We are being warned of an “unprecedented demand” for passports. Kevin Foster, Immigration Minister, voiced the warnings and has said the demand is putting severe strain on the system. Delays of five months have already been reported after 5 million Brits delayed renewing their passport during the pandemic.
Since Brexit, UK Nationals are required to have three months left on their passport (from the date they are due to return home) in order to enter another EU country. Prior to the UK leaving the European Union, this requirement did not exist for Brits travelling to a country within the EU and Schenegen Area.
Further to this, some EU countries now insist passports are no more than 10 years old.
A family of five were left devastated when they were unable to board their flight to Portugal, a much-needed holiday after the stresses of the pandemic. The Mother’s passport didn’t meet the entry requirements, despite booking the holiday through a tour operator and supplying passport numbers and expiry dates. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has since advised, according to the BBC, that this information has been published on its website for several years.
Taking into account the ten year rule, and the three month validity rule, passports will need to have been issued within the previous nine years and nine months. Any longer, and it may not be valid for travel.
“Unknown rules” like the two above are leaving holidaymakers severely out of pocket, as they are unable to travel without a passport or a passport that meets the requirements of the country they are travelling to. Unfortunately, there is very little fall back either. Travel insurance policies will not cover the cost of a holiday due to the policy holders being refused entry for not having the correct documentation – this includes passports, visas, COVID passes, vaccination confirmation etc. There is also no cover available for documents that do not arrive on time.
With this in mind, it is essential the current delays are taken into account when booking a holiday in the near future and ensure all passports are checked against the relevant rule for the country or area you are traveling to, prior to booking.