After a lot of confusion causing passengers to be falsely turned away by airlines, the Foreign Office (FCDO) have finally updated their advice on passport validity when travelling to the EU.
In recently weeks many travellers have been turned away by airlines after the airlines and passengers alike have been confused concerning the passport validity rules concerning travel to the EU and Schengen areas following Brexit.
This confusion is due to the misinterpretation of information, alongside the confusing way the FCDO displayed the rules on the Foreign Travel Advice site. These rules have now been clarified. On Thursday the 12th of May, the FCDO updated the site with new advice on passport validity when entering the EU.
These updated validity rules apply to all EU countries except for Ireland, alongside Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.
All UK travellers need to follow Schengen Area passport requirements and other requirements which may vary slightly based on destination. These can be found on the Foreign Travel Advice website.
The rules that needed clarifying are as follows:
- Entry to the Destination – in order to gain entry to your EU or Schengen Area destination, the issue date on your passport much be no more than 10 years before the date of entry into your destination.
- Leaving the Destination – your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your chosen date to leave the destination country. This includes any extensions you may have on your passport. Therefore, it is important to remember that this requirement is not based on the issue date like the 10 year requirement.
Many passengers and airlines were getting confused based on the second rule. Some passengers thought their passport needed to be valid for 6 months after they plan to leave their destination, where it is only 3. However, many had been misinformed and believed that these 3 months must be within the 10 years since issue date, this is not true. The issue date is not applicable to the second rule.
These rules apply to children as well as adults. However, child passports expire at 5 years, therefore these rules should not cause much issue.
The FCDO said, “You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.”
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