Written on 18th September 2018

UK passports in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Courtesy of the GTMC, they have prepared a fact sheet about the implications a no-deal Brexit will have on UK passport holders. The government is publishing technical notices as part of its preparation for the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union in March next year without a deal.

New passport rules for travel to Europe after 29 March 2019, in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal

  • If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK passport holders will be treated as ‘third country’ nationals by Schengen area countries, and will have to comply with extra passport validity rules.
  • All UK passport holders should make sure their passports have at least 6 months validity remaining on the date they arrive in the Schengen area.
  • Any additional months over 10 years that were added to an adult passport will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining. Adult passports used to be issued with up to 9 months additional validity, although this is now no longer added.
  • This means that any adult passport older than 9 years and 6 months may not be accepted for entry to the Schengen area.
  • The government has created an online calculator that people can use to check if they will be affected.
  • Anybody who is planning travel from 30 March and whose passport won’t meet these requirements is advised to renew it in plenty of time before travel.
  • The easiest and quickest way to renew a passport is to use the online service.
  • These rules will also apply to Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey passport holders. Holders of other British Overseas Territory passports already have to comply with the Schengen third country rules.

The Schengen area

  • The Schengen area is a group of 26 European countries, covering most of the EU and four other non-EU countries.
  • The countries 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.
  • The Schengen area does not include the UK or Republic of Ireland. Travel to Ireland after a no-deal Brexit would be unaffected by these rules.

Additional validity

  • From the beginning of September 2018 extra validity is no longer added to passports and the maximum validity for a new adult UK passport will be 10 years, and for a child passport will be 5 years. We have made this change to follow recommendations set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and to help provide clarity about passport validity in the Schengen area in the future.

To find out more


Source: GTMC