UK - minimum passport validity

Old Jun 26th, 2008, 06:45 AM
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UK - minimum passport validity

A friend of mine is off to the UK in 3 weeks. He resides in Australia and holds an Australian passport. He is a little unorganised and has told me a few things of concern:

1) he has bought a one-way ticket as he is unsure when exactly he will return, but is not expecting to be there more than a few months

2) his passport runs out this September

I have advised him to look into both of these issues urgently as I am concerned he may not get entry into the UK with the above documents. I had in my mind that passports generally require a minimum 6 month validity for a country to accept a visitor. I've been looking on a number of UK government sites, but can't find a direct reference to a minimum time.

In relation to the one-way ticket I have seen something stating a traveller must prove they have the financial means to leave the country, but it didn't state it must be a return ticket.

Can anyone offer any further advice on minimum passport validity and one-way v return tickets?
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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The passport validity is not usually an issue. The UK really only requires validity for the duration of the visit. But the one-way ticket could be a real problem. Neither would be fatal by themselves but together - 2 months passport validity and a 1-way ticket . . . . . I sure wouldn't try it.
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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Really restating what janisj said - but with a crucial twist.

For citizens of countries that don't need a visa to enter the UK, there's no minimum validity rule. The visitor simply gets permission to stay 6 months, or till the passport runs out, whichever's shorter.

BUT, though there's no hard and fast rule, an arriving visitor on a one-way ticket may well be refused entry unless he can convince the passport official he won't be a charge on public funds and doesn't plan to work or study. If that happens the airline will be fined - so most airlines actually require all non-European passengers to have an onward ticket out of the UK.

This prudence by airlines MIGHT stop your friend being allowed onto a plane to the UK. Worse, it might even leave him stranded, and in breach of his temporary entrance permit, at somewhere like Singapore or LAX if he's not on a direct flight - as many people aren't.
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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The published rules aren't concerned with the length of validity of the passport but what he can prove about his intentions:

Not having much time left on his passport is the least of his worries, to judge by that lot: but it must ring alarm bells, especially when combined with a one-way ticket and a lot of vagueness about his plans (how does he plan to fund himself?)
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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Hi all. Thanks for the responses. My friend is a lovely guy, but sometimes he really could do with a nanny to look after him! He seems to get himself in to trouble without trying.

I told him to look into the ticket and passport to make sure before he leaves. He is taking 1-2 months leave from work. I presume he is funding himself from savings. He also mentioned his former wife's will is in the process of being finalised and he was a beneficiary.

He couldn't have planned on staying too long if his passport expires in September. He probably doesn't have any real set plans while he is there as he tends to just wing it. All of these issues combined worry me, but I'm a dedicated planner and organiser when it comes to travelling and he's a carefree spirit.

Not sure who he purchased his ticket through, but they said he may be able to upgrade it to a round-the-world for a bit extra. Coming from Australia he will be transiting through SE Asia somewhere depending on which airline he has booked.
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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Assuming your friend is on the young side, has no return or onward ticket, has no specific hotel reserved in the UK - and may not be able to prove he has substantial financial resources (high limit credit card, bank statements with substantial deposits etc) - he may well not be allowed to enter the UK - but summarily returned from whence he came. If that's a place he doesn;t have a re-entry visa for he could find himself with significant problems (like that guy that lived at CDG - since he couldn;t get into France and didn't have money to fly elsewhere).
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Hi S,

>1) he has bought a one-way ticket as he is unsure when exactly he will return, but is not expecting to be there more than a few months

2) his passport runs out this September<

He doesn't just need a nanny, he needs his head examined.

Where has he been the last 6.5 years?

Aside from the possibility of not being allowed into the UK, doesn;t he realize that 2 1-way tickets cost much, much more than a RT?

Even if he decided to change the date of his return, the additional fee would be much less than he will have to pay.

He won't be landing in the US, will he? That would really set off alarm bells.

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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Believe it or not, my friend is in his late 30s (so not as young as you may think) and is a trained accountant. He's just very unorganised and carefree. It's been me (an anal-retentive overplanner) that has raised the questions with him, but it is up to him to take action. Last time he went overseas would have been with his late wife and she would have been the organiser.

He should have the financial capacity to purchase an onward ticket as he has a good job, a house (with mortgage), presumedly a decent level credit card and an inheritance owing. I did ask why he bought an expensive one-way ticket as I know there are tickets where the return date can be changed at least once without financial penalty.

He is also catching up with a guy I work with who's currently visiting family in the UK on a UK passport, so he would have a local contact there if that was any help at all (and it may not be).

If you see a friendly, short, 30-something blonde Australian guy wandering the streets lost in July, it may well be my friend (assuming he gets into the country!).
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