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Passport Expiration Date: What are the Rules to Travel?

In a simple world, you’d be able to travel and stay abroad until you reach your passport expiration date.

But this isn’t a simple world.

You could be refused entry to a country even if your passport is valid and will still be valid by the end of your stay. That’s because a non-expired passport is not synonymous with passport validity.

So before getting ready with our travel packing checklist, you might want to look at your passport expiration date carefully and check the passport expiration rules of the country you’re heading to.

This guide contains everything you need to know about the validity of your precious travel document, including:

  • Where to find the expiration date of your passport
  • How to know if you can travel, considering this date of expiry
  • When you should apply for passport renewal

How to Check Your Passport Expiration Date

Where is the expiry date on a passport?

Finding the expiration date on a passport is usually straightforward. It’s located on the data page, which is the first page of most passports.

On this page, you will also see the traveller’s picture, personal details such as nationality and date of birth.

More importantly in this situation, this page contains the date of issue and the date of expiration of your passport. It should be located on the bottom-right corner, next to the photograph.

As a rule of thumb, a passport is no longer valid 10 or 15 years after it was issued. BUT keep reading to know why you should take your passport expiration date with a grain of salt.

Can I check my passport expiration online?

This kind of personal service is not available in every country. You should check your country’s passport website to know if you can check your passport expiration date online.

However, to do so, you’ll need your passport number, which is indicated… on your passport. If you have your passport with you, there’s no need to check its expiration date online, since it’s already indicated on the first page!

The only reasons why you’d want to check this online is if this particular information has for some reason become illisible on the page or if you’ve lost your passport. In both cases, the validity of your passport is compromised and you must renew your passport ASAP.

Passport Expiration Rules: How Close to Passport Expiration Can I Travel?

As mentioned several times already, there is more to passport expiration than the date indicated on your passport. Each country has their own passport expiration rules and entry requirements.

What is the Six Months Rule for passports?

Perhaps the most common of those rules is the “Six Months Rules”, named so because the countries that enforce this rule require that your passport be valid 6 months past your travel date.

Well, passport expiration date is not the only thing that authorities take into account when considering your right to entry in their country: they also look at the duration of your stay.

Most countries let you stay for up to 3 months without a visa. That’s why they require at least 3 months validity on your passport past your departure date.

But a few countries, including in Europe, have expanded the passport validity requirement to 6 months. Those include:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador (including Galápagos Islands)
  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Mexico
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • St. Lucia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste (East Timor)
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

Can you travel with a passport that expires in 2 months?

It depends where you’re travelling to and from, but in general, it’s best to have a buffer of at least 6 months.

That being said, if you forgot to pay attention to the soon expiration of your passport, you may still have a chance to be allowed in the country if you have proof of your return date. For example, if you booked a return flight, it would help to show the immigration agent that you are indeed planning on leaving the country before your passport expires.

Similarly, if you can prove that you already have a booked appointment to renew your passport, they may let you in.

Can you travel with an expired passport?

If you’re travelling internationally, not a chance. A soon-to-expire passport is already going to put your trip in jeopardy – an expired one offers virtually no chance of safe departure.

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Follow the guidelines formulated by the Department of State and local authorities in your country of destination to renew your passport before your trip, whether it is expired or about to.

You do NOT want to leave the decision to let you in up to border control.

Can you book a flight with an expired passport?

Yes, because the airline doesn’t request a passport at the time of booking.
However, you’ll hit a wall when you have to check-in for your flight: whether you’re checking in online or at the airport, for international travel, the airline will request your passport details, including its expiration date.

Should your passport be expired, you won’t even be able to check-in. Don’t even think about lying about it: you’d only be postponing the inevitable and be denied boarding at the airport. And you won’t get a denied boarding compensation for that.

By the way, you won’t be allowed on a domestic flight with an expired passport either. Once it’s expired, the travel document is invalid.

Bottom line: you can’t take the plane with an expired passport. You need a new passport.

Passport Expiration Renewal: How Close to Expiration Can a Passport be Renewed?

As a rule of thumb, valid passports should be renewed about 8 months prior to expiration.

Why? Because it takes on average 2 months for passport applications to be processed. Since you want to always have a 6 months buffer to travel with some peace of mind (see Six Months Rule above), consider starting the passport renewal process 8 months before your passport expires.

What to do if I realize that my passport is about to expire at the last minute?

It depends on exactly how late this realization occurs. Most national authorities enable passport holders to renew their travel document fast by setting up emergency procedures for this kind of situation.

As you might expect, it will cost you more than the regular replacement of your passport.

How to renew an expired passport?

We have a step-by-step guide on precisely how to renew an expired passport.

You can do so either online, by mail, or in person. Our guide provides information on all these options, as well as the documents you’ll need to provide, including a valid passport photo.

Note that this is also valid if you’ve lost your passport.

What to do with your expired passport?

Even after receiving your new, valid passport, you want to be careful with that old, expired one.

First, know that even expired, your passport may serve as a proof of citizenship in most countries.

Then, and perhaps most importantly, your old passport may still contain valid visas. If that’s a case, when travelling, make sure that you carry both the valid passport and the expired one with this visa stamp.

