Passport rules for travel to Europe

Find out if you need to renew your passport before you travel to Europe and which countries the rules apply to.

If you or a family member are a UK national resident in an EU country or an EFTA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), the changes to passport rules may not apply. Read further guidance on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s ‘Living in’ guides.

Passport validity

How much time you need on your passport depends on the country you’re visiting. Check the travel advice for the country you want to travel to - read the entry requirements section.

You may need to renew your British passport before you travel if there’s not enough time left on it. Check our current processing times.

If you’re travelling to Ireland, you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

Countries this applies to

These rules apply for travel to and between most countries in Europe. These are:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

Do not book travel unless your passport meets the entry requirements of the country you’re travelling to.

Travel to other EU countries

These rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland.

Applying for a new passport

If your passport doesn’t meet these rules, you need to apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected.

Make sure you apply in plenty of time. If you need to, you can apply to get a passport urgently.

Published 20 October 2020
Last updated 17 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Guidance on passport validity updated.

  2. Amended to clarify the passport rules when travelling to most countries in Europe.

  3. First published.