Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Will a short-life passport affect my Maldives trip?

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The Independent Travel

Q. I have booked to go to Maldives in two weeks’ time. I just looked through my passport and found out that it runs out early in July 2013, i.e. with just five months left on it. Will Emirates allow me to fly as I have heard some horror stories about people being refused by the airline. I have checked the web site but can’t find anything.

Sean Clarke

A. If you are connecting straight through in Dubai, there should be no problem. Although the UAE insists on a minimum of six months remaining on your passport, this rule should not apply if you do not intend to leave Dubai airport except by air.

The Maldives make no such stipulations, says says the Foreign Office: “Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.” But if you are able to submit a passport application in the next day or two, through the Post Office “check and send” facility, I strongly advise you to do so. A new travel document will mean there is no chance of a misunderstanding, and would also allow you to leave the airport at Dubai in the event of a long wait between flights. At present there is no wait for new documents, and if it is a straightforward application you should get it back next week.

You do not have to wait until your old passport expires to apply to renew it. Any time left on your old passport when you apply will be added to your new passport, up to a maximum of nine months.

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