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passport problems

Don’t get caught out by passport problems this summer

Summer is approaching, and if you have holiday plans ahead, it’s time to start getting excited!

But it’s also time to ensure that you are prepared. And particularly that your passport is valid if you are planning to travel to Europe this summer.

You may have seen various headlines over the Easter holidays about UK travellers being turned back at airports because their passports are not valid for EU travel. So it’s really important to double check your passport to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.

Imagine the disappointment of setting off for your dream holiday, only to make it no further than the airport! The months of anticipation – let alone the personal loan you may have had to take to fund the whole thing – all for nothing. 

The good news is that you still have time to get your passport problems sorted in time for your summer holiday. So in this article we take a look at:

  • How to ensure your passport is valid for EU travel this summer;
  • How to renew your passport;
  • How long it takes to get a new passport;
  • What happens on arrival in the EU?


How to ensure your passport is valid for EU travel this summer

For you to be able to travel to the EU this summer, your passport needs to be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the EU country;
  • valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave the EU country.

If your passport does not meet both these requirements, you will be refused entry. This applies to all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

The exception is Ireland. The UK and Ireland have a long-standing Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement that permits free movement of UK and Irish citizens within both countries.


How to renew your passport

You can renew your passport either online at HM Passport Office or by completing a paper application form at a main Post Office.

In both cases you will need your old passport and either a digital photo (for online applications) or two identical printed photos.

The cost of passport renewal is £88.50 online or £100 for a paper form.


How long it takes to get a new passport

The current wait for a new passport is around 3 weeks, but be aware it could take longer at busy times, such as just before school holidays.

If you need your passport more quickly than this, it’s possible to book an appointment at your nearest passport office, subject to availability. It then takes up to a week to be issued.

There is also an urgent 1 day premium service offering a 2 day appointment service and you will get your new passport at your appointment. This is more expensive, costing £207.50. 

More information about any of the above is available on the Passport Office website or you can call their helpline on 0300 222 0000. 


What happens on arrival in the EU?

Since Brexit, there is now a limit on the length of time you can stay in EU countries on a UK passport. No visa is required but you can only stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. As part of this, UK passports are now stamped on entry to EU countries. So be prepared for this when you arrive at your EU destination. 

Passport stamping is expected to become fully automated this year via a new EES (Entry/Exit) system. This has been planned for some time and the likely rollout date is now early October, once the 2024 Paris Olympics are over. 

Once EES is implemented, non-EU passport holders will need to scan their passports at an automated self-service kiosk prior to crossing the border. But until then, bear in mind that passports are stamped manually and at busy times this can mean longer delays at borders. 

We hope that this article gives you a useful heads-up about possible passport problems and passport requirements for EU travel this summer. But if you do have any problems, and need to rearrange your travel plans, remember that Loans 2 Go offer emergency loans that may be able to help.

For more useful lifestyle and financial tips, visit us here again soon at Loans 2 Go.