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Travel to Germany for UK Citizen with passport that expires in little over 6 months.

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I need some assistance. There is 6 months or so left on my passport. I will be travelling to Germany on Feb 10th and leaving Germany on Feb 17th with a passport expiry date of August 11th 2020. Will I run into any problems with German Immigration?

Edited by ace2542

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British National. Brexit is taking place on Jan 31st.

Edited by ace2542

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In which case, the other main question is: Your passport issue date?

 

gov.uk has the official information on potential changes after Friday. Nobody can be any more definitive about this at present, because technically the withdrawal agreement is not yet fully in force, and the position after Friday depends on whether or not it is.

 

However, on the assumption that the withdrawal agreement will be in force after Friday, then AIUI the position then should be as it is now: your passport must be valid on arrival - a condition which yours will easily satisfy.

 

If the withdrawal agreement fails, the default position appears to be (according to gov.uk) that the passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival, but no period of validity beyond 10 years from the passport issue date will count (hence the second question).

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Brexit won't change the situation for travel to EU countries during the "transition period" ie until the end of this year.

As long as your passport is valid for the whole of your trip, you will be able to use it under the transition period.

After the transition period you will need 6 months validity  beyond the end of your trip, same as for most (all?) other countries.

 

But a different change a couple of years ago,  not connected to Brexit,  was well-publicised at the time it was introduced but is capable of catching folk out for a few years yet.

In the past  if you last  renewed your passport up to six months before the old one expired, that period was added to the expiry date of your new passport. So your passport can show up to ten years & six months between issue date & expiry date (much the same as if you renew your car's MOT up to a month early).

But because of that change, the expiry date on your passport may no longer be correct - it expires exactly ten years after the issue date.

Check the issue date, and add ten years.

So for example a passport which shows "issue date 19th March 2010" and "expiry date 24th July 2020" expires on 19th March 2020, and is now already no good for for travel to non-EU countries.

 

Here's a thread that I started when I first learned about this

https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2711049-passport-dates-your-expiry-date-may-be-incorrect/?tab=comments#comment-58794524

 

In your circumstances, if your passport issue date was after 16th Feb 2010 it's fine for your trip to Germany.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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13 minutes ago, John Bull said:

But a different change a couple of years ago,  not connected to Brexit,  was well-publicised at the time it was introduced but is capable of catching folk out for a few years yet.

In the past  if you last  renewed your passport up to six months before the old one expired, that period was added to the expiry date of your new passport. So your passport can show up to ten years & six months between issue date & expiry date (much the same as if you renew your car's MOT up to a month early).

But because of that change, the expiry date on your passport may no longer be correct - it expires exactly ten years after the issue date.

Check the issue date, and add ten years.

So for example a passport which shows "issue date 19th March 2010" and "expiry date 24th July 2020" expires on 19th March 2020, and is now already no good for for travel to non-EU countries.

 

Do you have a source for this?

 

There is plenty of guidance about the possibility of the "extra months" beyond 10 years post-issue not counting towards the six months beyond intended stay needed for travel to EU countries if there is no withdrawal agreement (unlikely though that now is).

 

I have found nothing to suggest that if the withdrawal agreement is fully in force, the current rules will not apply fully, including the passport expiry date being exactly what it says in your passport (ie including the "extra months").

 

In addition, I have seen nothing to suggest that if you travel to non-EU countries, there will be anything different from the current rules. There is no universal or default rule about this. For example, if you're going to Australia, your passport only needs to be valid on the day of arrival; if you're going to the US, your passport only needs to be valid for the period of your intended stay. I have seen nothing to suggest that the expiry date for these purposes will be anything other than what it says in your passport, even if you have "extra months".

 

Obviously, new passports now being issued will only be for 10 years, with no "extra months" now being added. Which is annoying, as I won't easily be able to preserve the same passport expiry date in the future (except by giving up a whole year).

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We in Canada have always had passports that expire on the anniversary of their issue. Until they changed to offer 10 year passports, the validity of a 5 year passport could be somewhat less than 4 1/2 years depending on where you were travelling. And I believe that my renewal came up at about the time they were requiring passports for entry into the U.S. (Canadians had only required a driver's licence in the past) so the passport office was really busy and passports were taking a while to be issued.

