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New EU Passport Rules Now in Effect

Published: 05/08/2013 - Filed under: Home » News »

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Travelers whose passports are about to expire, take note: The European Union has announced new passport requirements for non-EU nationals. The new rules began in July requiring all citizens of countries outside the Schengen area to have a passport valid for at least 3 months after departure date.

For example a US citizen whose planned return date from Europe is September 1 must have a passport valid at least through December 1. Travelers failing to meet this requirement may be denied entry. 

The Schengen Borders Agreement includes all European Union countries, except Bulgaria, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. In addition, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also members of the Schengen Borders Agreement but are not members of the European Union.

The European Union published regulation EU 610/2013 modifying the rules of the Schengen Agreement on June 26 with an effective date of July 19. However, the actual date when the new rules will be enforced may be subject to some flexibility.

According to the EU web site, the requirement to have a valid passport three months beyond intended period of stay went into effect on July 19 in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Denmark, Italy, Norway, Romania and Switzerland are expected to implement the policy sometime this fall and thus far Croatia and Slovakia have not announced an official start date. In addition, since the policy was instituted at the height of the summer tourist season, countries like France, Belgium and Sweden are allowing some flexibility in enforcing the new rules.

The EU is not alone in implementing such a requirement. Since there are other countries that require passports to be valid for some period after your return, your best bet, according to the US State Department, is to check passport and visa requirements prior to travel, and make sure your passport is renewed well in advance of its expiration date.

For more information visit ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs

— Dan Booth

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COMMENTS » 

gkgrudin - 08/01/2014 13:29

new passport requirements for travel to the EU. Passport needs to be valid for at least another 3 months from time you land in Europe.

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