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If you’re planning to go on holiday in the coming months and you haven’t checked your passport yet, now is the time to do so.
That’s because you will need it to be valid for a longer period prior to travelling to EU countries, should the UK leave the EU without a deal by 29th March.
In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the government has warned that travellers will require six months left on their passport from the date of arrival.
The rule changes will apply to both adults and children, meaning your summer holiday plans could be affected – you may therefore wish to start the renewal process as soon as possible.
Currently, any individual with a UK passport can travel to EU countries provided that their passport is valid for the entire length of their stay.
The government message
The UK government has said that British passport holders will be viewed as third country nationals by nations within the Schengen area once 29 March has passed.
This will apply if you wish to travel to any of the following 26 countries. You should seek advice if travelling to those European nations not within Schengen, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.
Passports must therefore have been issued within the last 10 years and should have enough time remaining to avoid any potential issues.It means the process for travellers looking to visit EU nations will be similar to those for people travelling from outside the EU or European Economic Area (such as Australia or the USA).
Essentially, if you’re planning to travel on the 30 March (the day after Brexit), your passport should have been issued on, or after, 1 October 2009.
And if you are travelling with children on the same date, their passport should have an expiry date that is on, or after, 1 October this year.
A failure to have a valid passport could see you denied entry into your destination country, so you should look to avoid the risks.
Alongside your holiday planning and passport checking, you may also wish to consider your insurance options – travel insurance can help to protect you against any number of circumstances that may arise when you are overseas.
Government advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
Date Created: 03/02/2019