What is the validity period of a British passport?

You have a trip coming up but the last time you renewed your passport was a few years ago and now you are not sure whether your passport meets the requirements to be valid in the country you are going to visit.

If that’s your case or you are just interested in knowing this information, keep reading because this article might prevent you from missing that long awaited trip just for some ridiculous reasons such as invalid passport.

 

You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here

The evolution of the British passport since 1988 has included not only its appearance (such as size, number of pages, photograph required, etc.) but also some of the rules regarding the passport itself also changed.

If we have to sum it up in one sentence the answer to the question regarding the validity of the British passport, it will be something like this:

The validity of the passport depends on whether it is a child passport or an adult passport, as the validity of an adult passport is ten years and the validity of a child passport is five.

However, since the United Kingdom left the European Union some things have changed. With this article we will present to you a simplified explanation of the so-called ten-year uk passport rule so keep reading and check what it is all about.

Appearance of the British passport:

Let’s start with some general information regarding the outlook of the British passport. Its size is approximately 125 x 88mm. The standard passports contain 34 pages and the frequent traveler passport contains 54 pages. The appearance of the British passport has changed a lot throughout the years and if you are interested in following those changes, you can see its evolution on the official site of the government.

The ten-year uk passport rule – explanation:

Before Brexit the British passport could be valid for more than 10 years. British passport holders were able to carry up to nine more months above those ten years. However, since the United Kingdom left the European Union some things have changed and one of them is exactly the ten-year uk passport rule.

The ten year uk passport rule actually means that if you are holding a British passport and you are planning on travelling in a country which is a part of the European Union, you should make sure that your passport was issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country within the EU. This rule аpply for all countries which are part of the European Union with the exception of Ireland and Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein - which are part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

In other words, in order to make sure that your passport meets the ten-year uk passport rule, before your trip, you should be aware of two things. The first one refers to the date of issue of the passport. This date must be less than 10 years before the date you enter the EU country (with the exceptions of the rule mentioned above). The second one refers to the date of expiry of your passport. That means that not only must your passport be issued in less than 10 years before the date you travel within the UK, but you also have to ensure that your passport will be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.

Can my passport not be affected by this rule and if so how can I check this?

Your passport won’t be affected by the ten-year uk passport rule if it was issued before September, 2018 since before Brexit it was possible for a British passport to be valid for more than ten years.

You just have to check when the date of issue of your passport is in order to see if your passport is affected by that rule or not.

What is going to happen if I am traveling within the European Union (not in the exceptions of the rule listed above) and my passport does not meet the ten-year uk passport rule?

Unfortunately, if your passport does not meet the requirements, you won't be able to enter the country and there is nothing you can do about it, so we advise you to look into the expiry date of your passport and  take actions of renewing your passport if necessary in order to avoid such unpleasant situations.

You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here

Is the ten-year uk passport rule in force for all the countries across the world?

No, it is not. It is about the countries that are part of the European Union. Most of the other countries all around the world only care about the expiry date of your passport.

I realized that my British passport does not meet the ten-year uk passport rule but there are still two months until my trip. Will I be able to renew it on time for my trip?

If you, for example, have 8 more months of validity of your passport but it was issued more than ten years before the date of entry of the European country you are planning to travel to, you must still renew your passport. This leads to the next important questions:

What is the procedure of renewal of my British passport?

There are two options to renew your passport as the cheapest and fastest one is by applying online. However, you can also ápply by a paper application form at a Post Office with a Check and Send Service.

When it comes to the average waiting time, there are different opinions and statistics.

Recently the waiting is not that long and even according to the official government’s website, currently, the usual waiting time when you opt for the standard service is no longer than three weeks. Different people give different answers to the question how long it takes to renew your passport.Some people say that they waited for less than two weeks to receive their new passports while others say that they waited for even four weeks. The truth is that the waiting days cannot be determined and each case is strictly individual and it depends on many different factors such as what is the workload and how many people are waiting to renew their passports at that moment. Statistics show that most people receive their new passport in the third or fourth week of waiting.

However, if the standard service takes longer than you are able to wait, you can always apply for an urgent passport and the procedure gives you even two options to choose from - 1 day premium and 1 week fast track. More details can be found for the whole procedure of renewal of your British passport from another article.

Other facts regarding the validity of your British passport that you need to be aware of if travelling to foreign countries:

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are countries where the ten-year rule may not apply, but may have other requirements regarding the validity of your passport. This is the case with Indonesia and Thailand, for example. On the date of entry into the country, your passport shall be valid for a minimum of six months.

What should be the validity of my passport if I am planning to travel to the United Kingdom?

You should keep in mind that if you are planning on traveling to the UK, your passport must be valid during your entire stay – from entering the country to leaving its borders.

How can I check if my passport is still valid?

That’s beyond easy!You should just have your passport with you and check its expiry date on the date page. The passport expiry date is printed on the front page of your passport under 'Passport Issued'.

In conclusion, please note that for one country your British passport may be perfectly valid and you will have no problem entering it, while for another, the requirements may be different and your passport may not meet them.

In this regard, we advise you to thoroughly research the passport requirements of the country you will be traveling to in advance so that you do not face any unpleasant surprises when you depart for your desired destination.

 

 

You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here