How can you find out when your passport expires and how long do you need left?

uk passport

Hundreds of British tourists have recently expressed concern over passport renewal delays.

Brits who want to upgrade their passports, which are required for overseas travel, can expect 10-week wait times and order theirs well ahead of time.

A number of would-be travelers have complained on social media that their passports have not arrived in that time range, preventing them from taking scheduled vacations overseas.

But how do you know when your passport has to be renewed? And how long should your passport be valid in order to travel?

What you should know is as follows:

How to find out when your passport expires

Checking your passport’s expiration date is simple.

On the page with your passport photo and name, the issuance date and expiration date are also displayed.


Adult passports typically last ten years, whereas children’s passports only last five.

After you’ve determined the date, go to the Overseas Commonwealth & Development Office website to examine their foreign travel advice for your chosen destination.

Click on the nation you want to visit, and you’ll see how much time you need left on your passport to fly there under the ‘entry requirements’ column.

How many months do you need to travel with your current passport?

If the prospect of a 10-week wait has you sweating, you might be wondering if you can get away with traveling on your current passport.

To begin with, if your passport has passed its expiration date, you will be unable to travel.


Many countries, notably Australia and the United States, may want British passports to be valid solely for the period of your stay.

Others, like South Africa and New Zealand, will require extra time, such as 30 days and one month past the expiration date, respectively.

Visitors with British passports who wish to travel to European Union countries (excluding Ireland), Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, or the Vatican City must adhere to certain requirements.

Their passport must be:

  • At least 10 days old
  • Valid for three months after the planned end date of your trip

For example, if you want to visit Spain and leave on June 6, 2022, your passport must be valid until at least September 6, 2022.

Other countries outside of Europe may have similar rules for British citizens, so check the FCO’s specific travel advice for your preferred location before booking.

China, Egypt, Singapore, Thailand, and Turkey will require six months of validity on your passport (most likely from the day you arrive), with India requiring at least 180 days, according to the Post Office.

Don’t spend any money on a vacation until you’ve double-checked that everyone’s passports are valid.

These aren’t the only requirements for any of the nations listed above in terms of passports, visas, or admission. Before you travel, make sure you know exactly what paperwork you’ll need.

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