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Brits face 'Friday deadline' to renew passports in case of no-deal Brexit

UK passport

Published at 10:22am 10th March 2019.

Main image: Chris Fleming / Flickr under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Millions of UK travellers could be denied entry into European countries in the event of a no-deal Brexit if their passports expire in the next six months.

A consumer group Which? has warned holidaymakers and business travellers about risks of an expiring passport when entering Schengen Area such as Spain, France and Italy.

Existing rules for visitors from non-EU countries travelling to Schengen Area countries require that passports must have been issued within the past 10 years.

Airport
Holidaymakers and business travellers warned of risks of an expiring passport when entering countries such as Spain, France and Italy.

It means that visitors need at least six months left on their passport from the date they arrive.

Some passports with as much as 15 months of validity remaining won't be accepted for travel if the UK leaves Europe without a deal, the UK Government has said.

Around 3.5 million current British passports will not comply with the validity rules, Which? has indicated.

With three weeks until Brexit, holidaymakers are urged to renew their passports this week to receive them before 29 March.

Currently, 27 EU countries require that your passport is valid for the duration of your stay, with an exception of Cyprus - requiring 6-month validity on your passport.

"If your passport does not meet the new rules, you should apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected.

"You can use the government's online passport checker to check a passport for travel to Europe. We recommend that you renew your passport in good time ahead of your travel date."

Home Office spokesperson

Plane
Around 3.5 million current British passports will not comply with the validity rules, Which? has indicated.

"Millions of people could find their holiday plans disrupted or, worse yet, find themselves stranded at the departure gate and prevented from travelling altogether if they fail to renew their passport before the cut-off date.

"Anyone who thinks they might be affected should look to renew their passport today or if you already have travel plans in the near future, consider using the fast-track passport renewal service."

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine

 

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