 

At least now we have 10 year passports, even though their validity is now something under 9 1/2 years.

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1 hour ago, gnome12 said:

We in Canada have always had passports that expire on the anniversary of their issue. Until they changed to offer 10 year passports, the validity of a 5 year passport could be somewhat less than 4 1/2 years depending on where you were travelling. And I believe that my renewal came up at about the time they were requiring passports for entry into the U.S. (Canadians had only required a driver's licence in the past) so the passport office was really busy and passports were taking a while to be issued.

 

At least now we have 10 year passports, even though their validity is now something under 9 1/2 years.

 

A ten year Canadian passport is still valid for 10 years, your statement is stretching reality a bit.

 

The problem is that some countries (not all) require a passport which is valid for your maximum possible temporary stay, so if a country has a 6-month maximum stay (as a visitor), you'd need your passport to be valid for that entire period.

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1 hour ago, Globaliser said:

 

Do you have a source for this?

 

There is plenty of guidance about the possibility of the "extra months" beyond 10 years post-issue not counting towards the six months beyond intended stay needed for travel to EU countries if there is no withdrawal agreement (unlikely though that now is).

 

I have found nothing to suggest that if the withdrawal agreement is fully in force, the current rules will not apply fully, including the passport expiry date being exactly what it says in your passport (ie including the "extra months").

 

In addition, I have seen nothing to suggest that if you travel to non-EU countries, there will be anything different from the current rules. There is no universal or default rule about this. For example, if you're going to Australia, your passport only needs to be valid on the day of arrival; if you're going to the US, your passport only needs to be valid for the period of your intended stay. I have seen nothing to suggest that the expiry date for these purposes will be anything other than what it says in your passport, even if you have "extra months".

 

Obviously, new passports now being issued will only be for 10 years, with no "extra months" now being added. Which is annoying, as I won't easily be able to preserve the same passport expiry date in the future (except by giving up a whole year).

 

 

Hi G.,

 

My source re expiry date is a lot of newspaper publicity at the time (easy enough to google) and an e-mail reply to me from the passport office, because I almost fell into that trap. :classic_ohmy: 

 

Due to a (read that as "my" :classic_blush:) technology glitch when switching e-mail provider I can no longer access the e-mail, but it was in any case in such bureaucratic language as to be virtually incomprehensible :classic_rolleyes:.

And by the time I got that reply I'd found the answer on the 'net.

 

The upshot was that although the expiry date shown on my passport was well into the future, the passport office confirmed that  I only just squeezed into the ten-years-from-issue-date for a trip to (EU) Croatia. And if that trip had been outside the EU it would have been unacceptable because it didn't have 6 months validity beyond the 10-years-from-issue date.

 

The matter of no longer tacking unexpired time onto a new passport isn't Brexit-related, it's to bring the UK into line with other countries like the gnome's Canada.  

 

I won't dig around the 'net again for sources, cos when I did it for that trip it hurt my head. 

And this thread is doing that all over again. :classic_biggrin:

But I'm confident in my facts. 

Months beyond  the passport issue date + ten years are as dead as John Cleese's  Norwegian Blue Parrot. Deceased. Expired. Gone to their maker.

 

No doubt you're correct about passports not needing validity beyond the time of travel to a few countries (your examples of Aus. & the US), but I was trying to keep it simple by generalising about travel to non-EU countries (and EU countries after about 31st December this year).

 

Now I'm going for a lie-down :classic_biggrin:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

    

Edited by John Bull

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25 minutes ago, scottbee said:

 

A ten year Canadian passport is still valid for 10 years, your statement is stretching reality a bit.

 

The problem is that some countries (not all) require a passport which is valid for your maximum possible temporary stay, so if a country has a 6-month maximum stay (as a visitor), you'd need your passport to be valid for that entire period.

There are many places that require the passport to be valid for 6 month beyond entry date. Then you add on the time to get a new passport processed and the actual validity can be less than 9 1/2 years.

