Although it is unlikely that the UK will leave the European Union without a deal next March, it is nevertheless important to be prepared for such a situation. This includes accounting for specific changes in passport validity rules when travelling to certain areas overseas.
Who would be affected by the rule changes?
Passport changes would affect UK passport holders travelling to the Schengen area. This also includes passport holders residing in Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.
When would new passport rules come into effect?
After 29th March 2019. If you plan to travel after this date, you will need to ensure that your passport complies to the rules outlined below.
What changes would come into play?
In the event of a no deal Brexit, UK passport holders would have to fulfil extra validity rules when travelling to countries in the Schengen area:
- Passports would require a minimum of 6 months validity on the date they arrive in the Schengen area.
- This does not include any extra validity months added before September 2018 (see below).
What are extra validity months?
- Before 10th September 2018, extra months of validity could be added to passports before they expired. This meant that some passports were valid for 10 years and up to 9 months, and some child passports were valid for 5 years and up to 9 months.
- If you are planning to travel after 29th March 2019, these extra validity months DO NOT count.
- As of September 2018, the maximum validity for an adult passport is 10 years, and 5 years for a child.
Why does this matter?
- In short, this means that any passport with an issue date older than 9 years and 6 months would not be accepted for travel in the Schengen area following a no deal Brexit.
What should I do to prepare?
- If you are travelling to the Schengen area after 29th March 2019, check that your passport expiry date is 6 months after the date you intend on arriving. You can also check if you will be affected by using the online tool.
- If your passport does not comply with the rules, it is recommended that you renew it. Although a no deal Brexit is unlikely, it is best to be prepared.
You can find out more information here.
To renew your passport, click here.
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