What happens to your passport after Brexit?

January 31st is set to be our final day inside of the EU. After many years of political lies, arguments, governments, elections and extensions Great Britain is finally set to leave the EU. 

Under the newly elected Government, the date is set for us to leave with or without a deal with the EU. This may leave a lot of people confused and unsure as to how the future of international work and travel will transpire. Not just for UK citizens but EU as well. 

The public is rightly confused as just because a date has been set once again people are unsure whether this means. People are questions if we will indeed leave this time. It also comes to light as if we do leave, how long are negotiations going to take to become law. This includes travelling and working both in and out of the UK. If you need any further information then make sure you contact the Passport Office.

UK passport

Will I need a VISA to travel in Europe after Brexit?

Currently, we are able to travel anywhere in the EU with a valid UK passport. If the UK leaves the EU under the terms of Teresa May’s proposed deal, free movement rights will remain unchanged. This is until the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st, 2020.

Once the UK fully leaves the European Union, British citizens will technically become ‘third party nationals’. This, in relation to the EU. However, in November last year, the European Committee offered a two-way deal. This would provide visa-free EU travel for UK passport holders for short stays. It would also be the same for EU nationals in the UK.

Despite all this uncertainty over the deal you still have the ability to travel in and out of the Schengen Zone. The Schengen zone allows free travel for UK citizens around specific countries in Europe. But, it may not specifically be a part of the EU.

Europe map

What is the Schengen area?

Under current rules, British citizens are able to enter the Schengen area (a free-travel zone made up of 26 European countries) if they have a valid passport. There is no requirement to have a certain amount of time left before expiry.

 However, if there is no deal, British passport holders will be considered “third country” nationals. Therefore, we must comply with different rules.

Will I need a new passport after we leave the EU?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government has said you need to have six months left on your passport from your date of arrival into another country after 29 March 2019.

Where it gets complicated is if you have “unexpired time” on your passport. Until now, the government has granted up to nine months of extra time if you renewed your passport early. So, if you renewed in January 2010 but it wasn’t due to expire until June 2010, your new version would be valid until June 2020.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government has announced that you will need to have 6 months left on your passport from the date of your arrival into a foreign country from the 29th March 2019.

If your passport is older than 10 years old, then you will have to renew your passport. Even if you have more than months left on the passport before you arrive you will be required to renew your passport anyway.

waving European flag

How to Renew your Passport

If you need to renew your passport to follow the government regulations, you shouldn’t hesitate. It’s recommended that you complete the application through their online process. This way of completion is £75.50 which is considerably cheaper in comparison to in-person through the post. 

If you require a passport more urgently then you can complete this application at an office near you. To find out more about how to renew your passport make sure to contact the Passport Office customer services.