Brexit passport? Here’s the gist of it.

The news has been full of more scare mongering in terms of passports since the referendum than anything, except businesses going bankrupt. Whichever side of the fence you are on the latest one on passports is a major one as here in Gibraltar we are always crossing the frontier for holidays, weekend getaways and even for a few hours to a restaurant for dinner. So what exactly is the issue? Are passports going to be invalid after March 29th and a “no deal” escape?

The simple answer is no you can relax however you will need to check the date of expiry. It is normal especially when travelling outside of the shengen area to ensure your passport has 6 months validity after your date of return from holiday. It makes sense in terms of issues abroad illness etc. It didn’t matter previously in the EU shengen to we Gibraltarians and other Brits but it may become an issue after 29th in the event of “no deal.”

The problem is that up until last year passports when being renewed whatever the reason, name change from marriage, deed poll and so on went through the process and any time left on your passport when you renewed it was added to your passport. This meant a passport could have the usual 10 years plus the months still on the passport expiry date. In September 2018 this practise was stopped but anyone whose passport was issued before that should check the expiry date.

The expiry date should be calculated as 10 years from the validity date on your passport. For example if your passport was renewed on Jan 1st 2017 with 3 months still on it your expiry date under the old system would be 10 years plus the 3 months i.e. 1 April 2027. However after the 29th March assume your expiry date is 1 Jan 2027. So to be safe ensure your passport is no older than 9 years and 6 months (1 July 2027) when you travel into a schengen country.

It sounds confusing with all the dates and calculations but needs simply checking and ask your travel agent if unsure. The UK Government has information online which has been up for a while, it explains everything fairly clearly. Go to Travelling to EU with UK passport if in any doubt at all.

Happy holidays!