How long do you need in your passport to travel to Spain? rules explained

Spain’s passport rules for Britons, which have been explained as new post-Brexit requirements, have left some holidaymakers confused as to whether their documents are valid for travel

A view of a crowded beach with umbrellas on a sunny day in Spain
The Foreign Office has clarified passport rules after holidaymakers faced confusion

Brits going on summer holidays are already being asked to check the validity of their passports, but if you’re planning a trip to Europe you’ll need to pay closer attention to the dates on your passport.

A number of holidaymakers have been caught off guard by the post-Brexit rules, which now mean that both the issue and expiry dates of your passport come into play at border control.

The confusing rules have led the Foreign Office to update its advice for 33 countries – and that includes Spain, a popular holiday hotspot for travelers from the UK.

According to the new passport requirements, your passport must not be more than 10 years old at the time of issue; however, it must also be valid for at least three months after your travel date.

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The updated Foreign Office advice for Spain now specifically addresses passport rules, stating: “If you are planning to travel to an EU country (other than Ireland) or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or To travel to Vatican City, you must meet Schengen area passport requirements.

“Your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before your entry (check the “date of issue”)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day of your planned departure (check the ‘expiry date’)

“You must check that your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before October 1, 2018, additional months may have been added to its expiration date.

“Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think your passport does not meet these two requirements. Renew your passport if necessary.”

Spain is currently open to fully vaccinated Brits for holiday


LightRocket via Getty Images)

The validity of your passport is not the only document you need to enter Spain for vacation.

The country is maintaining its Covid entry rules until at least mid-June. This means you must be fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery from Covid in the last six months if you wish to visit Spain, the Balearic Islands or the Canary Islands for tourism.

If you are not vaccinated, you cannot enter on public holidays.

There are already plenty of offers for summer 2022, including hotspots like Greece, Spain, France and more. Here we’ve rounded up some of the best:

  • TUI also has free children’s places during the school holidays – book here.
  • Loveholidays offers all-inclusive packages from £165 per person – book here.
  • First Choice offers free children’s spots on all-inclusive vacations – book here.
  • Jet2holidays has various offers including free babies – book here.
  • Mirror Holidays have some dreamy escorted tours – book here.

You can also sign up for Mirror’s travel newsletter for a weekly dose of deals, news and holiday inspiration.

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However, there is one exception; Unvaccinated children aged 12-17 will be allowed to visit over the holidays provided they have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel or proof of recovery from Covid.

Travel and entry requirements are correct at the time of writing this article, but are subject to rapid change due to the nature of the pandemic. Before booking or traveling on vacation, always find out about the current travel advice for Spain from the Federal Foreign Office – this also applies to trips to the Canary and Balearic Islands.

What do you think of the Passport Rules – do you find them confusing? Let us know in the comments below.

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