New EU Passport Rules Are In Effect
Travelers whose passports are about to expire, take note: The European Union has announced new passport requirements for non-EU nationals. The new rules began in July requiring all citizens of countries outside the Schengen area to have a passport valid for at least 3 months after departure date.
For example a US citizen whose planned return date from Europe is September 1 must have a passport valid at least through December 1. Travelers failing to meet this requirement may be denied entry.
The Schengen Borders Agreement includes all European Union countries, except Bulgaria, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. In addition, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also members of the Schengen Borders Agreement but not of the EU.
According to the EU web site, the new passport rules went into effect on July 19 in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Denmark, Italy, Norway, Romania and Switzerland are expected to implement the policy sometime this fall and thus far Croatia and Slovakia have not announced an official start date. In addition, since the policy was instituted at the height of the summer tourist season, countries like France, Belgium and Sweden are allowing some flexibility in enforcing the new rules.
For more information visit ec.europa. eu/dgs/home-affairs or the US State Department web site, state.gov.