As Business Travel News Europe recently highlighted, business travellers in certain sectors are already being turned back from European countries for not meeting post-Brexit movement restrictions. So should you be aware of any new regulations for the coming year and any updates around passport validity rules?

For travel between the UK and the EU, the rule remains that you can enter the Schengen area, with a valid passport, for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

You can visit more than one country, but your total stay must not be any more than 90 days in every 180 days. This may affect corporate travel in terms of secondments or long-stays and you may need to obtain a valid visa.

how to know if a passport is valid for travel

Travel changes came in after Brexit that meant, to visit Europe, passports must have been issued within the last 10 years at the time of entry. They must also have at least three-months’ validity remaining upon return, which can extend to six months depending on the destination. Find out more on the government’s Foreign Travel Advice page.

Importantly, validity is measured from the date of issue, not by working backwards from the date of expiry. Previously, when renewing a British passport, you may have received a grace period with documents valid for up to 10 years and nine months.

That nine months’ grace period is no longer applicable. This can catch out even the most seasoned traveller. The rules are that these additional months are not valid for travel to EU destinations as the passport must have been issued within the last 10 years at the point of entry.

how long does a passport renewal take?

Earlier this year, unprecedented levels of demand for passport services led to reports of passport renewals taking longer than 10 weeks.

Now, government advice says to allow up to 10 weeks to receive your passport. We would, however, avoid delaying re-applying, to be on the safe side.

how to renew a british passport with reed & mackay

Reed & Mackay clients can easily locate travel documents within R&M/Portal. Travel managers are notified when a passport, or any other travel document, is nearing its expiry within the Traveller Profiles area of R&M/Portal.

As part of our personal service, our consultants can secure One-Week Fast Track and Online Premium Service appointments for your traveller. For those that require less admin, Reed & Mackay will take full ownership of the process by submitting paper renewals on their behalf.


If you’re not currently a Reed & Mackay client you can renew your documentation using the standard online service. This may be faster than submitting a paper passport application. Services such as One-Week Fast Track are also available.


There’s still a while to go before Schengen countries introduce electronic travel authorisation in 2024. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that UK nationals will require an ETIAS visa waiver for short stays in Europe from next year onwards.


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