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New passport rules for Europe: Simon Calder answers your questions on how to avoid post-Brexit travel chaos

Simon Calder’s Travel

British visitors to the EU are facing stricter passport validity rules post-Brexit –and it could ruin your holiday if you’re caught out.

Long 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.

EU countries and the wider Schengen Area, which includes Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, do not accept passports issued more than 10 years ago from such travellers.

Before Brexit, the Passport Office issued British passports valid for up to 10 years and nine months, considering the remaining time from the previous passport. While this wasn’t an issue previously, it’s now affecting some British holidaymakers heading to the EU.

Recent data from the Home Office suggests up to 32 million Brits could be caught out by the rule change.

Many readers are naturally concerned about their travel plans being sullied by an unexpected stop at the check in desk.

To avoid this, you simply need to pass two tests. On the day of entry to the Schengen Area, your passport must have been issued in the past 10 years; and on your proposed day of exit it should have at least three months to run before the expiry date printed in the passport.

During an “Ask Me Anything” session for The Independent, I tackled a wide range of questions from readers worried about their holiday plans and how they would be impacted.

Q: My wife’s passport was issued 19 June 2014 and expires 19 January 2025. We are due to travel to France on the 5 April 2024. Now, her passport is within the 10 year rule but will only have two months left on it if the EU considers the expiry date to be 19th June 2024. Does she need to get a new passport urgently or is the three month rule applied to the actual expiry date of Jan 2025?


A: Thanks very much for raising a really important point so early. Forgive me while I go on to caps lock. THE EXPIRY DATE OF YOUR PASSPORT IS THE DATE PRINTED BENEATH “DATE OF EXPIRY”. That is the expiry date as recognised by the European Union and everyone else on the planet.

To their enduring shame, HM Government, some airlines, some travel firms and some journalists maintained for many months that this was not the case. But it is and always has been.

So your wife’s passport is valid for travel out to France or anywhere else in the UK until 18 June…

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