6-Month Passport Validity Rule
If you are looking to travel out of the country soon, your passport is the first item that you want to make sure you place inside your travel bag. Although you have your passport with you, do you know if it will be valid for your trip? Most countries have a 6-month validity rule that you should follow to avoid denied entry at your destination. Keep on reading to learn more about what the 6-month validity rule is, what countries follow it, and how to check if other travel destinations have similar rules.
What is the 6-Month Validity Rule?
The 6-month validity rule is when some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. Before booking your next international trip, make sure that your passport will be valid for at least 6 months from your return date. If your passport will be expiring really close to your return date, you should renew your passport as soon as you can. If not, you risk being denied entry upon arrival at your destination and might have to go straight home- which is not ideal especially if you have booked hotels and planned for a vacation of relaxation.
Consider the following scenario: A country requires that you have at least 6 months of validity on your passport. You currently have 7 months of validity on your passport. However, your trip is 2 months from now. At that point, you will only have 5 months of validity remaining on your passport which is not enough to satisfy that country’s entry requirements. In this situation, you would need to renew your passport before you can make your trip.
Keep in mind: 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. Passport processing can take 4-6 weeks or longer so you may need to consider expediting your passport. If you forgot the issue date of your passport, simply find the date on the data page of your passport book or in the front of your passport card.
Which Countries Require Six Months of Passport Validity?
Requirements for each country can change at any time. This list is meant to be a helpful guideline for countries that enforce the 6-month validity passport rule but are of course subject to change. If there is a country that you are traveling to that is not listed, research if there are any passport validity rules to be safe beforehand.
• Albania • Angola • Bahrain • Belize • Bolivia • Botswana • Brazil • Brunei • Burma (Myanmar) • Burundi • China • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) • Ecuador (including the Galápagos Islands) • French Polynesia • Guyana • Honduras • Indonesia • Iran • Iraq • Israel* • Kenya • Kiribati • Laos • Madagascar • Malaysia • Mauritius • Micronesia** • Mozambique • Namibia • New Caledonia• Nicaragua (currently waived by bilateral agreement) • Oman • Palau • Papua New Guinea • Philippines • Russian Federation • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • Taiwan • Tajikistan • Tanzania • Thailand • Timor-Leste (East Timor) • Turkey • Turkmenistan • Uganda • Ukraine • Venezuela • Vietnam • Zambia
*Some airlines that fly to Israel may require six months validity on your passport. Check with your airline first if you have less than 6 months passport validity. **Micronesia requires US passport holders to have four months passport validity.
When it comes to your future travels, you should make sure your passport is valid six months past the date of intended departure just in case the country you are traveling to follows the 6-month validity rule. It never hurts to double-check with the U.S. Department of State website for these rules. If it turns out you need a passport renewal, reach out to Sam’s Passport to see how we can help you today!