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What is the 10-year passport rule and how can British travellers avoid getting caught out?…..

What is the 10-year passport rule?

Countries in the European Union do not allow travellers from outside the EU to enter their borders if their passport was issued more than 10 years ago from the date of travel. While the UK was part of the EU it was possible to have a longer-dated passport, but that’s no longer the case.

To enter the EU now, your UK passport must:

  • have been issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the EU country
  • be valid for at least three months after the day you leave the EU country

If your passport does not meet these minimum requirements, you will be refused entry to the country. The one exception for British travellers is Ireland, who are honouring the previous agreement.

Who’s affected?

An estimated 32 million Brits have passports that have more than 10 years’ validity. This is because, under old regulations, up to nine months could be carried over from an old passport. This stopped in September 2018. Anyone with a passport issued since then will have a cap of 10 years, meaning they won’t face any issues.

If your passport was issued before September 2018, it may appear valid for over a decade. This is still okay for travel outside the EU. But it will prevent travel to much of Europe as you approach the 10-year mark.

You can check entry requirements for individual EU countries on the government’s website.

How long does it take to renew a passport?

If you’re applying from within the UK, it generally takes up to 3 weeks to get a new passport but this may increase during particularly busy times of the year. You can apply either online or at the post office.

For an extra fee, you can pay for a premium service that fast-tracks your application. This requires you to attend in person at your nearest passport office and takes a minimum of two days. There’s another premium service that takes a week to deliver your new passport.

How much does it cost to renew a passport?

The government will introduce new passport fees as of 11 April 2024. A standard online application made from within the UK will rise to £88.50 for adults and £57.50 for children whilst a standard postal application will increase to £100.00 for adults and £69.00 for children.

What is the six-month rule?

Most countries, especially those in the EU, require you to have at least three months left on your passport from the day you return to the UK. However, some countries require that your passport is still valid for six months. These nations include Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and Singapore.


Until da next Tyme


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