Passport rule which has left travellers confused and could see you unable to fly

 Monday, April 11, 2022 

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Travel restrictions are the most relaxed they’ve been since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 and people are jumping at the chance of a trip abroad.

However, some holidaymakers have been caught out by a passport rule that came into force as a result of Brexit. Especially as advice from the UK Government and major airlines is not consistent.

When the UK was still part of the European Union (EU), your passport simply had to be in date in order to travel across the continent.


However, since Brexit, rules around how long your passport needs to be valid have changed.

The UK Government website states that UK citizens should have a passport with an expiry date ‘valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.’

However, travel association ABTA, warns that how much time needs to be left on your passport depends on where you’re travelling to.

It also seems that the required length of time left on your passport depends on which airline you choose to fly with. British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair all state different policies.

This has led some people to take to social media to get some clarity and ask airlines whether they will be allowed to fly.

One asked Ryanair if they’ll be fine to travel as the airline stated six months till expiration is required while the Government website says three months.

Another asked EasyJet if she would be able to travel to Portugal with the date six months prior to her passport expiring falling during her trip to Portugal.

The Post Office website states while most countries such as Australia, Canada and the USA, just need someone’s passport to be valid for the length of your stay, other countries such as China, Thailand, Egypt and Turkey need at least six months.

One needs to have at least six months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).



Passport rules for different countries



All countries will have their own rules concerning passport validity and expiration rules. Here’s a list of the most common ones:


Australia – Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Barbados – Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.


Canada – Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay, but if you have less than six months of validity it may take longer to pass through immigration control.

China – Your passport should have at least six months of validity.

Egypt – Your passport should have at least six months of validity.

European Union – For most European countries, HM Passport Office recommend that on the day you travel you have at least three months left on your passport.

Those countries are:

Austria

Belgium

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden


India – Your passport must be machine-readable, with two blank pages for your visa and valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of entry into India.

Japan – Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Mexico – Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

New Zealand – Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of one month from the date of exit.

Singapore – Your passport should have at least six months of validity.

South Africa – Rules state that your passport should be valid for at least 30 days from the date of exit, but it’s recommended that you have at least six months on your passport before it expires.

Your passport should also have at least two blank pages when you enter or leave South Africa.

Thailand – Your passport should have at least six months of validity.

Turkey – Your passport should have at least six months of validity.

USA – Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.



However, your passport must be a biometric e-Passport with the silver camera symbol on the front.

There are also a number of other rules concerning entry to the USA, which you should check before travelling.



Passport rules for different airlines




Ryanair

Ryanair states that you need a valid passport to travel anywhere in the world.

For travel outside the EEA (European Economic Area), the passport must be valid for the period of the intended stay, except for the below countries:

For travel to Jordan, the passport must be valid for six months beyond the period of the intended stay.

For travel to Turkey, the passport must be valid for six months from the date of entry.

For travel to Montenegro, the passport must be valid for at least three months.

For travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the passport must be valid for at least three months.

All non-EU passport holders travelling into a Schengen member country must make sure that their passport is valid for at least three months from the date they will leave the Schengen member country unless the person has a Schengen-issued residence permit or long-term visa.

All customers travelling on international flights must hold either a valid EU/EEA/Swiss National Identity card or Passport, and, where required, a valid Visa.

Your passport needs to be in good condition and signed. Some countries require that passports are valid for a minimum period beyond your trip, usually three or six months.

For UK passport holders travelling to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, please note that on your day of travel you’ll need your passport to both: Have at least six months left on it (the requirement of most European countries is to have a minimum of three months left on your passport on the day after your intended departure from the EU); and GBR Passports must be no more than 10 years old on the date of travel.


British Airways

If you’re travelling on an international flight, you’ll need a passport or an equivalent travel document that is valid for the full duration of your trip.

Your children will also need their own passports, even infants under two years.

All UK passport holders should check the updated government advice regarding passport validity requirements.

You are responsible for ensuring you have valid documentation for travel.








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