Thursday, July 25, 2024

Brits urged check passports months ahead to avoid travel disruption

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The UK government has issued a warning to holidaymakers to check their passports before travelling to the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein

Travel rules require your passport to follow strict protocols(Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

Holidaymakers planning to jet off this year have been issued a stern warning: double-check your passports or risk being turned away at the border. Travel rules for trips within the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, or Liechtenstein could see travellers denied entry, even if their passport is technically still valid.

According to Citizens Advice, all passports must be renewed if they have less than three months until expiry, or if it is 10 years old or more from the day of issue. However, it’s vital to allow plenty of time for passport renewal as processing can take several weeks.

That is especially so during the busy summer holiday period. If you’re in a rush and need a quick turnaround, fast-tracking is available through GOV. UK, but be ready to pay extra.

How to check if your passport is valid for your destination country

If there’s any doubt about whether your passport will be accepted at your destination’s border, offers a free checking service. Simply enter your destination country and review the entry requirements.

For example, Spain has these rules:

  • The passport’s issue date must be less than 10 years old upon arrival.
  • It must have an expiry date that is more than three months beyond your planned departure from the ‘Schengen area’ (which includes most EU countries).

Here’s how to renew your passport

You can grab a form from the Post Office or request one via phone, which will set you back £100. However, it’s simpler and more cost-effective to do it online for just £88.50.

You’ll also need an appropriate photo, a debit or credit card and your old passport if you have one. The process is straightforward but ensure all your details are accurate to prevent any delays.

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