the Schengen zone. On the other hand, for French nationals arriving at Grand Case Espérance airport, on the French side, a valid identity card is sufficient.

Can you travel to the UK with a French identity card?

Please note: since the United Kingdom left the European Union on January 1, 2021, the conditions for entering the United Kingdom have changed. Since October 1, 2021, you must have a valid passport to visit England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Countries in Europe where to travel without a passport

Outside the European Union, other countries in Europe welcome French citizens on their territory without a passport but with their identity card: this is the case of Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, which are part of the Schengen area, along with Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Lichtenstein and Monaco.

Where to travel without a passport outside Europe?

In rare cases, it is possible to travel outside the European continent without a passport, in certain countries which allow French nationals to enter their territory without this document. This is the case of Turkey: for a stay of less than three months, you will not need a visa or a passport, since an identity card “whose period of validity exceeds by at least 150 days the date of entry into Turkey”, may be sufficient, according to France Diplomatie.

⋙ Turkey inaugurates the longest suspension bridge in the world over the Dardanelles

If you plan to go to Egypt, to discover the Pyramids, Cairo or Alexandria, it is possible to enter the territory with “a national identity card with a minimum validity date of six months after the date of return to France”, according to France Diplomatie. On the other hand, unlike Turkey, the visa is compulsory: you can obtain it online or from a consulate. The request must be submitted at least seven days before departure.

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