The UK government has launched a new service that will allow travellers to check the validity of their passport in the event of a no deal Brexit at the end of March.
Amidst ongoing uncertainty over the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal after Theresa May’s proposed deal was voted down by the House of Commons, travellers are now being urged to check that their passports will remain valid.
That’s because new rules will come into force in the event of a no deal Brexit, which will impact on travellers who are visiting countries in the Schengen area – an area of European states that operate an open-border policy.
That includes popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Italy as well as a number of countries that are well visited by those embarking on a city break such as Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.
Should the UK leave without a deal, anyone travelling to a Schengen area country will need to have at least six months remaining on their passport from the date of arrival, with that applying to both adults and children alike.
That means if you plan to travel at the start of April, in the event of a no deal Brexit, you would need a passport that is valid until early October in order to travel.
It’s worth noting that for those who have renewed a passport in the past and had extra months added to the expiry date of their new one, that any extra months may not count towards the required six months.
Current rules state that a person travelling to the Schengen area simply needs to have a valid passport for their duration of their stay abroad.
With some airlines urging travellers to check their documents ahead of Brexit in the event of no deal, the government has now launched the new system that can be accessed here.
Checking your passport ahead of time will then provide ample opportunity to renew your documents if required.