Passport Validity

Hi, I wonder if anyone can give some advice on passport validity for French residents.

We are resident in France with cds and have just booked flights to return to the UK for 2 weeks in July to see family. Our British passports expire in September 2022 so there will be less than 3 months remaining when we travel. I thought that the 3 month validity rule applied to UK residents not French residents but I’ve just been reading about people who’ve been denied boarding by Air France and P and O even though they have French residency.

Does anyone know for sure what the rule is for French residents?? With the delays in passport processing at the moment, I don’t think we’ll get replacement passports in time for our trip.

Thanks, Sarah

This is what the French embassy say

  • Avoir un passeport (ou autre document de voyage) délivré depuis moins de 10 ans et dont la durée de validité est d’au moins 3 mois supérieure à la date prévue de votre départ

Being a French resident doesn’t give you concessions AFAIK, apart from not needing a visa, or proof of somewhere to stay and resources

Pay the money and book an emergency passport that you get when you are in the UK!

It also says this on the UK gov website, in slightly less clear terms :rofl:

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)
valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)
We are asking the European Commission to clarify the 10-year rule. Their guidance for Schengen border guards may not be updated until the spring of 2022. Until then, for some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the 3 months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.

Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport. If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.

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a useful explanatory video

I travelled Eurotunnel to France last week with three months and six days validity on my passport (and a 10 year residence card). The French passport control official waved my passport and said “c’est fini”.

I had intended to renew my passport while in England by the fast track or premium service but all I got from the web site several times when I tried to book was
Sorry, there are no available appointments
Due to high demand, there aren’t any appointments available at the moment.
Extra appointments are added each day, so check again later for availability.

So it would be a case of continually retrying and hoping a slot becomes available without any guarantee of success.

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I think it is safe to say that the residency card is not a travel document and confers no additional travel rights.

But it’s proof of residency and the whole idea (I thought) of the 3 month rule was to make sure that people who are not residents don’t exceed the 90 day stay limit because their passports expire during their stay.

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of course it is… but it’s not a travel document. The two things are mutually exclusive.

The EU EES system will handle that part of things.

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I would renew it now from France


Even if that was the basic idea behind it, the rule is still the rule.
If they had decided that the rule was not relevant to EU residents, they would have included that in the rule.
There are a lot of rules where you could argue that it should not apply to you because x y or z, but arguing would likely be a waste of time. It is easier to simply follow the rule.

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I do understand that my cds doesn’t give a right to travel - my passport is the travel document and it is still valid, the residency card just shows that I’m not going to be in France illegally when my passport runs out (which I understood was the reason for the 3 month rule and the reason I asked the question). When the new system eventually comes is, hopefully it will make things easier and clearer;

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Ok, that’s what I wanted to check as I can’t find anything anywhere online referring to EU residents. So it looks like we will have to apply for passports asap and cross our fingers.

There have been problems with various carriers refusing to allow someone to travel with expiring passports (and confusion over 3 or six months validity) and it is difficult to convince them to allow travel to take place.

The web site now says to allow 10 weeks to receive a passport if applying in the UK.

That’s illogical! If that was the aim then ONLY people with three months left on their passport would be allowed into Europe!! As they would have to leave before their passport expired. As it stands people generally come in with more than three months, so it’s not a control on overstaying visa/visa free period at all.

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Makes sense to me - if your passport expires because it has less than 3 months left on it, before the end of the 90 days (3months) then unless you can get a new one quickly then you’ll be stuck in France or anywhere else in Europe beyond the 90 days and will therefore be breaking the 90 day rule. That was my thinking anyway.

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Does anyone have any experience of applying for an emergency travel document?? I understand it costs £100 and you can get one within a few days. Just thinking that we’re going to nip off to get passport photos now and do the online application for the passports and then if they are not here a week before a departure date, then we can apply for the emergency travel docs.

I am not sure on this because I thought it was a legal requirement for non French people to hold a valid passport or ID card all the time they are in France? I think I have seen that but I could be wrong?


I’ve never heard this - I thought CDs was sufficient but I could be wrong. I did have a little look on Google and couldn’t find anything saying this.

But not required to carry it with them at all times as some have suggested elsewhere. I know that some people carry a photocopy of the relevant page in case they are challenged for ID but often another form of photo ID such as a permis is often acceptable (if you are driver, you carry it anyway in France when driving).

Gordon Bennett… what a muddle.
Our passports don’t expire until Nov 2023… but by the sound of things they are as good as useless during Aug 2023, as that is 3 months before expiry…

Which means we have to apply in April/May 2023 to allow time for the new one to arrive before the old one is less than 3 months… aaargh

I wonder what the start date will be on the “new” passport…