Passport rules after Brexit: Can I still visit the EU with a burgundy passport?

Passport delays: Holidaymaker warns of post-Brexit issues

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At the beginning of 2021, Brexit rules came into force impacting everything from food imports to mobile roaming charges. One key area that has been impacted is travel, with new passport requirements in place for Britons hoping to visit the European Union (EU).

Since leaving the bloc, the UK Government gave passports a design overhaul.

The old burgundy and gold passports with EU emblazoned on them have been replaced by new dark blue and gold passports.

According to the Government: “All British passports issued from mid-2020 will be blue.”

Many Britons who have applied for a new travel document since the change have already got their hands on the new-look passports.

But are these new passports essential for travel to the EU?

According to Gov.uk: “If your passport is burgundy or has ‘European Union’ on the cover, you can still use it as long as it’s valid for travel.”

Therefore, Britons do not need to race to renew their passport unless it is approaching its expiration date.

However, there is one exception to this rule which means some people may need to renew their travel document before the expiration date printed on their passport.

This is because, under EU travel laws for “third countries”, your passport must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country and be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.

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The Government website 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.

This rule applies to all EU countries (except Ireland), as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.

Britons who are planning a trip to the EU should make sure they check their passport meets these rules, and leave plenty of time to apply for a new one if it does not.

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

However, in April, applicants were warned they could face delays of more than two months due to a backlog of requests at Her Majesty’s Passport Office.

You can apply for a passport online using a debit or credit card to use this service.

According to Gov.uk: “It’s £9.50 cheaper to apply for a passport online than by post.”

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