Why might my passport not be valid after 29 March?
At the moment, you can travel to any European Union country as long as you have a UK passport which is valid on the day you return. But if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, that’s set to change.
In most EU countries, you’ll need at least six months’ validity
If there’s a no-deal Brexit, British passport holders will be considered ‘third country nationals’ within what’s called the Schengen area – the part of the Europe made up of countries that have officially abolished passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.
The following countries are in the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
If you’re going to one of these countries after a no-deal Brexit, you may need to renew your passport earlier than planned, as the following rules will apply:
- You should have at least six months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
- Extra months on your passport which bring its validity over 10 years won’t count. If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date, making it valid for more than 10 years. But these months WON’T count towards the six months you need left on your passport from your date of arrival.
In most cases, therefore, adults will need to renew their passport by the time it is nine years and six months old.
It’s worth noting the Government insists the key date is the date you arrive in the European country, not the date you leave. But we’re checking how those planning to stay abroad for months could be affected and will update this story when we know more.
With other European countries, the rules vary
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are in the EU but not in the Schengen area, and will have their own entry requirements for UK citizens after a no-deal Brexit, which may be different. The Government tool allows you to check whether your passport will be valid to visit these countries too.
Ireland isn’t covered by the tool. You currently don’t need a passport to travel to Ireland, although you do need to carry some form of ID if travelling by air or sea. The Government says travel to Ireland will remain the same after the UK leaves the EU.