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Travel to Europe: What are current passport expiration rules and have they changed after Brexit?

Brexit and beyond

Since Brexit, the rules on passport validity for British visitors to the European Union have tightened.

Gone are the days when you could travel to the EU at any point before your travel document expired; the UK is now a “third country”, with rules to match.

Added confusion has come in the form of the UK’s own HM Passport Office, which has continued to give out incorrect information regarding child passport expiry dates.

These are the key questions and answers based on EU rules.

What’s changed?

While the UK was in the European Union, British passports were valid up to and including their expiry date for travel within the EU. But since the end of the Brexit transition phase, British passport holders are treated as “third country nationals” with stipulations about passport issue and expiry dates – together with limits on the length of stay almost everywhere in Europe.

For the avoidance of doubt, these are not “new EU rules” – they were decided while the UK was in the European Union.

What is required for my passport to be valid?

The requirements for the Schengen Area – comprising most EU countries plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and a handful of micro-states – are crisply expressed on the Travel page of the European Union’s Your Europe site: “If you are a non-EU national wishing to visit or travel within the EU, you will need a passport:

  • valid for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting,
  • which was issued within the previous 10 years.”

(All children’s passports meet this latter condition – see below.)

For the avoidance of doubt, there is no problem travelling to Europe with a passport issued for over 10 years, so long as it is under 10 years old on the date of departure to the EU and will have three months remaining on the date of return.

Why the line about ‘issued within the previous 10 years’?

For many years, until September 2018, the UK had a generous policy of allowing credit for “unspent” time when renewing a passport, issuing documents valid for up to 10 years and nine months.

So a passport issued on 31 October 2012 could show an expiry date of 31 July 2023.

This was fine around Europe and the world for decade – until Brexit, whereupon a longstanding rule kicked in. For non-members of the EU hoping to enter the Schengen…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…