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Is Your Passport Still Valid? – Understanding The Recent Passport Changes

Is your passport valid? What has changed? And have the changes in the rules affected me?

With so much conflicting news being reported on this subject, it’s no wonder that people are confused.

Before Brexit, British citizens were able to travel to any nation in the EU, up to and including the expiry date on their passport. However, since Brexit day on 31st December 2020, British citizens are now treated the same as any other “third-country nationals”.

Therefore you are only potentially affected if you plan to travel to the European Union (EU) / *Schengen area countries listed below:

  • Andorra
  • Austria*
  • Belgium*
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic*
  • Denmark*
  • Estonia*
  • Finland*
  • France*
  • Germany*
  • Greece*
  • Hungary*
  • Iceland*
  • Italy*
  • Latvia*
  • Liechtenstein*
  • Lithuania*
  • Luxembourg*
  • Malta*
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands*
  • Norway*
  • Poland*
  • Portugal*
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia*
  • Slovenia*
  • Spain*
  • Sweden*
  • Switzerland*
  • Vatican City

If you plan to travel to any of the countries listed, you will need to check both your passport’s issue date and expiry date. 

Your passport must meet two requirements for those planning to visit an EU country (except Ireland) for the countries listed above.

  • Your passport must be less than 10 years old from the date of issue – on the day you enter your destination
  • Your passport must remain valid for at least three months after you leave

However, your passport “may need to be less than 10 years old for some countries above in the *Schengen travel area during your whole visit”. 

If you renewed your passport early, extra months might have been added to its expiry date. Unfortunately, this additional time for the above countries is no longer valid, and your passport is now only valid for 10 years from the issue date.

“For example, a passport with an issue date of 1 January 2012 and an expiry date of 31 October 2022 isn’t valid for beyond 1 January 2022, ten years from its original issue.”

If you are visiting any other country, not in the list above, Brexit has not affected your passport or entry requirements. However, as any country can change its entry requirements, it is always sensible to check them before booking your holiday, especially as some countries require a minimum of 6 months before the expiry of your passport for the duration of your visit. 

How to check your passport requirements for individual countries

To be safe, for any country you plan to visit, the best source of advice is the Home Office website. It’s simple to use. Just Click Here and type in the country you are visiting, click on “Entry requirements.” then scroll down to “Passport validity.” It is as simple as that.

Unfortunately, with all the press hype, this has now caused an enormous backlog at the UK passport office, with people renewing their passports before it’s necessary. It has created panic with over 5 million people now trying to update their passports in time for this summer’s travel plans. Consequently, it’s currently impossible to fast track passports, and the wait time now is a minimum of 10 weeks to renew a passport.

We ask that all our customers check their passports please, then visit the Home Office website to check the entry requirements for the country you are travelling to. If you are still unsure and have any queries, call our team on 01603 407596.

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