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FCDO warning for Brits with passports 'issued before October 2018' - 'check your passport'

Daily Express logo Daily Express 16/05/2022 Aimee Robinson

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office () has issued a new warning to Britons who plans to visit the (EU) in the approaching months. Since rules came into force in 2021, British travellers must meet numerous specifications if they want to visit the bloc, including strict rules.

In a recent update for countries including popular holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Portugal and Greece, the FCDO has urged Britons to "check your passport" if it was "issued before October 1, 2018."

The FCDO explains: "You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel.

"If your passport was issued before October 1, 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date."

British passport holders hoping to visit an EU country must ensure both their "date of issue" and "expiry date" meet specifications.


Passport warning © Getty images Passport warning

The FCDO states: "If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

"Your passport must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the 'date of issue') and valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave (check the 'expiry date')."

If your passport doesn't meet these rules, you need to apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected. states: "If your passport doesn't meet these rules, you need to apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected.

"Make sure you apply in plenty of time. If you need to, you can apply to get a passport urgently.


Why are there new passport rules in place for the UK?

The EU sets out passport requirements for visitors from "third countries".

These rules are not new and not unique to British passport holders.

However, since the UK chose to leave the union, it is now considered a "third country" and therefore must follow the rules set out for such nations.

EU airport © Getty Images EU airport

When should I apply for a new passport?

If your passport does not meet the set-out requirements or is approaching its expiration date, you should apply for a new travel document as soon as possible.

Typically, the Government says a passport should take up to 10 weeks to arrive.

However, in April applicants were warned they may face delays of more than two months.

This is due to a backlog of requests at Her Majesty's Passport Office.

The FCDO states: "Do not book travel until you have a valid passport - your new passport will not have the same number as your old one."


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