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. This is known as the ‘six-month validity rule’ and all travelers should know about this passport rule before traveling overseas. Does your passport expire this year? We’ve compiled a list of passport validity requirements for top destinations. Read on to see whether or not you’ll need a passport renewal before your next trip.
What Are Passport Validity Requirements?
Passport Validity requires that your passport must be valid for a duration of time before you depart for international travel. Most countries require that your passport be valid for up to 6-months, but can vary. Depending on which country you are traveling to, the six-month period may begin from the date you leave that country or the date you arrive. The rule of thumb for international travelers is to always have 6-months validity, so there aren’t complications from your passport expiring during your trip or in the event of an emergency that potentially extends your stay. If you’re thinking about traveling internationally soon, ensure that you check the validity of your passport, and renew your passport if it’s set to expire within 6 months of your departure.
Passport Validity Requirements for Mexico
Mexico is by far one of the most popular travel destinations. But yes, you will need a passport for almost every trip to Mexico. 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 into Mexico. To fly back to the US from Mexico, however, you need a passport book.
- 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. The Department of State recommends carrying a valid passport though.
- US citizens on closed-loop cruises that begin and end at the same US port can use government-issued ID and a birth certificate. A passport is still recommended.
Passport Validity Requirements for Other Top Destinations
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months after arrival.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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!
- Passport must be valid for three months after you plan to leave the Schengen area.
- 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?
Most other countries will have some type of passport validity rule so please make sure you check before you go to the airport. You will be denied entry without a valid passport. So did these passport validity requirements catch you off guard? Here’s what you need to know to renew your passport. Currently, routine processing for passports through the Department of State are averaging up to 11 weeks. Don’t have that much time? RushMyPassport can expedite your passport renewal so you won’t miss your next trip abroad!