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50 minutes ago, John Bull said:

But I'm confident in my facts. 

Months beyond  the passport issue date + ten years are as dead as John Cleese's  Norwegian Blue Parrot. Deceased. Expired. Gone to their maker.

 

No doubt you're correct about passports not needing validity beyond the time of travel to a few countries (your examples of Aus. & the US), but I was trying to keep it simple by generalising about travel to non-EU countries (and EU countries after about 31st December this year).

 

Here's a random selection of further countries (requirements for British citizen passports) to show that I didn't just cite the only two exceptions to a near-universal rule:-

  • Argentina: valid on arrival.
  • Brazil: period of intended stay.
  • Canada: period of intended stay.
  • Chile: valid on arrival.
  • Hong Kong: 1 month beyond the period of intended stay.
  • Japan: valid on arrival.
  • Mexico: valid on arrival.
  • New Zealand: 1 month beyond the period of intended stay.
  • Thailand: period of intended stay.
  • South Africa: 30 days beyond the period of intended stay.

These are all non-visa countries, so a British citizen could just rock up to any of them with no advance warning holding a passport that's before its stated expiry date but after 10 years from issue.

 

If British passports that give an expiry date of (say) June 2020 have suddenly and retrospectively had an unspoken expiry date of (say) September 2019 imposed on them, you would expect there to be quite a lot of official information warning people that their passports don't mean what they say, and they will cease to be valid long before the expiry date printed on them. After all, there are a lot of such passports still in circulation, as the policy change is very recent.

 

But there isn't anything like that. The official information that is out there is all about travel to the EU in the event that there were to be a no-deal Brexit, whereupon our existing arrangement with the EU27 would no longer be valid, and the EU27 might require 6 months beyond either arrival or intended stay, and might not count the "extra months" in that.

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23 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

There are many places that require the passport to be valid for 6 month beyond entry date. Then you add on the time to get a new passport processed and the actual validity can be less than 9 1/2 years.

 

You're confusing 'validity' with 'acceptable entrance requirement'.   a 10-year passport is VALID for 10 years. Some countries may have requirements that you carry a passport that is valid for your maximum potential stay, but that doesn't invalidate your passport at 9 years 11 months.  It is still valid.

 

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37 minutes ago, Globaliser said:

 

 

If British passports that give an expiry date of (say) June 2020 have suddenly and retrospectively had an unspoken expiry date of (say) September 2019 imposed on them, you would expect there to be quite a lot of official information warning people that their passports don't mean what they say, and they will cease to be valid long before the expiry date printed on them. After all, there are a lot of such passports still in circulation, as the policy change is very recent.

 

 

There WAS a lot of official information at the time about retrospective removal of extra time on the validity date.

But as you've found, the 'net is now so awash with info about needing 6-months beyond the expiry for travel to the EU in the event of a Brexit without that being addressed in any deal, that info on the entirely separate removal of the extra validity time is now well-buried on the internet.  As I found out when I sought that info.

 

I expressed my concerns on Cruise Critic & elsewhere that altho that publicity would be noticed by those whose passports were shortly coming up for renewal it would be forgotten by those whose passports still had a long life.

 

I think (but don't know) that passports issued from 2015 onwards show the expiry date as ten years from the issue date.

Passports issued before 2010 have of course expired, so I think that the problem only affects passports issued 2010 to 2014/15.

But simplest is to treat the expiry date as ten years after the issue date.

 

Now you've made my head hurt all over again :classic_sad::classic_wink:  

 

Time for another lie-down. :classic_biggrin:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Edited by John Bull

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7 minutes ago, John Bull said:

I think (but don't know) that passports issued from 2015 onwards show the expiry date as ten years from the issue date.

Passports issued before 2010 have of course expired, so I think that the problem only affects passports issued 2010 to 2014/15.

But simplest is to treat the expiry date as ten years after the issue date.

 

There will still be some 2009 passports that have not yet expired. A December 2009 passport may state a validity date of anything up to September 2020.

