Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can I enter Egypt with only three months left on my passport?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 27 August 2013
Q I am travelling to Egypt in the middle of September
and by then I will only have five months’ validity left on my passport. Will
this be OK for me getting into the country? I have read that Sharm el Sheikh
only requires three months for UK citizens.
A Get a new passport now. While the Egyptian authorities may show some flexibility, what worries me is whether you will get on the plane at all. The Foreign Office says: "Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Egypt." The airline is entitled to use that statement to deny you boarding on the outbound flight, so you may get no further than check-in.
In terms of renewal, HM Passport Office warns: “It takes at least three weeks to get your passport - use a different service if you need your passport urgently.” But in my experience, if you can use the Post Office check-and-send service today, and it’s a straightforward application, you can be confident of getting the passport in good time, without going to the considerable expense in time and money of making a personal application.
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