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Passport Expires Within 6 Months After Entering Spain

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jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hi, has anyone outside the Schengen Zone arrived in Europe on a date JUST OUTSIDE of the six months expiry date of their passport and been denied entry? The reason being that your passport will expire WITHIN six months in a few days (or a few weeks) time, i.e. while you are still in the zone and before the date of your return ticket. Just wondering if the computer will flag up my passport’s expiry date if I arrive 6 months and 1 day before it expires, and a conscientious immigration officer will refuse me entry.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Hi Jill
I’ve always understood this rule to read as 6mth validity ‘after your final date of travel’.
Not from date of arriving.

I’ll be interested to hear how others interpret the rule.
I’ll soon be in similar situation

Buen camino
Annie
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Article 12
Travel document
The applicant shall present a valid travel document satisfying the following criteria:

  • (a) its validity shall extend at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States or, in the case of several visits, after the last intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States. However, in a justified case of emergency, this obligation may be waived;
  • (b) it shall contain at least two blank pages;
  • (c) it shall have been issued within the previous 10 years.
So you need to work from your intended day of leaving the Schengen area and add 3 months (I think "one month" is counted as follows: from say the 12th of the month to the 11th of the following month, no matter how many days the calendar month in question has). Is your passport still valid then?

The 6 months rule is just an advice because IF you intend to stay for the full 90 days THEN your passport has to be valid on the day of arrival in the Schengen area for at least 90 days plus 3 months.

So no, they are not going to fuss about this. It will/may be flagged upon departure from Schengen if you overstayed.

Airlines can be fined. That's why they may not allow a passenger to book or board a flight to Schengen when they think their passport is not good enough. Yes, they can do this.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
The article that I quoted is the consolidated version of 12 April 2016 of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas. This contains all the amendments since 2009 and is currently in force.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Countries fine airlines that send over visitors that the governments will not allow in and the airlines also have to send them back at their own cost. So the airlines use their International Air Transport Association to keep track of the entry requirements. IATA publishes the information as a book called Travel Information Manual (TIM) and they also have it computerized as Travel Information Manual Automatic (TIMATIC.)
TIMATIC can be accessed via the web url https://www.iatatravelcentre.com but the following site provides a somewhat easier interface (but likely not as good for general use): https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/vendors/default.aspx?i=TIMATIC
See also:
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Either renew or try to get an extension stamp or letter from your passport office extending your expiry date another few months (if that is possible )
You are right to point out that it may not be possible to get such extensions of the validity of your passport. If your country still offers these options - many don't anymore, when your old passport expires you need a new one full stop - make sure that such an emergency solution is recognised by Spain. And I mean Spain and not the Schengen area. There are no EU/Schengen rules for this. There are always two parties involved: your country and the country you want to travel to. The European Union isn't the monolith that many believe or make others believe.

The European Commission maintains a huge Excel sheet, publicly available, that details in many colourful rows, columns and additional comments which EU country accepts which kind of travel documents from each of the countries around the world, so we have what ... something like 200 x 28 x 10 different combinations (countries of the world x EU countries x type of travel documents issued by individual country). It has to be seen to be believed :rolleyes:. This table is based on the information that the individual EU countries send to the Commission. It's pretty up to date: 6 September 2019.

Google Table of travel documents issued by third countries, territorial entities, Member States, Part I

Honestly, just have a regular passport on you ...
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Everything Kathar1na says above is spot-on. Make yourself a note to apply for a new passport as soon as you return from the coming trip. I did... You should be okay this one time, but not thereafter.

My present national passport expires next July (2020) whilst I would still be working at the Pilgrim Office... at least that is the current plan. Also, I hope to walk a Camino again this coming spring, but within the six-month window. I would only have maybe three months remaining validity, so I need a new one anyway. So, I need a new one BEFORE I start my 2020 travels.

I made a calendar note to remind myself to apply for a new passport in January 2020, even though it is some seven months perfore the actual expiry of my current passport. Here, that is the slow season at the State Department, and new passports can be had in 3 - 4 weeks.

Apply early, in the off season. IMHO, it is better to have overlapping dates and (theoretically) unused validity remaining, that the opposite... getting caught short when you arrive in the EU // Schengen Area. The former is a minor irritation. The latter is a catastrophe.

Hope this helps.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Stories like the one I am about to relate are not intended to replace sound legal advice such as has already been provided.
Last year I was due to leave Spain on 31 October. My passport was due to expire on 30 January. My travel agent commented that I was getting full use of my passport, using it up to the very final day of its usefulness - last day of October to last day of January is three months. I rechecked the regs and re-counted “October to January IS three months” a few times before leaving. I even checked with the embassy. I don’t mind going to the edge of a limit but I would never step over the line.
Imagine my dismay at the airport to be flagged by the computer system. It looked like I wasn’t going to be able to fly. But I managed to convince the head honcho official who got dragged into dealing with me while the queue disappeared and everyone else went off to the plane that my above argument was valid. After making some phone calls he asked if I could afford to buy a return ticket immediately if Spain denied me entry. With the reassurance that I could, he let me fly.
I was starting to wonder if I should have taken my father-in-law’s advice to get a new passport and not test the boundary of the law, but I felt justified in knowing I was in the right.
Sitting at Dubai airport it suddenly occurred to me that January has 31 days and not 30 - and so I was NOT in the right at all. I had made a very stupid mistake. In good conscience I could not use the argument I had believed up to that point on my arrival in Spain. I was in a pickle.
Because there was nothing I could do to change the outcome I tried not to think about it from that point on (other than to concoct a backup plan - offer to change my return ticket to an earlier date rather than get sent home immediately).
As I approached the customs desk I repeated a few key phrases in Spanish in my head - and I decided to pull out my homemade credencial and ask for a stamp on it. You all know how Spaniards like to discuss their Camino so we had a bit of a chat about that while he admired my credencial. Then I slipped him my national passport and asked for a stamp on that too. He obliged.
I was relieved and know I will never make that mistake again (though I would still use an actually-valid passport up to its final day - coz I’m pigheaded like that)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
The article that I quoted is the consolidated version of 12 April 2016 of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas. This contains all the amendments since 2009 and is currently in force.
Spot on as always! ;)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Spot on as always! ;)
😇. I have often wondered why we now have these rules, ie that passports need to be valid longer than actually needed for the stay abroad itself. I think (but I am not sure) that it has to do with the fact that some countries cause problems with taking their own nationals back when they don’t have a passport at all or an expired passport or at least make this very difficult for the country that wants to send them back ...

