Passport perils: Navigating the ’10-Year Rule’ post-Brexit

Passport perils: Navigating the '10-Year Rule' post-Brexit.

Passport perils: Navigating the '10-Year Rule' post-Brexit. Image: Alistair Scott /

Holidaymakers planning to travel to the EU should be aware of the “passport 10-year rule,” which has changed since Brexit.

Previously, UK travellers could carry up to nine months of validity from an old passport onto a new one.

However, EU countries no longer accept passports issued more than 10 years ago.

It’s estimated that around 32 million people applied for passports before these new rules came into effect, but the exact number of those affected is not known.

Since the UK left the EU, travellers going to any country within the bloc, including Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland (excluding Ireland), must have a passport issued less than 10 years before their departure date.

Also, the passport must remain valid for three months beyond the planned return date.

It’s important to note that passports issued before September 2018 could potentially remain valid for up to 10 years and nine months.

This was because the passport office used to add up to nine months from an old passport to a new one.

As a result, some individuals may have passports that have not technically expired and are still valid for travel worldwide but are not accepted in parts of Europe because they were issued more than ten years ago.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.


    • Michael Worthington

      30 March 2024 • 09:28

      This has to be one of the daftest rules around. What difference does it make to anyone if your passport has a life span of 10 years and 6 month. What only matters is that you have a legal document called a passport which identifies you as a citizen of a particular country. The immigration officer looks at the passort, sees it matches your pretty face and was legally issued to you. That should be sufficient. My own passport has extended time but I don´t expect to have an issue leaving Spain but I will need to renew it once I am back in the UK. But it is totally nonsense to make this rule, maybe its because the immigration officers only have 10 fingers to count on I guess.

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