Passport Office giving out false information about expiry dates for trips to EU

The Passport Office is still giving out incorrect information about the validity of children’s passports when travelling to the Eorpean Union, it has been revealed.

That is despite it being 32 months since the rules changed post-Brexit. It means expensive family holidays abroad are being potentially put at risk.

One family told the Independent they were on the brink of cancelling a £5,000 holiday after being assured, repeatedly, their nine-year-old’s passport had expired. However, after finding out this was incorrect, their holiday is now set to go ahead.

Since January 2021, all passports have had to meet two criteria for travel to the EU. They must have been issued at less than 10 years before the date of entry and need to be valid for at least three months after the intended date of departure from the EU.

READ MORE: Vorderman and woke banks prove Brexit was just start of fight to save Britain

Children’s passports will automatically pass the first test because they are only issued for a maximum of five years and nine months. That is because a child’s passport was typically extended by nine months in September 2018 to carry over unspent time from a previous one.

In 2021, the government’s online “passport checker” wrongly said children’s passports run out after five years, regardless of added time. The Indepent claims the paper pointed out this was incorrect and the checker was pulled.

But HM Passport Office (HMPO) still reportedly gives out the wrong information. The department is part of the Home Office.

The Independent says the issue was raised recently over the eligibility of a nine-year-old to travel on a family holiday. The passport was issue on March 20, 2018 and expires on December 23. It should therefore be valid for travel within the EU until September 20.

Don’t miss…
Tourists damage £172,000 statue in Italy and must ‘pay a steep price’[LATEST]
Expats slam the UK as they say Britain’s healthcare is ‘pretty bad’[REPORT]
‘Fantastic’ British beach named ‘best in world’[INSIGHT]

The newspaper claims HMPO staff repeatedly told the child’s mother the document had already expired. They told her, wrongly: “If the passport was issued on 20 March 2018, it would have expired on 20 March 2023.”

When the mother challenged this, she was assured incorrectly: “Any additional months added to your passports, are no longer valid.”

This however is not the case. The child’s mother even pointed out the youngster had travelled to the European Union in May – after HMPO staff said the passport expired.

The mother reportedly said she would be left with no option but to cancel the £5k holiday. It was then she sought further clarification on the issue.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

HMPO then said it was unable to comment on the validity of a passport, the Independent reports. The mother told the publication: “This is really worrying as people would potentially not travel on the basis of this advice or incur extra stress and cost to use fast track [the higher-cost passport service that requires personal attendance at an office].”

Holidaymakers who have mistakenly cancelled trips based on the guidance can reportedly claim against HMPO. The Independent says the Home Office is yet to respond to the claims about the passport validity.

Source: Read Full Article