• How will Brexit affect my passport?

    How will Brexit affect my passport?

  • UK passports issued before the UK leaves the EU will retain the current burgundy design, while those issued after 31st October 2019 will retain the same overall design but with all references to the European Union removed. Beginning October 2019, British passports will have a completely new design with a blue and gold cover. Passports issued prior to Brexit will still be valid for travel throughout the world, provided they are not damaged or expired.

    Beyond design, the new blue and gold passports will have additional security features including a stronger, polycarbonate photo page - replacing the current paper photo page - to prevent damage and to make doctoring the document more difficult.

    While free movement for UK passport holders throughout the EU will continue up until 31st October 2019, in the event of no deal being reached, the rules for UK citizens concerning post-Brexit travel in Europe could change once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Travel processes to all other non-EU countries will be unaffected, as will the cost of a UK passport after Brexit.

    Although precise details are yet to be finalised, including the details on whether a travel visa will be required, all valid UK passports will still be useable for international travel to and from the EU after Brexit.

    However, as with the current rules on travel from many non-EU countries to the EU, it is advisable to ensure that your adult British passport is compliant with the European Union's Schengen Border Code prior to travelling.

    In practice, this means that from 31st October 2019, to travel from the UK to an EU nation, your passport should have at least six months remaining before expiry (therefore be no older than nine years and six month) on your day of travel to the EU.

    In real terms, if you are looking to travel from the UK to the EU on a British passport on 6th April 2019, your British passport will need to have an issue date no earlier than 1st October 2009.

    These new rules will apply to all passports issued in the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey, so if you are planning travel to the EU around the time of Brexit and your passport was issued on or before 1st October 2009, it may be prudent to renew your passport before your travel date, which can be done easily online. The same applies to child passports, which, following Brexit on 31st October 2019, will need to have at least six months of validity remaining on them on the day of travel from the UK to the EU.

    The sooner you begin the process, the sooner it will be taken care of.

  • UK Passports Q&A

    How do I check if my adult passport is affected?

    You can check your passport is valid for travel quickly and easily by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

    Alternatively, check the expiry date of your passport – you should have at least 6 months remaining on your passport, not counting any additional months beyond 10 years. You may have extra months on your passport’s expiry date if you renewed your old passport before it expired.

    How do I check if my child’s passport is affected?

    You can check your child’s passport is valid for travel quickly and easily by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

    Alternatively, check the expiry date of your child’s passport – there should be at least 6 months remaining on the passport.

    What is the situation with additional validity on some UK passports?

    Until 10 September 2018 UK passport holders who applied before their old passport expired would have the remaining validity added onto their new passport, up to 9 months.

    If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK passport holders will be considered third country nationals after 31st October 2019, and this additional validity will no longer be valid for travel to the Schengen area. Find out more

    If I am affected, what should I do?

    If you/your child’s passport does not meet the new rules on the day you plan to arrive in the Schengen area, after 31st October 2019, you should renew it. The easiest and cheapest way to renew your passport is online at: http://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport/.

    How can I renew my passport?

    The easiest and quickest way to renew your passport is to use one of our online services: http://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport.

    Which countries will be affected?

    Travel by British passport holders to all countries that are part of the Schengen area will be affected. They are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

    Travel to Ireland is subject to separate Common Travel Area arrangements which will be maintained after the UK leaves the EU. For other countries that are in the EU but not in the Schengen area, you should check the entry requirements for the country you’re travelling to in plenty of time before you book your travel at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/.

    There are no changes to entry requirements for countries outside the EU and the Schengen area as a result of exiting the EU. You should however continue to check the rules for each individual country you intend to visit, just as now.

    Will this affect travel to other countries around the world?

    No. There are no changes to entry requirements for countries outside the EU and the Schengen area as a result of exiting the EU. You should however continue to check the rules for each individual country you intend to visit, just as now. Many other countries around the world also have minimum validity requirements for passports.

    When will the new rules come into effect?

    If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the new rules would come into effect after 31st October 2019.

    Does this affect Crown Dependency and UK Overseas Territory passports?

    Holders of Crown Dependency (Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man) and Gibraltar passports will need to comply with the new rules. Holders of other British Overseas Territory passports must already adhere to the Schengen Borders Code.

    If your Crown Dependency or Gibraltar issued passport does not meet the new rules, you may be denied entry to any of the Schengen area countries, and you should renew your passport before you travel. You can apply for a new passport at your respective Crown Dependencies or Gibraltar passport offices:

    • Gibraltar
    • Guernsey
    • Isle of Man
    • Jersey
    Will existing British passports that have the words ‘European Union’ on the cover still be valid after the UK leaves the EU?

    Yes, this does not affect the validity of the passport.

    If I travel with a passport that does not comply with the new rules, will I be turned away by Schengen countries’ border officers?

    We are working to make sure that affected passport holders are aware of the new rules and renew their passports in advance of travel if necessary. There is a risk that you could be refused entry if your passport does not comply with the new rules, if you are travelling after 31st October 2019 in a no deal scenario.

    What will happen to me if I am turned away at the Schengen border?

    We are working to make sure that affected passport holders are aware of the new rules and renew their passports in advance of travel if necessary. It is possible that anybody who is refused entry at the border will be required to return home.

    Will Eurotunnel refuse to allow me to travel if my passport doesn’t comply with the new rules to travel?

    We are working to make sure that affected passport holders are aware of the new rules and renew their passports in advance of travel if necessary. We are working with the travel industry to ensure that affected passengers are informed in good time. It is possible that carriers may not allow people whose passports do not meet the new rules to travel.

    Will the UK government refund me if I am unable to travel, or am turned away by Schengen countries’ border officers?

    No. It is an individual’s responsibility to make sure they have the correct documentation for travel. The UK government is working to make sure people who may be affected are aware of the new rules.

    Will travel insurance companies refund me if I am unable to travel, or am turned away by Schengen countries’ border officers?

    That will depend on the terms of individual insurance policies.

    Will the EU, or individual Schengen countries, refund me if I am unable to travel, or am turned away by Schengen countries’ border officers?

    No. It is an individual’s responsibility to make sure they have the correct documentation for travel.