passport validity

Passport Validity Rule | Know Before You Go

Are you aware that there is a six month passport validity rule? The six-month passport validity is a rule that other countries require when it comes to allowing foreign travelers to enter their countries. Many countries enforce the passport validity rule because they do not want to risk having travelers and tourists overstaying their passport validity. Most visitors to the United States are also now required to adhere to the six month passport validity rule.As a general rule of thumb, your passport should have at least six months of validity when you travel internationally. Most countries (see list below) will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. Meaning if your passport has less than six months remaining until the expiration date, you may want to consider renewing your it as soon as possible. Adult passports (16 and older) for U.S. citizens are valid for ten years, while minor passports (15 and younger) for U.S. citizens are valid for 5 years. Renewing a passport can take up to 8 weeks, so if you are in a time crunch you may need to consider expediting your passport.

There are a few exceptions to the 6-month rule with some countries, such as Canada and Mexico, being more lenient about it. Canada and Mexico are two of the most commonly traveled countries that now often enforce the passport validity rule, however, they only require three-months validity rather than six. Your best bet is to check with each country’s entry and exit travel requirements before you go as the requirements are subject to change. One of the most common mistakes travelers make is not renewing their passport before they travel. Without a valid passport with at least six months validity, , you may only make it as far as the airport.. To help keep this from happening to you, we’ve created a list of countries that require the six-month validity rule.

Many European countries, specifically in the Schengen area, follow what is known as the 3+3 rule, where your passport must be valid three months beyond your three-month entry visa, or, for a total of six months regardless of how long your initial stay is. Countries that require six-month passport validity are as follows.

  • Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • Non-Schengen, Europe, Asia and Middle East: Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, East Timor, Turkmenistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, West Bank/Gaza Strip and Yemen.
  • Africa: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
  • North America and Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama.
  • South America: Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.
  • South Pacific: French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Zealand*, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Don’t let something like an invalid passport ruin your travels. Make sure it is up to date and has at least 6 months validity. Planning on renewing your passport? Let VitalChek help you get any important documentation you need quickly and securely. 

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