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Gib Govt issues ‘no deal’ advice to British passport holders

FILE PHOTO: A British passport is pictured in front of an European Union flag in this photo illustration taken in Brussels, Belgium, June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Illustration/File Photo

The Gibraltar Government has advised British passport holders to check the details on their documents and to be aware of unfolding events as Gibraltar prepares to leave the European Union along with the United Kingdom.

This comes after the UK Government published a technical notice in relation to passports, informing British passport holders what they need to do should they wish to continue travelling to EU countries with a UK passport in the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

In a statement the Gibraltar Government underscored that this is part of the process of planning for the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit.

However, it reiterated that both the UK and the EU continue to work towards an agreement.

Nonetheless, No.6 Convent Place explained that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal the changes to the entry requirements for British passport holders, including those with passports issued by the Crown Dependencies (Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey) and Gibraltar, travelling to Schengen area countries will be applicable with effect from 30 March 2019.

British passport holders, including holders of passports issued by Gibraltar, will be considered third country nationals under the Schengen Border Code and will therefore need to comply with different rules to enter and travel around the Schengen area.

According to the Schengen Border Code, third country passports must have been issued within the last ten years on the date of arrival in a Schengen country, and have at least three months validity remaining on the date of intended departure from the last country visited in the Schengen area.

Because third country nationals can remain in the Schengen area for 90 days - approximately three months - the actual check carried out is that the passport has at least six months validity remaining on the date of arrival.

Adult British passport holders planning to travel to the Schengen area after 29 March 2019 must make sure their passport is no older than nine years and six months and has at least six months validity remaining on the date of arrival.

For example, if you intend to travel to the Schengen area on 30 March 2019, your passport should have an issue date on or after 1 October 2009 and a validity remaining of at least six months.

Under-16s, holders of a five-year British child passport must check the expiry date and make sure that there will be at least six months validity remaining on the date of travel.

For example, a child planning to travel to the Schengen area on 30 March 2019should have a passport with an expiry date on or after 1 October 2019.

The following countries are part of the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Passport holders are reminded to check the entry requirements for other countries that are in the EU but not in the Schengen area.

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