Travelers who renew their passports are faced with the loss of validity of up to nine months due to a little-published change to the rules introduced by the Ministry of the Interior.
Until last week, when British citizens renewed their passports, the remaining time on the existing document was added to the new one – up to a maximum of nine months.
But passport applicants have been told that this is no longer applicable and that the remaining months will be lost if an attempt is made to renew the document earlier.
The change was discovered by the Money Saving Expert website for consumer affairs after members of the public had contacted each other. The Home Office has been contacted for comment.
It comes in the same week that the government issued unforeseen advice for traveling to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Passports are valid for 10 years and currently cost £ 75.50 to renew online or £ 85 per mail, with costs in March exceeding the inflation rate.
The change in the rules relating to the transfer of validity may result in applicants being able to renew their passports as late as possible in order to determine their validity.
Many countries, however, do not allow visitors with less than six months to participate in the passport.
When Britain leaves the EU, Britons traveling to the continent need at least three months validity on their passport.
Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving Expert, said: "This change will affect the price, because passports will only last nine and a half years.
"But there is also the risk that more people will be sent home, destroying holidays and putting many people into a worrying situation." Because of the timing, which basically means that this shortening process takes place during the Brexit period, the chances are high that before the next summer, when there are already long waiting times, we will see an even greater build-up of demand. "
Thursday, the government published an advice for travel to the EU with a British passport in the event of a no-deal Brexit, in which it recommends to renew a passport if it is older than nine years and six months after 29 March 2019.
A spokesperson for the home office said: "In order to comply with international guidelines regarding maximum passport validity, Her Majesty's passport no longer holds the validity of a previous passport.
"This will ensure that people traveling abroad meet the border requirements around the world."