 

The change to a strict 10-year expiry was made in September 2018: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/14/uk-passports-could-lose-up-to-nine-months-validity-after-rule-change

 

That article, of course, says nothing about any retrospective change to the validity of passports that have already been issued. It's all about how new passports will be shorter in duration than they would have been if the policy change had not been made. This is why I think that if the withdrawal agreement is fully in force after Friday (which seems extremely likely), a December 2009 passport stating an expiry date of September 2020 will still be valid for travel to the EU next week (and, for that matter, everywhere else).

 

It's disappointing to see Martin Lewis pushing the "9½ years" line. It all depends on where you're going. According to the rules, a passport that expires on 10 February 2020 should be acceptable for getting an Australian eVisitor that will also expire on 10 February 2020 (because Australia will limit a visa's validity to the remaining period on the passport); but then the passport and visa ought to be useable for entry to Australia on 10 February 2020, granting a stay of 3 months from the date of entry. The expired passport is then valid for travel back to the UK on the non-stop flight from Perth to London some time in early May 2020.

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1 hour ago, scottbee said:

 

You're confusing 'validity' with 'acceptable entrance requirement'.   a 10-year passport is VALID for 10 years. Some countries may have requirements that you carry a passport that is valid for your maximum potential stay, but that doesn't invalidate your passport at 9 years 11 months.  It is still valid.

 

Fine. I accept your nitpicking.

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15 hours ago, gnome12 said:

I accept your nitpicking.

 

It's not nitpicking. According to the rules, you too can use all 10 years of your passport's validity if, for example, you travel to Australia - although Canadians can't travel back to Canada on an expired passport. The number of places that require 6 months validity either beyond arrival date or beyond intended stay are fewer in number than some think and fewer than some cruise lines like to peddle (which they do to make life easier for themselves).

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On 1/27/2020 at 9:40 AM, ace2542 said:

I need some assistance. There is 6 months or so left on my passport. I will be travelling to Germany on Feb 10th and leaving Germany on Feb 17th with a passport expiry date of August 11th 2020. Will I run into any problems with German Immigration?

The simple answer is that there will be no (apparent) change.

 

This is what ABTA says:

Passports

Valid passports can still be used. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip. 

European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a Brexit deal, UK registered EHICs will still be valid throughout 2020.

ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.

When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.

 

https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travellers

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On 1/28/2020 at 1:45 AM, Globaliser said:

 

It's not nitpicking. According to the rules, you too can use all 10 years of your passport's validity if, for example, you travel to Australia - although Canadians can't travel back to Canada on an expired passport. The number of places that require 6 months validity either beyond arrival date or beyond intended stay are fewer in number than some think and fewer than some cruise lines like to peddle (which they do to make life easier for themselves).

 

Actually a Canadian can arrive at any Canadian border and announce "I am a Canadian Citizen", and after checking identity you will be re-admitted, a Canadian will not get deported from Canada if they arrive without proper paperwork.  Not something I'd recommend trying, but the same applies to most countries.

 

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24 minutes ago, scottbee said:

 

Actually a Canadian can arrive at any Canadian border and announce "I am a Canadian Citizen", and after checking identity you will be re-admitted, a Canadian will not get deported from Canada if they arrive without proper paperwork.  Not something I'd recommend trying, but the same applies to most countries.

 

That's as I'd expect. But the airline may not carry you there, as the database says that the passport must be valid.

 

A Kiwi friend had a similar problem recently, when trying to fly to NZ - discovered on the day of travel that their passport had expired. It would have been a denied boarding, except that the NZ liaison officer issued a waiver allowing them to travel on their expired passport.

 

One of the nice things about the UK position is that the database actually says that an expired passport can be used for travel to the UK.

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HMG has issued new guidance on travel to the EU from 1/1/21 (ie after the transition period that kicks in tomorrow night, during which nothing of great importance changes). 
 

https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021
 

It includes the provision about a passport needing to be less than 10 years old, even if it still has six month validity left (it is possible for some UK  passports to be more than 10 years from issue with more than six months to go in some cases, as noted above). I believe this has always been a Schengen rule for third countries, which we will become, and is the source of some of the confusion over the 9.5 year validity rumour. 

Edited by Cotswold Eagle

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