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Passport expiry date advice from Post Office for those travelling this summer

With summer travel back underway again after the pandemic, there's a higher demand for new passports and renewals.

Keen holidaymakers hoping to get away for some summer sun have been urged to keep up to date with rules surrounding passport expiry dates.

And a common misconception is that as long as you return from your travels before your passports end date you'll be fine - that isn't entirely correct.

Read more: Mum's passport warning as child turned away at boarding gate

Many countries still need a certain amount of time on a passport before they'll allow anyone in, the Post Office has advised on their website's Q&A for those with British passports.

How long should you have left on your passport?

A Post Office spokesperson said: "Many people pack their bags for a holiday or business trip with just a casual glance at their passport expiration date, but if it’s due to expire you may be refused entry. While most countries such as Australia, Canada and the USA, just need your passport to be valid for the length of your stay, other countries such as China, Thailand, Egypt and Turkey need at least six months.

"Always check the specific entry requirements for the country you are visiting on the GOV.UK website. You should make sure that your passport meets the following rules:

  • The passport issue date is less than 10 years before day of arrival in the EU
  • The passport expiry date is at least three months after intended day of departure from EU


"In general, many countries that require a visa to enter will require at least six months validity on your passport when entering the country, so make sure you find out whether your passport has long enough before it expires before you travel."

How do I find out how long I need on my passport?

The Post Office says the best way to find out if your passport is valid for travel to certain countries is to check the Travel Advice section of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website here.

Passport rules for different countries

All countries will have their own rules for passport validity and expiration dates.

The Post Office has listed the most common ones:

Australia

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Barbados

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Canada

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay, but if you have less than six months validity it may take longer to pass through immigration control.

China

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

Egypt

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

European Union

For most European countries, HM Passport Office recommend that the passport expiry date is at least three months after intended day of departure from EU.

Those countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus*
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

* If you are travelling to the north of Cyprus, you should have at least six month validity on your passport.

India

Your passport must be machine readable, with two blank pages for your visa and valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of entry into India.

Japan

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Mexico

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

New Zealand

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of one month from the date of exit.

Singapore

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

South Africa

Rules state that your passport should be valid for at least 30 days from the date of exit, but it’s recommended that you have at least six months on your passport before it expires. Your passport should also have at least two blank pages when you enter or leave South Africa.

Thailand

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

Turkey

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

USA

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. However, your passport must be a biometric ePassport with the silver camera symbol on the front. There are also a number of other rules concerning entry to the USA, which you should check before travelling.

What to do if you need a new passport

If you need to renew your passport and have more than four weeks before you travel, the Post Office has recommended travellers collect an application form from a local branch or to use their online Passport Check & Send process.

If you need your passport more urgently, please follow here.

For more information or to find your local Post Office, visit here.

Read more: Irish passport panic for NI family after three month wait for son's travel document

Read more: How do I apply for an Irish passport?

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