Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has criticised the UK Government after it confirmed an under the radar change to passport rules.
Until recently, when a person renewed their passport, any time remaining on the existing document would be added to the new one, up to a maximum of nine months. However, from last week, renewed passports will now be valid from the date of issue for ten years, so any unused months will be lost.
“Many countries require you to have up to six months left on your passport when entering,” said Ms Armstrong.
“Until last week, any remaining months on your passport would have been added to your new one. But now there is no point applying early for a passport, as people will lose those extra months and effectively lose money. It makes more sense to now leave your renewal as late as possible, which will lead to massive backlogs.
“The UK Government has confirmed this is part of preparations for a no-deal Brexit, bringing this major change in extremely quietly with no public announcement.
“It is inevitably going to mean some people will find they don’t have enough validity remaining on their passport when they try to enter certain countries, leading to confusion and a negative impact on those with British passports.”