Travel to Portugal - UK Passport Validity after 31st Dec. 2020

UK Passports – Anomaly re expiry dates

Ex Pats who travel between Portugal & the UK should pay attention to this.

There are many Countries in the world which require you to have at least 6 months left on your passport, before allowing entry. After the end of the transition period i.e. the 31st December 2020 for British passport holders this will apply to all EU Countries except Ireland.

So after  you just have to look at you passport and see when it expires and renew it 6 months before that to make sure you can still fly from the UK to say Portugal right?  Here’s the rub, maybe NOT!

Last time you renewed your UK passport the government will have issued your new one with an expiry date 10 years after the date the old one was due to expire. So if you renewed it 6 months before it was due to expire to make sure you could travel to say the USA (or you did it a couple of months before to be on the safe side), you will have actually been sent a passport starting on the date of renewal and expiring 10 years and say 6 months later. 

Now to the important bit, for reasons I have not been able to fathom the UK Government is warning that those extra months may not be counted as part of the 6 months you need before expiry. (I think it must be that other Countries re issue passports to expire on the anniversary of the renewal date not the old expiry date)

In this case you will need to renew your passport by 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue, ignoring the actual expiry date printed on it!

Here is my actual situation as an example:

I had a passport: issue date 17th Oct 2000 / expiry date 17th Oct 2010

In 2010 I was planning on visiting Moscow a few times and so needed to have 6 months on it, I therefore renewed it in April, not waiting to October.

New passport: issue date 29th April 2010 / expiry date 17th Oct 2020

The Government warning is that some Countries will count the 6 month validity as 6 months before the 29th April 2020 NOT 17th Oct 2010!

There is a facility to test this on the Government website. I tried it last year as if I was going back to the UK just before  Christmas and returning to Portugal on the 17th Dec.

I inputted my DOB, issue date, expiry date and travel date as UK to Portugal 17/12/2019. This meant I would seem to have 10 months left on my passport.

It came back with:

  You should renew your passport for this trip  

In this anomalous situation it is taken that I only actually have 4 months.

This is a little known consequence of Brexit.

This check service can be found at:

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