A little-known passport rule could cause frequent travelers to turn away from some countries, experts have warned. With UK travelers now having to have their passports stamped every time they enter and exit EU countries, there is now a “real possibility” that some frequent travelers are missing pages.
This comes after @jackremmington went viral on TikTok with a video highlighting this seemingly unknown rule. Travel Republic experts warn that some countries will turn you away from your flight if there aren’t enough pages left for your trip.
Although some countries will allow arrested travelers to request additional pages from airport officials, not all countries do so. Antonio Fellino, managing director and travel expert at Travel Republic, warns: “Many UK travellers are still unaware of the various passport validity rules that could cut their trips short, with this viral TikTik video bringing awareness to a little-known passport rule.
“Passport stamps act as proof that a traveller has not overstayed their visa requirement, and if your passport has too many stamps, it can lead to a variety of implications including potential border control issues and practical concerns, depending on the country you are visiting.
“This means visitors must pay careful attention to how many passport pages they have left, as some countries will refuse entry if you don’t have enough space in your passport. Since UK passport holders now need to get their passport stamped every time they enter and leave the EU, running out of pages is now a real possibility for those who are travelling on a regular basis.”
Frequent travelers should get an extra-large 50-page passport instead of the regular 34-page passport to reduce the risk of running out of passport mid-trip. If you run out of pages, you’ll need to request a new one, even if you’re still up to date.
Antonio continued: “When planning any trip, make sure you check the specific entry requirements for the country you are visiting, as some countries require several consecutive empty pages for entry and exit stamps or visas. If you don’t have enough pages left, it’s possible to ask an official passport office to add extra pages to your passport, however, this isn’t offered by every country.
“If this is the case, it’s likely you will need to apply for a replacement, even if you still have a couple of years left on your passport. We’d strongly recommend applying for the ‘jumbo passport’ which includes 54 pages, in comparison to the standard British passport which is only 34 pages – allowing people who travel more to use their passport for the full ten years. Make sure you also check your passport’s issue date and expiry date as well as the number of blank pages in your passport before you book a trip so that you aren’t caught out.”
However, if you are caught, there are steps you can take to get home safely. If you need to travel urgently and cannot use your passport, you can apply for an emergency travel document. These are valid for one-way or round-trip travel and allow you to travel through up to five countries.
If you are in the UK, you need to apply for an urgent passport, where you have to pay to get your passport through a faster system. If you are not traveling for six weeks or more, a standard passport application is sufficient.