What not many people know: based on a treaty of international law from the 1950s that is still valid today, people from a number of European countries (but not the UK) are entirely within the law when they travel with a passport to Spain that has expired for months. German, French, Italian, Belgian, Dutch and a few other nationalities. However, and I quote from official sources from these countries: Despite the provisions of current regulations, in practice, some airlines deny boarding to passengers with an expired travel document. For this reason, it is advised that all passengers travelling by plane are in possession of a valid travel document.

Still, nice to know :).
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Great information, thanks all! My intended travel dates are 10 June to 26 July 2020 and my passport expires 12 Dec 2020, so I will be well within the 3-month rule. It is a mission renewing my UK passport as it has to go by courier to the UK, takes about a month, and is very expensive. So, rather than send it away for renewal 8 or 9 months before it expires, to be sure I got it back in time, I would rather wait until I get back home from the Jun/Jul trip.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Great information, thanks all! My intended travel dates are 10 June to 26 July 2020 and my passport expires 12 Dec 2020, so I will be well within the 3-month rule. It is a mission renewing my UK passport as it has to go by courier to the UK, takes about a month, and is very expensive. So, rather than send it away for renewal 8 or 9 months before it expires, to be sure I got it back in time, I would rather wait until I get back home from the Jun/Jul trip.
I suggest that you check the date of issue of your passport, not just the date of expiry.
Some UK passports have been issued from the date of renewal application plus the 10 years from date of expiry of old passport. The current advice is that the extra months do not count and that the passport will be deemed to expire 10 years from the date of issue.
 

Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
Hi Jill, I used to be a Customs Officer in Australia and I saw situations like yours on a regular basis. The six month validity rule is meant to ensure a person has a travel document that will not expire during their stay and they will be able to leave the country without any problems. This rule is often exercised at the discretion of the immigration officer and their assessment of the likelihood of the traveller staying beyond their passports expiry date.

In the situation you describe you should be fine, however a check with the Spanish embassy would not hurt and should set your mind at rest. Buen Camino.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
My intended travel dates are 10 June to 26 July 2020 and my passport expires 12 Dec 2020, so I will be well within the 3-month rule. It is a mission renewing my UK passport as it has to go by courier to the UK, takes about a month, and is very expensive.
I didn't realise that you will travel from South Africa to Spain on a British passport. In this case, your passport must simply not yet be expired. Unless Brexit has actually happened by June of next year as you will belong to a different kind of passport holders after Brexit. But the Date for Exiting the European Union has turned into an astonishingly moving target ... 😂.

The impending Brexit is also the reason why Her Majesty's Government is suddenly warning people about British passports that may be older than 10 years but not yet expired. This was not an issue before but may become one after Brexit (see EU Article 12 quoted earlier in the thread). However, there may be much bigger issues to deal with at the new borders between the UK and the Member States than the date of issue of British passports. :rolleyes:
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@Kiwi-family, you were clever and beat the system. I used one of the links I posted above, https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/vendors/default.aspx?i=TIMATIC
and entered the information you supplied using 2019 and 2020. You were denied entry with a passport expiration of January 30 but permitted entry with an expiration of February 1.
Of course I had to try it with an expiry date of 31 January as well - and even that got the green tick.
I’ll be keeping this wee link in my arsenal for future discussions with a concerned father-in-law, but right now it’s all immaterial as
a) I have no overseas travel planned
and
b) I have no passport
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
Hi, has anyone outside the Schengen Zone arrived in Europe on a date JUST OUTSIDE of the six months expiry date of their passport and been denied entry? The reason being that your passport will expire WITHIN six months in a few days (or a few weeks) time, i.e. while you are still in the zone and before the date of your return ticket. Just wondering if the computer will flag up my passport’s expiry date if I arrive 6 months and 1 day before it expires, and a conscientious immigration officer will refuse me entry.
Don’t risk it! Expedite s new passport before you leave the USA . The departure airline WILL deny you boarding.
 

Dave C.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2016)
SJ to Santo Domingo (2017)
Santo Domingo to Fromista (2018)
SJPdP to Burgos (2019)
I mailed my U.S. passport to get renewed. I was "probably" good on expiration date, but I wanted to make sure. I sent it last Friday (20 Sept) with expedited service. I received an email saying it will be delivered today (27 Sept). Wow! One week from door-to-door. I did pay extra for expedited service (expensive), but that is amazing!!
 

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