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Brexit - Passports information

The Isle of Man Government has issued a technical notice with full details with what you need to know about travelling to EU countries with a British passport when the UK leaves the EU.

It has been summarised for ease below.

Validity of your passport following a 'no deal' Brexit

When the UK leaves the EU there will be new rules for British passport holders travelling to the Schengen area of the EU.

The Schengen Area is made up of the following countries:

Austria Hungary Norway
Belgium Iceland Poland
Czech Republic Italy Slovakia
Denmark Latvia Slovenia
Estonia Liechtenstein Spain
Finland Lithuania Sweden
France Luxembourg Switzerland
Germany Malta
Greece Netherlands

These EU countries are not in the Schengen Area: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania.

Travel to the Republic of Ireland will not be affected.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal the following rules will apply from Saturday 30 March 2019

As a British Citizen you are currently able to enter the Schengen Area if you have a valid passport. There is at present no requirement for British passports to have a minimum or maximum validity remaining when you enter or leave the Schengen Area.

From 30 March 2019 if you are a British passport holder (including those passports issued by the Passport Offices in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man), you will be considered a third country national (third country nationals are citizens of countries like Australia, Canada and the USA which do not belong to the EU or European Economic Area) under the Schengen Border Code and will therefore need to comply with different rules to enter and travel around the Schengen Area.

According to the Schengen Border Code, third country passports must:

  • have been issued within the last 10 years on the date of arrival in a Schengen country, and
  • have at least 3 months validity remaining on the date of intended departure from the last country visited in the Schengen Area

Because third country nationals can remain in the Schengen Area for 90 days, the actual check carried out could be that the passport has at least 6 months validity remaining on the date of arrival.

If you plan to travel to the Schengen Area from 30 March 2019, to avoid any possibility of your adult passport not complying with the Schengen Border Code, we suggest that you check the issue date and make sure your passport is no older than 9 years and 6 months on the day of travel.

  • For example, if you are planning to travel to the Schengen Area on 30 March 2019, your passport should have an issue date on or after 1 October 2009

For 5 year child passports issued to under-16's, check the expiry date and make sure there will be at least 6 months validity remaining on the date of travel.

  • For example, a child planning to travel to the Schengen Area on 30 March 2019 should have a passport with an expiry date on or after 1 October 2019

You can use the UK Passport Validity Checker to see if your passport will be complaint for travel to Europe.

Passports with validity over 10 years

Since 2001, some adult British passports were issued with a validity longer than 10 years.

This is because if you renewed your passport before it expired you were allowed to have the time left on your old passport added to your new passport. The maximum validity period possible was 10 years and 9 months. This means that you can't use the expiry date to check if your adult passport will be valid under the new Schengen Border Rules.

From the beginning of September 2018 extra validity is no longer added to British passports and the maximum validity for a new adult British passport will be 10 years, and for a child passport it will be 5 years. This change has been made to follow recommendations set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and to help provide clarity about passport validity in the future.

You can use the UK Passport Validity Checker to see if your passport will be complaint for travel to Europe.

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