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Passport warning ahead of Brexit

Passport warning ahead of Brexit

Thursday 13 September 2018

Passport warning ahead of Brexit

Everyone needs to check their passports as if the UK has to accept a "no-deal Brexit" we may struggle to enter some European countries.

The UK Government published another batch of technical notes, which are aimed at helping the public and business community prepare for a no-deal Brexit and which Guernsey is also using to ensure the Bailiwick is ready.

One of those technical notes relates to passports, because if the UK has to settle for a "no-deal scenario" British passports will from 30 March 2019 be considered a "third country passport."

That will mean a passport must have at least six months validity remaining for you to be allowed entry into a Schengen Area country. This applies for adult and children passports.

Currently there is no requirement for British passports to have a minimum validity remaining when entering or leaving the Schengen Area, which includes a number of European countries, many of which are popular tourist destinations or have business links with the islands.

The following countries are members of the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

These EU countries are not in the Schengen area: Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus. 

According to the Schengen Border Code third country passports must have been issued within the last 10 years on the date of arrival in a Schengen country. Therefore the advice to Guernsey residents now is that, "any British passport holder planning to travel to a Schengen country from 30 March 2019 should check their passport is no older than nine years and six months on the day of travel."

Deputy Mary Lowe, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said it's important no one is caught out.

Mary Lowe

Pictured: Deputy Mary Lowe has issued a warning to residents about Guernsey passports in case of a "no deal Brexit"

“As such I would urge all residents to check their passport expiry date in the near future," she said, "and certainly well in advance of March next year. That way, should anyone need to replace their passport they will have plenty of time to do so before Brexit. 

"It’s important to note that this is necessary preparation in the event of a no-deal Brexit, but we all very much hope that the UK and EU are able to come to an agreement on a deal. An orderly Brexit would be of benefit to all parties, including the Bailiwick."

Guernsey's Passport Office can deal with any concerns about passport validity via 741410 or email

Gavin St Pier

Pictured: Deputy Gavin St Pier, said some of the Brexit developments are good news for Guernsey  

The second batch of technical notes from the UK Government also confirmed the Common Travel Area "will remain intact."

Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, said that is good news. 

“We will shortly publish at some Guernsey-specific guidance in relation to the UK’s first batch of technical notes, released last month. I welcome the release of the UK Government’s second batch of technical notes today, which will further help the public and business prepare for a no deal scenario. We will continue to publish any relevant information on the States’ website – and will notify the public when new information is published. 

"In the meantime, I particularly welcome the clear advice today that the Common Travel Area will remain intact, as this is one of our Brexit objectives from 2016 and respects our historic rights.  This goes hand in hand with our firm commitment to respect the rights of EU nationals resident in the island when the UK leaves the EU, even in the event of a ‘no deal scenario’.  As a CTA partner this means we will be in line with the UK government’s own commitment to respect the rights of EU nationals on exit day. This commitment has the full support of the States of Deliberation following the amendment from Deputy Roffey in the Brexit debate in March 2017.”


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