You May Need To Renew Your Passport By Friday To Visit Europe
Nothing quite says 'roll on the weekend' quite like a hurried passport renewal - but up to 3.5 million Brits might need to do just this if they plan on visiting certain European countries.
It all boils down to what happens with our uncertain old friend Brexit.
Currently, when UK citizens renew their passports, they are allowed to carry over up to nine months of their remaining validity. So if someone had nine months left on their passport and renewed it, their new passport would then be valid for 10 years and nine months.
However, if the UK leaves Europe without a deal - ie a 'no-deal Brexit' - the carry-over validity will be discounted for travellers wishing to visit countries in the Schengen Area, which is comprised of 26 countries, including France, Italy and Spain.
To enter countries in the Schengen Area, non-EU travellers are required to have at least six months validity remaining on their passports.
As such, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March, then some citizens with up to 15 months of validity remaining on their passport won't be allowed entry to the Schengen Area - because if nine months of that validity was carried over, it will be knocked off and they will fall below the six month minimum... following this? Bloody confusing Brexit innit?
According to consumer rights group, Which?, the Home Office has said that an estimated 3.5 million UK passports could no longer meet the requirements in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit.
So if you are one of these unlucky buggers, you need to have sorted out your renewal by tomorrow if you're going to receive your passport in time for a potential no-deal Brexit, as the standard renewal procedure can take up to three weeks - and you imagine their office may be a tad busier than usual too.
A Home Office spokesperson told LADbible: "If there is no deal, new rules would apply when travelling on a British passport to many European countries and some people may need to renew their passport earlier than planned.
"If your passport does not meet the new rules, you should apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected. You can use the Government's online passport checker to check a passport for travel to Europe. We recommend that you renew your passport in good time ahead of your travel date.
"In January we launched our ongoing campaign to inform the public of these new rules, and we continue to work with partners in the travel and transport industries to inform people with bookings after 29 March 2019."
If you don't manage to get your renewal sorted by tomorrow, then there are a few quicker (and more expensive) options.
There is a paper and an online premium service available for £177, which requires you to book and appointment to collect your passport. Alternatively, there is a fast-track service that costs £142 for adults and £122 for children.
And if you're not sure whether or not your holiday destination is in this troublesome Schengen Area, here is the complete list of 26 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
... Bet you're glad you plumped for Skegness now, eh?
Featured Image Credit: PA