7 burning questions about passports answered

After months of strident representations from The Impartial, the Overseas Workplace has now aligned its journey recommendation with the European Fee’s guidelines on passport validity for British guests to the EU.

The change follows comparable strikes by the 2 main finances airways, easyJet and Ryanair.

Many readers have contacted The Impartial in quest of readability in regards to the guidelines. These are seven of the important thing questions.

Q: My passport was issued on the 29 Might 2012 and is legitimate till 29 February 2023. Will I be allowed to journey to France with Irish Ferries on 28 Might?

Samantha Morris

A: Nice timing. In accordance with European Union guidelines you may be travelling on the final attainable day that your passport will enable for a visit to most of Europe.

The situations for entry of a British passport holder to the EU (and wider Schengen Space, together with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) are these:

  • Situation date lower than 10 years in the past on day of entry to EU.
  • Expiry date a minimum of three months away on supposed day of return.

You meet the primary situation by a single day – which is sweet sufficient for the European authorities – and the second by six months.

One irritation is that Irish Ferries’ on-line recommendation on the topic seems to be historical historical past. It says: “Within the occasion of the UK leaving the EU with no deal, holders of UK passports travelling to France ought to notice the next:

“On the day you journey, you’ll want your passport to each have a minimum of six months left [and] be lower than 10 years previous (even when it has six months or extra left).”

The primary of these situations is incorrect, however you move it anyway. Bon voyage.

Q: I’m travelling to to Portugal on 23 June for every week. My passport was issued on 21 September 2012 and expires in February 2023. Will I be allowed entry? I hold studying conflicting recommendation and Ryanair aren’t being clear about it.

Ben S

A: For the previous six months there was full readability from the European Fee in regards to the two guidelines for British guests to the EU. However many journey corporations have been sluggish in correcting their insurance policies and on-line data to align with the foundations.

Ryanair modified its phrases and situations final week, however I perceive through the check-in course of passengers are nonetheless anticipated to tick a field saying they’ve a minimum of six months to run on their passports.

That is an unenforceable time period and you may safely ignore it in case your passport complies with the foundations above. In your case you possibly can enter Portugal any day as much as 20 September and keep for as much as 90 days (one other EU rule we requested to turn into topic to).

Please don’t renew your passport unnecessarily early – it solely provides to the strain at HM Passport Workplace, and slows down the method for individuals who actually need new paperwork.

Q: I simply wished to verify that so long as I’ve acquired over six months on my passport however lower than 10 years and also you’re not going to a European nation (in my case I’m going to Turkey) then I might be OK to journey?

Jen P

A: Going anyplace apart from the EU and the Schengen space? Ignore the problem date of your passport. Focus solely on the expiry date. And whereas it’s good to have six months for Turkey, overlook any tosh you might have been advised a few obligatory six-month validity requirement worldwide.

My colleague Lucy Thackray has written a very helpful article on passport expiry necessities worldwide.

As she says, each nation makes its personal guidelines on how a lot time they demand earlier than your passport expires. Lots of them – together with Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Japan, Mexico, Tunisia and the US – permit you to stay there as much as and together with the expiry date of the passport. Shrewdly, Costa Rica says your passport ought to have a minimum of sooner or later’s validity from the date you might be leaving – meaning you need to have the ability to get residence with out drawback.

The world over there’s little settlement: Cuba needs two months remaining if you go away the island. The European Union needs three months remaining on the day you allow the EU, and it’s also the one a part of the world that cares when your passport was issued (it have to be lower than 10 years in the past on the day of entry to the European Union).

A number of common international locations, together with the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Israel, Kenya, Peru, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the UAE (together with Dubai) need six months remaining on the day you plan to depart their nation.

Within the case of Turkey, the foundations are extra advanced, however it’s greatest to adjust to the Overseas Workplace recommendation, which says: “Your passport needs to be legitimate for a minimum of six months from the date you arrive and there needs to be a full clean web page for the entry and exit stamps.”

And for absolutely the avoidance of doubt: there isn’t a illusory “new” expiry date 10 years after concern. Many individuals’s passports might be legitimate for precisely a decade, however if you’re fortunate sufficient to have longer than that, it is just the printed expiry date that issues.

Q: My children have passports issued in November 2017 that are legitimate till April 2023. We’re going to Cape Verde in August will they be legitimate or do we have to renew?


A: Sure, they’re fantastic. Cape Verde is a type of international locations the place you want six months’ validity from date of entry. As talked about above the problem date is irrelevant for locations exterior the EU. (And naturally all youngsters’s passports move the European take a look at on issued throughout the previous 10 years.)

Q: Any thought as to the most recent on the Gibraltar-Spain border? We’re flying by way of Gibraltar to remain in Spain on the finish of the month. We have now heard of points the place you should show lodging/return flights/enough funds to your keep. My in-laws had been held up for a number of hours a number of weeks in the past.


A: What your in-laws skilled was precisely what the UK requested to occur. The Withdrawal Settlement negotiated after the Brexit vote requested for UK passport holders to be considered “third-country nationals”.

As such, frontier officers are obliged to fulfill themselves that arrivals from the UK is not going to turn into a burden on the state and they won’t illegally overstay.

Many border crossings don’t implement the foundations strictly; however conversely, Spain could have its personal political causes for making some extent.

It could be that Gibraltar turns into a part of the Schengen space, which might be politically attention-grabbing – however virtually very helpful, with no fastened border checks between the British Abroad Territory and Spain.

Q: I’ve a British passport that was issued on 1 October 2012 and has an expiry date of 1 April 2023, making it legitimate for 10 years and 6 months. Is my passport legitimate for a visit to Thailand in August?

So confused with all of the articles within the press and can’t get by means of to the passport workplace.

Gill P

A: Belief what I say – that your passport is legitimate for entry to Thailand as much as 1 October 2022; this coincidentally occurs to be its tenth birthday, however that’s irrelevant. What counts is that on the day of entry there’s a minimum of six months remaining in your passport.

To restate: the one locations on earth that care when your passport was issued are international locations within the European Union. Each different nation simply needs your expiry date to be compliant.

There isn’t a level contacting the Passport Adviceline: it isn’t certified to reply questions on guidelines for nations worldwide.

(Gill later replies: Thanks, lastly acquired some sense from somebody. Passport workplace haven’t replied, Thai embassy telling me to ask the airline, simply went spherical in circles!)

Q: Nonetheless panicking about my passport. Runs out in September 2022. It’ll have three months on return to UK from Ibiza. Is that OK?


A: From the data you present, I can’t inform – however it might nicely be that you’re not eligible to journey to the European Union, I’m afraid.

I deduce that your passport was issued a while between December 2011 and September 2012, and that you’re travelling for a break of every week or two in both Might or June 2022. It’s clear that your passport meets the expiry date situation – however I worry it might not move the problem date take a look at.

In case your departure date is on or after the passport’s tenth birthday, you won’t be able to journey. Nevertheless, if you’re awry by simply a few days concerned (eg your passport was issued on 1 June 2012 and you might be as a result of journey on 2 June 2022) then it might nicely be value switching your flight to 31 Might (or shopping for a very new one). It is possible for you to legally to enter Spain; spend a few days in a neighborhood resort; after which start your vacation correct.

If, nevertheless, the dates don’t work you might be in a difficult place: HM Passport Workplace has precedence choices, however that is hopelessly oversubscribed. With three weeks to go, it’s nicely value making use of on-line for a renewal; in the event you get the applying proper (and crucially be sure that the picture is compliant) then the probabilities are you’re going to get a brand new doc by the top of the primary week in June. I hope that is in time.

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