Revealed: How British holidaymakers renewing their passports are losing up to NINE months validity after hidden rule change came into force
- New rules means 9 months on existing passport not carried to new document
- At least a handful of Britons have been hit by the new changes to passports
- Those travelling to countries where you need 6 months on existing passport may be hit by the new rules
- Home Office refused to give a statement until official announcement later today
- Have you been affected by new change? Email [email protected]
British travellers could be getting up to nine months less validity on their passports after new changes were discreetly brought in this week.
Prior to the new rules, which were implemented on Monday 10 September, any time you had left on your existing passport would be added on your new one, with the maximum allowance being nine months.
Some Britons have reportedly fallen foul of the new passport renewal policy after the Home Office changed the rules before informing the public.
MoneySavingExpert revealed at least four Britons were caught out by the change, and the Passport Office confirmed the new policy meant time on the old documents was not carried forwards (stock image)
MoneySavingExpert revealed at least four Britons were caught out by the change, and the Passport Office confirmed the new policy meant time on the old documents was not carried forwards.
It comes as a heavy blow to people looking to visit countries which require you to have up to six months left on your passport when visiting.
UK passports are typically valid for 10 years, but if someone is travelling to a country that requires you to enter with time left on your passport, customers may have no alternative but to renew early – effectively meaning your passport may only be valid for nine and a half years.
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The old rules meant if you were to order your new passport in September 2018, but your existing document did not run out until May 2019, then your new passport would carry the nine months you currently have onto your new document, meaning it would run out in May 2029.
Under the new rules, if you were to order your new passport in September 2018 but your existing travel document did not run out until May 2029, your nine months would not be valid and your new passport will only be valid until September 2028.
The Home Office has reportedly refused to confirm whether any changes have taken place, so it is unclear whether their may be exemptions to this rule.
An official announcement from the Home Office is expected on the new regulation changes later today, although it is unclear what time the announcement will be made.
An official announcement from the Home Office is expected on the new regulation changes later today, although it is unclear what time the announcement will be made. Pictured: Holidaymakers queue at Heathrow last year
Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert founder, said: ‘This change affects price, because in effect passports will now only last nine and a half years. But it also runs the risk of more people being sent home, ruining holidays and putting many people in a worrying situation.
‘Also, because of the timing which effectively means this shortening will take place over the Brexit period, it’s likely we’ll see an even bigger build-up of demand before next summer, when there are already long waiting times.
‘I don’t know whether this is a decision made by politicians or bureaucrats – but either way it’s a bad decision.’
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