There’s a passport requirement you may not know about, and it could cost you your trip. No matter how long you plan to stay, many countries require that your passport has at least six months left before it expires. If it expires any sooner than that, they’ll turn you away.

Does your passport expire this year? We’ve compiled a list of passport requirements for the most popular destinations according to market research firm Euromonitor. Read on to see whether or not you’ll need a passport renewal before your next trip.

Passport Validity Requirements for Mexico

Mexico is by far the most popular US destination, with 21,297,000 US visitors expected this year.  Returning to the US from Mexico is covered under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). What does that mean to you? It means passport requirements are different depending on how you travel.

  • If you’re flying in, you need a passport card or passport book to get in to Mexico. To fly back to the US from Mexico, however, you need a passport book.
  • There is a six month rule. Your passport must be valid for at least six months past the date you arrive.
  • If you’re traveling by land or sea, passport requirements are different. You can use one of the following: a passport book, a passport card, an enhanced driver’s license with an RFID chip  (only available in certain states) or a trusted traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRY, Global Entry or FAST).
  • Children under the age of 16 can use a birth certificate ONLY if traveling by land or sea, as can children under the age of 19 traveling with an organization like a church, school or sports team.
  • US citizens on closed loop cruises that begin and end at the same US port can use government-issued ID and a birth certificate.
No matter how you travel, a passport book is the best and safest option.

Passport Validity Requirements for Canada

Our neighbor to the north is also covered under the WHTI.

Passport requirements are the same as for Mexico EXCEPT there is no six-month rule. Your passport only needs to be valid for the length of your trip.

Passport Validity Requirements for Other Top Destinations

Great Britain

  • No  six-month rule. Your passport must be valid for your intended stay.
  • You need at least one full blank page left for each entry stamp.

France

Passports must be valid for six months beyond arrival date AND for at least three months after the day you plan to leave the Schengen visa area.

Italy

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after arrival.

Germany

Your passport must be valid for at least three months after you plan to leave the Schengen area, and it must have two blank pages in the back.

The Bahamas

  • No six-month rule. Your passport must be valid when you arrive.
  • You need two blank pages in the back for the entry stamp.
  • If you’re on a closed-loop cruise, WHTI rules apply. See Mexico, above.

Jamaica

  • No six month rule. You just need a valid passport with one blank page in the back.
  • Closed-loop cruise passengers can use WHTI-compliant documents; however, a passport book is best because you can’t fly home without one and emergency passports can take 2-3 days to issue.

China

  • China has a six-month rule. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after you arrive.
  • You need two blank pages.
  • Tourist visas are required. RushMyTravelVisa.com can help!

Spain

Passport must be valid for three months after you plan to leave the Schengen area.

Japan

  • No six-month rule. Your passport must be valid for the length of your trip.
  • You need one blank page in the back.

What if You Need to Renew?

Did these passport validity requirements catch you off guard?  Here’s what you need to know to renew your passport.  The process passport can take up to six weeks. Don’t have that much time? RushMyPassport can expedite your passport renewal for processing in as little as 24 hours!