Confusing new passport rules have left people trekking across the UK to get their papers in order before going on holiday.
Since Brexit, passport rules have been updated and UK flyers can no longer use documents if they are older than 10 years old.
Before Brexit, Brits could travel up to and including the expiry date on their passports. But EU regulations now classify UK citizens as ‘third country nationals,’ meaning the rules have changed. If a UK passport holder wants to visit the EU, they will need a passport: which was issued within the previous 10 years.
And due to the current Passport Office Stike, lots of travellers are being forced into desperate measures to fast-track their applications. England and Wales currently have long waiting lists, so another option is Belfast.
Liam, from Bristol, had booked flights to Paris for the French Open tennis tournament, and was due to fly on May 29.
However, he realised that despite his passport technically expiring in November 2023, it had already expired – as the start date was April 2013. And with the current wait time for a new passport up to 10 weeks – and no fast track appointments near him – he had to book an appointment in Belfast instead, with the earliest being on May 17.
He told Sun Online Travel : “It’s very annoying that such a significant change happened to our passports without us knowing. I don’t feel as though this information was made widely known or any attempt was made by authorities to get that message out.”
He’s now worried that it won’t arrive in time for his flights despite the estimated fast track being around eight days.
Government figures show that over 99.7 percent of standard applications are being processed within 10 weeks, with the majority of those delivered to customers well under this timescale.
Source: Bristol Post