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Passport rules for travel to Europe after Brexit

Travel after 31 January 2020 

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and from this date the UK will enter a transition period until until 31 December 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate new arrangements. During this period existing rules and arrangements will remain in place for people and business in the Isle of Man. 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 Isle of Man's relationship with the EU after the transition period will be dependent on the agreement on the future relationship reached between the UK and the EU. 

Travel after 31 December 2020 

After 31 December 2020, if you are a British passport holder (including those passports issued by the Isle of Man Passport Office) you will be considered a third country national 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 
  • have at least three 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 

Check your passport issue and expiry date 

If you're planning to visit the Schengen Area after 31 December 2020 you should check: 

  • the issue date of your adult passport and renew it in good time if it will be older than 9 years and 6 months 
  • check your child's passport has at least six months validity left before the expiry date on the day of travel 

If your passport does not meet the criteria, you may be denied entry to any of the Schengen area countries. 

For more information see the Schengen Border Code on the European Union Law website.

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 10 September 2018 extra validity was 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 five 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. 

Passport renewal date calculator 

You can use the UK Passport Validity Checker to see if your passport will be compliant for travel to Europe, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 January 2020.

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 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:

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.

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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