I was denied boarding on a flight from the UK to Poland today, due to the fact that my passport has less than three months remaining on it - I had no idea about this rule before today.

Since it will not be possible to renew my passport in time, is it possible to fly to another EU country e.g. Germany and then drive into Poland? I drove from UK to Poland previously and there were no border checks then, but I believe there could be covid related border checks in place now? Is this a terrible idea?

  • 1
    It is a terrible idea. Since Brexit, you no longer have an almost-automatic right to enter, and you should not deceive border officials about your onward travel plans even if there are no covid checks in place.
    – o.m.
    Aug 15, 2021 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


Most countries around the world have rules related how much time you must have before your passport expires when entering a country for a temporary visit. In most cases this will be either 3 or 6 months validity remaining, normally counted from the time you intend to leave the country.

Specifically for your trip, this is true for all Schengen countries, so you will not be able to make it to Poland without first obtaining a new passport - presuming that you do not hold a passport for a country from the EU (which obviously does not include the UK).

  • Thanks for your answer! Do you know what would happen if I booked a new trip with the return leg inside the 3 month cutoff and then didn't take that return leg. Would I then be able to buy a single journey home, or would I get a telling-off? Aug 14, 2021 at 15:37
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    If you are flying directly to Poland and your passport expires more than 3 months after your planned departure date from the Schengen area then you should be OK, but as always, entry is at the discretion of the border staff. Other Schengen states have different requirements (eg, Germany generally requires 6 months)
    – Doc
    Aug 14, 2021 at 16:38
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    @Matthew Dresser In case this is relevant, a British passport also needs to be less than 10 years old. If extra months were added to your passport expiry date when you last renewed it, they may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed. The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date. You can check via check-passport-for-travel-to-europe.homeoffice.gov.uk/…
    – Traveller
    Aug 14, 2021 at 22:25

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