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Since January 1, 2021, all UK nationals are considered third-country citizens to the EU, and as such, must comply with different entry rules when travelling to the EU than before.

If you’re planning to travel to the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, or Liechtenstein you should check your passport meets the following criteria:

  • It must have been issued within the last ten years, on the date you intend to leave your destination
  • It must have at least three more months of validity on the day you intend to leave your destination
  • Recommended: You should avoid travelling to the EU with a passport that has less than six months of validity, on the day you show up at an EU port of entry

To make it easier for UK citizens, VisaGuide.World  has created a tool that enables you to check if your passport has enough validity for travel to the EU in three simple steps.

You just select the date of your passport expiration, the date of the planned trip to the EU, and return to the UK.

The checker then will generate three different answers:

  • You can travel to the EU with your current passport
  • Travelling to Europe is not recommended
  • You need to renew your passport before travelling to the EU

EU border guards sometimes refuse entry to travellers who have less than six months of validity in their passports at the time they enter the EU. Therefore, if you’ll have less than 6 months on your passport when you travel, you’ll need to renew it before your trip.

Don’t leave it too late!

Due to COVID-19, HM Passport Office saw a significant drop in the number of people applying for passports, with over 5 million people delaying their applications throughout 2020 and 2021. Now, with international travel returning to normal, more and more people are applying for a new passport.

As such, people are being urged not to leave their application for a British passport to the last minute, as demand is at an all-time high and delays could be up to 10 weeks.

Get travel insurance

If you’re a UK resident and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can still use it to get healthcare in EU countries until it expires.

If you don’t have an EHIC or it has expired, you can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) on the NHS website. You can use a GHIC to get healthcare in EU countries at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.

You should still get travel insurance before your trip – even if you have an EHIC or GHIC.

Travel Counsellors can provide you with Travel Insurance even if you have not booked through us. Just get in touch [email protected]


Gill Nichols
Author: Gill Nichols

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