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My wife's passport will expire in May 2013 but we are planning on going to Spain at the end of December.

I read that you need a passport with at least 6 months validity so I'm wondering if she can renew it earlier (October/November). Also, how will that affect her visa?

Does she have to contact United Kingdom Border Agency before renewing her passport in the Philippine Embassy in London or does she have to carry both passports when she travels? (The old one with the visa and the new one.)

UPDATED QUESTION:

Thanks to the comments and @Ankur's answer. Now my doubt is if she can she renew the passport more than 6 months before the expiry date.

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When does the visa expire? Does it run to the end of the passport's validity, or past that? –  Gagravarr Feb 19 '12 at 18:21
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Normally it would be sufficient to have the old passport with Visa and the new passport at the border as long as the visa is valid. –  Karlson Feb 19 '12 at 18:21
    
As I understand from the question, you are Filipinos, right? I don't get it, how did she manage to get the visa in the first place if the passport has to be valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel? Also, please explain where you are now, home or traveling? If you're planning to visit Spain in December 2012, then just renew the passport at home and get a visa in this new passport. –  John Doe Feb 19 '12 at 21:59
    
I added the philippine-citizens to the question, as it would seem that your wife is a citizen. If that's not correct, you can revert back or flag the question for moderator attention (or just comment back and I'll revert it). –  mindcorrosive Feb 19 '12 at 22:38
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@SERPRO There is currently a case about this very question in front of the EUCJ so it has happened in the Schengen area as well (in this case in Latvia) and we will hopefully have some official clarification of the rule soon(ish). –  Annoyed Jan 28 at 12:41
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Since your wife has a partner - you - from an EU/EEA/EFTA country (basically, any country that uses the Euro currency) she may be visa exempt under the following rule (data from CIBT):

Applicants who hold a British blue coloured residency document "Residence Card of a family member of an EEA national" or a "Permanent Residence Card" with a validity of five years are visa exempt for a stay of up to 90 days if travelling with the EU/EEA national

I think though you mentioned in a previous question that her residency period was only specified as four years, so perhaps she will NOT be exempted under this rule. If it turns out that your wife needs does need to a get a Schengen visa to visit Spain, then she can apply as a spouse of an EU national. The Schengen agreement as such requires the passport on which the visa to be issued need only be valid for duration of the stay / period visa will be issued for.

Passports or travel documents Documents must be valid for the total duration of the planned stay.

Typically, however, most countries require you to have three to six months validity beyond the requested visa period for a visa to be issued. Spain's consular site doesn't specify what their requirement is, or at least I can't find it. If it's three months for Spain too, then you should be okay with the existing passport (as long as visa validity you request + 3 months is before May 2013). Also note that regardless of what the validity of the passport is, if it is an extended passport, i.e., a passport that had its validity extended rather than a new passport being issued, she will have to get it renewed.

You should also note that Philippines is on the list of countries that EU countries take longer to consider visa applications (~2-4 weeks) whereas for other cases it may be a 1-7 days. Keep this in mind for the timeframe of making your application. (From the German Embassy in UK site; again, I can't find the same on Spain's site.)

Now, if it so turns out that your wife does need a new passport either because it was extended or because it doesn't meet the validity criteria for Spain, the UK Border Agency says you can choose either option - keeping both old and new passport, or transferring the visa to the new passport:

If your old passport contains a multiple-entry visa or residence permit, we can transfer that visa or residence permit to your new passport when the old one expires.

You do not need to transfer your visa or residence permit to your new passport. If you choose not to transfer your permit, you should carry both your old and new passports when you travel to the UK - this will prove to our immigration officers that you have the right to be in the UK.

UPDATE: On whether a passport can be renewed more than six months before expiry date. This is a tricky one. Normally, many countries allow you to renew passports nine months to a year before the date of expiry, as they are aware that many visas have the six-month-extra-validity rule. I checked the Philippine Embassy in UK, Philippine Embassy in the US, and Philippine passport agency's site but none of them stipulate a criteria in this regard. (There's a whole LOAD of documents to send though it seems, if you do want to get it renewed.) I am guessing Philippines should be no different in allowing a renewal at least nine months before the expiry but this probably what you should call/visit and check. As a passport holder, your wife should get all the support from the embassy she can in clearing queries - that's what they're there for!

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Thanks for your answer can you have a look at the updated question? I have the first part much more clear with your answer. –  SERPRO Feb 20 '12 at 10:22
    
@SERPRO I updated my answer. If you find out more details, please do post them here for future visitors. –  Ankur Banerjee Feb 20 '12 at 15:27
    
Thanks @Ankur. That's an excellent answer. –  SERPRO Feb 20 '12 at 15:46
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protected by Ankur Banerjee Jan 20 '13 at 15:19

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