Passport delays: Holidaymaker warns of post-Brexit issues
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Since post-Brexit rules came into force at the beginning of 2021, one key area that has been impacted for most Britons is the ease and ability to travel to European Union (EU) countries. Under new requirements, Britons must have a specific length of time left on their passport in order for it to be classed as valid for travel.
The UK Government has warned Britons that, as a result, they may need to renew their passports before jetting off.
Gov.uk states: “How much time you need on your passport depends on the country you’re visiting.
“You may need to renew your British passport before you travel if there’s not enough time left on it.”
Britons are also being urged not to book travel “unless your passport meets the entry requirements of the country you’re travelling to”.
How much time do I need left on my passport to visit the EU?
As the UK has left the EU, it is not considered to be a “third country” and rules for “third country nationals” now apply.
These rules were always in place for people visiting from “third countries” and are not new for Britons alone.
According to the Travel page of the European Union’s Your Europe site: “If you are a non-EU national wishing to visit or travel within the EU, you will need a passport:
valid for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting,
which was issued within the previous 10 years.”
This means a passport issued by non-member states hoping to visit the Schengen Area must have been issued in the past 10 years.
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If your passport doesn’t meet these rules, you need to apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected.
Schengen Area signifies the zone of 26 EU countries which have abolished their internal borders and allow free, unrestricted movement.
This includes popular holiday destinations such as Greece, Spain, France and Italy.
Gov.uk states: “If your passport doesn’t meet these rules, you need to apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected.
“Make sure you apply in plenty of time. If you need to, you can apply to get a passport urgently.”
How long does it take to get a new passport?
If you are planning a trip to the EU and realise your passport does not meet the requirements, you should apply for a new passport with plenty of notice.
Typically, the Government says a passport should take up to 10 weeks to arrive.
However, in April, applicants were warned they could face delays of more than two months due to a backlog of requests at Her Majesty’s Passport Office.
The sooner you apply for your passport, the more likely you are to have it in time for your holiday.
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