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Passport rules for travel to Europe after Brexit

Travel before 31 January 2020

The date that the UK is leaving the EU has been extended to 31 January 2020. This means that the UK is still a member of the EU and all existing travel arrangements continue to apply.

Travel after 31 January 2020 in the event of a deal

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal there will be an implementation period until 31 December 2020 during which the rules will remain the same as now. This means individuals will not need to take any action to renew their passports early if they are travelling to affected countries in Europe in this period.

Travel after 31 January 2020 in the event of a No deal

The Government’s preference is to leave with a deal. However, if the withdrawal agreement is not signed by the UK and the EU, the UK could still leave with no deal on 31 January 2020.  

There will be new entry requirements for holders of a British passport (including those passports issued by the Isle of Man Passport Office) travelling to most European countries if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

This is because British passport holders may be treated as third country nationals.

Specifically, under these new rules:

  • You will need at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
  • If you renewed your current British passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months needed.

You need to check the validity of your British passport for travel.

If you have travel planned after 31 January 2020 and your passport will not meet the new rules on the day of arrival in the affected country, you should renew your passport in good time to ensure you are able to travel.

It is an individual’s responsibility to make sure they have the correct documentation for travel, including a passport that complies with the validity rules of whichever country they are travelling to. If you travel with a passport that does not comply with the new rules there is a risk that you could be refused entry if your passport does not comply with the new rules after this date.

If you are refused entry at an international border, you may be required to make alternative arrangements to return home at your own expense. FCO Consular Services cannot help you enter a country, for example, if your British passport is not valid for travel as they cannot get involved in another country’s immigration requirements.

You should make sure you are aware of the immigration and customs controls of the country you are travelling to.  You should contact the embassy or consulate of the country you are travelling to for information about that country’s immigration requirements. You should also check FCO Travel Advice for entry requirements. See also: www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/passports

EU Passport Cover

Passports carrying the words ‘European Union’ will continue to be valid after the UK leaves the EU. The exclusion of the words ‘European Union’ from the cover of a British passport does not affect its validity for travel to Europe or elsewhere.

In the event the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the Withdrawal Agreement will mean that there will be an implementation period from 31 January 2020 until 31 December 2020 during which the rules will remain the same as now. This means individuals will not need to take any action to renew their passports early if they are travelling to affected countries in Europe in this period. The UK Government have said they will discuss wider border arrangements as part of their negotiations with the EU on the future relationship. Any changes that may affect the rules around passports in the future will be communicated in good time for individuals to take necessary action.

You can apply for a new passport at Isle of Man Passport Office and download a form here.

The affected countries are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.

Travel from the UK to Ireland for UK passport holders will continue as now under Common Travel Arrangement.

Many countries outside of the EU already require UK passport holders to have at least 6 months validity left on their passport for travel, so it is good practice to check the rules and your passport before you travel.

You can apply for a new passport at Isle of Man Passport Office and download a form here.

More information

This notice is meant for guidance only and is based on our current understanding. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

The Isle of Man Government is working to ensure they are fully prepared for all scenarios and will publish more information as soon as they can.

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