Passport rules: The three major things Britons MUST check for before flying to Europe

Brexit: Expert outlines potential travel changes for UK citizens

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Brexit has brought with it a number of significant changes, some of which impact travel from the UK and the European Union (EU). Though the rules have been in force since January 1, Covid restrictions have made it difficult for many people to actually get away this year.

Thanks to the high level of vaccination though, restrictions are beginning to ease for those who are double-jabbed.

As more people begin to book holidays to Europe, it is important they are aware of new passport rules and how these could impact crossing the border.

Three key passport rules Britons must check before EU travel

1. Make sure your passport is no more than 10 years old

Prior to Brexit, Britons were entitled to additional months of credit if they decided to renew their travel document early.

However, under the EU’s rules, any passport is deemed invalid for travel if it is more than 10 years old – regardless of the expiry date printed on the document.

This is why it is vital Britons check the “issue date of their passport” and then count 10 years from that date.

Any additional months as a result of early renewal will not be counted.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, travel expert Simon Calder pointed out: “Many of us didn’t even notice in January because international travel was banned, but once trips were allowed again, many people have checked the expiry date and not the issue date.”

According to the UK Government website: “Your passport must also be less than 10 years old on the day after you leave.

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“If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

“Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed.”

The UK Government recommends Britons allow at least 10 weeks for the passport renewal process.

2. Make sure you have at least three months left on your passport

Those who are heading abroad should also make sure they have three months, at the very least, on their passport.

Non-EU residents are not permitted to stay in a Schengen area country longer than three months out of every year without a visa.

However, the UK Government actually advises Britons not to travel will less than six months left.

The only EU country these rules do not apply to is Ireland.

According to the UK Government website: “These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.”

Britons who hope to remain in any Schengen Area country for longer than 90 days, in every 180 days of travel, are required to apply for a visa.

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