Following Brexit, new rules for British citizens mean that to access Europe, passports must have been issued within the last 10-years and have at least 3-months validity remaining upon return, which can extend to 6 months depending on the destination.
Importantly, validity is measured from date of issue, not by working backwards from the date of expiry. This is catching out many a seasoned traveller as additional months previously added to a passport will not be included.
Without a valid passport to enter the Schengen area, unknowing travellers are being turned away at the border and face further disruption via lengthy processing delays for online/postal renewals and the current difficulty securing Fast Track appointments.
HOW TO KNOW IF A PASSPORT IS VALID FOR TRAVEL
When a British passport holder receives a renewal, typically, their document will be issued with 10-years validity. However, for those that renewed before the expiry of their previous passport, the HM Passport Office may have added additional months. Under new rules, these months are not valid for travel to EU destinations as the passport must have been issued within the last 10-years. For example, if the passport was issued on 12th May 2012 and the expiry is shown as 31st August 2022, that is 10years and 3months. Therefore, the revised expiry for entering an EU country is 12th May 2022.
In addition to the rule above, passport holders must travel with an additional three-month validity upon return. However, for some EU destinations, this may extend to six months, which can be confirmed via gov.uk’s Foreign Travel Advice page. For travellers, this means that the maximum validity of their passport is 9years and 6months from the data of issue and with lengthy delays at the passport office, our advice is to not delay re-applying at 9years and 3months from the date of issue. Any less than this and travel may be restricted.
HOW TO RENEW A BRITISH PASSPORT VIA REED & MACKAY
With travel documents easy to locate within our travel management portal, R&M/Portal, and document expiry notifications easy to view, we strongly advise that all clients perform an urgent review. For any renewals due, you may wish to hand off much of the process to your consultant, reducing the room for error and the time taken to navigate the process. As part of the service, we can secure an appointment at the passport office to expedite applications and process the renewal via a trusted partner. Speak to your client success manager to learn more about the availability of the service. Alternatively, if you’re interested in learning more about our corporate travel management service, contact us for more information.
HOW TO RENEW A BRITISH PASSPORT VIA GOV.UK
If you are not a current client of Reed & Mackay, you can renew your documentation using the standard gov.uk online service, which may be faster than submitting a paper application. Services such as 1-week Fast Track and services help, but due to increased demand are largely unavailable at present.
WHY IS THERE A DELAY IN RECEIVING PASSPORT RENEWAL?
With an estimated backlog of up to 500,000 passport applications, the British Passport Office is under immense pressure and unable to return renewals within the official 10-week window.
The office’s estimates predict that 9.5 million passport applications will be made throughout 2022 alone. With travellers desperate for renewals, pressure has overwhelmed both the 1-week Fast Track and Online Premium services, making appointments near impossible to access and unable to be relied upon. Furthermore, despite an ambitious target to increase staffing by a further 700 people, pressure is set to rapidly compound as leisure travel balloons over the approaching summer holidays, so our advice is not to delay applying for a renewal.
HOW REED & MACKAY HELPS MANAGE YOUR TRAVELLER’S PASSPORT VALIDITY
As the leading travel management company (TMC) for high-touch service and part of the TripActions group, Reed & Mackay serves to help travel managers deliver a high-performing programme with total visibility and zero downtime. With an average of 15-years of experience each, our consultants recognise that a landlocked traveller poses a significant risk to the performance of your business and so provide a wealth of information to keep them moving.
Where available, our agents will secure 1-Week Fast Track and Online Premium Service appointments for your traveller, and for those that require less admin, Reed & Mackay will take full ownership of the process by submitting paper renewals on their behalf. If this is the service that you are missing, contact us to learn more about our capabilities and how we put travellers first: New Business Enquiry – Contact Us – Reed & Mackay (reedmackay.com)