Now, if your old expired passport no longer holds any value, don’t simply go ahead and put it in the trash. To dispose of your passport, shred or burn it first. This will prevent ill-intentioned people from making fraudulent use of it.

Passport Valid Check: How long is a passport valid?

How long is a passport valid in the US?

In the US, adult passports are valid for 10 years starting from the date of delivery, while a child passport expires after 5 years.

How long is a passport valid in the UK?

Similarly to the US, UK passports are valid for a period of 10 years if you were aged 16 or more at the time of delivery, and only 5 years if you were 15 or less.

Is my passport valid after Brexit?

UK passport holders will still be able to travel to Europe despite the No Deal Brexit. At least until the end of 2020, they’ll be allowed to use the “EU passport” lines at border control. However, UK passports must be valid during the entirety of their trip.

After the end of the year, Brits will need to conform with the Six Months Rule that is enforced in the Schengen Area countries, just like all other non-EU countries.
On the bright side, flight compensation rules after Brexit should remain the same.

How long is a passport valid in each country?

Below, you will find an extensive list of countries and how long a passport is valid for them.

One more thing to keep in mind, though: when travelling to specific destinations, not only should your passport not be expired or have at least six months before it does; it should also have several blank pages. That’s to allow for a visa to be printed.

So make sure that you have enough free pages to accommodate a stamp from the entry and exit immigration.

Passport validity in Africa

ALGERIA: 10 years
BENIN: 6 years
EGYPT: 7 years
ERITREA: 5 years
ETHIOPIA: 5 years
GHANA: 10 years
KENYA: 10 years
LIBYA: 10 years
MOROCCO: 5 years
NAMIBIA: 5 years
SENEGAL: 5 years
SOUTH AFRICA: 10 years
SUDAN: 5 years
TANZANIA: 10 years
TOGOLESE: 5 years
TUNISIA: 5 years
UGANDA: 10 years

Passport validity in Asia

AFGHANISTAN: 5 years
ARMENIA: 10 years
AZERBAIJAN: 10 years
BAHRAIN: 10 years
BANGLADESH: 10 years
BRUNEI: 5 years
CAMBODIA: 10 years
CHINA: 10 years
CYPRUS: 10 years
HONG KONG: 10 years
INDIA: 10 years
INDONESIA: 5 years
IRAN: 5 years
IRAQ: 8 years
ISRAEL: 5 or 10 years
JAPAN: 5 or 10 years
KAZAKHSTAN: 10 years
KUWAIT: 5 or 10 years
LAOS: 10 years
LEBANON: 5 or 10 years
MACAO: 10 years
MALAYSIA: 5 years
MALDIVES: 5 years
NEPAL: 10 years
PAKISTAN: 5 or 10 years
THE PHILIPPINES: 10 years
SAUDI ARABIA: 10 years
SINGAPORE: 5 years
SOUTH KOREA: 10 years
SRI LANKA: 10 years
TAIWAN: 5 or 10 years
TUNISIA: 5 years
THAILAND: 5 years
TURKEY: 10 years
VIETNAM: 10 years
YEMENI: 6 years

Passport validity in Europe

ALBANIA: 10 years
ANDORRA: 10 years
AUSTRIA: 10 years
BELARUS: 10 years
BELGIUM: 10 years
BULGARIA: 5 or 10 years
CROATIA: 6 or 10 years
CZECH REPUBLIC: 10 years
CYPRUS: 10 years
DENMARK: 10 years
ESTONIA: 10 years
FINLAND: 5 years
FRANCE: 5 years
GERMANY: 10 years
GREECE: 5 years
GUERNSEY: 10 years
HUNGARY: 10 years
ICELAND: 10 years
IRELAND: 10 years
ITALY: 10 years
LATVIA: 10 years
LIECHTENSTEIN: 10 years
LITHUANIA: 10 years
LUXEMBOURG: 5 years
MALTA: 10 years
MOLDOVA: 10 years
NETHERLANDS: 10 years
NORTH MACEDONIA: 10 years
NORWAY: 10 years
POLAND: 10 years
PORTUGAL: 5 years
ROMANIA: 10 years
RUSSIA: 10 years
SERBIA: 10 years
SLOVAKIA: 10 years
SPAIN: 10 years
SWITZERLAND: 10 years
UKRAINE: 10 years
UNITED KINGDOM: 10 years

Passport validity in North and Central America

ANGUILLA: 10 years
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: 10 years
BARBADOS: 10 years
CANADA: 5 or 10 years
CAYMAN ISLANDS: 10 years
COSTA RICA: 6 years
CUBA: 6 years
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 6 or 10 years
GRENADA: 5 years
JAMAICA: 5 or 10 years
MEXICO: 1 3, 6 or 10 years
PANAMA: 5 years
ST.KITTS AND NEVIS: 10 years
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: 10 years
UNITED STATES: 10 years

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Passport validity in South America

ARGENTINA: 10 years
BRAZIL: 10 years
CHILE: 5 years
COLOMBIA: 10 years
ECUADOR: 6 years
COSTA RICA: 6 years
GUYANA: 5 years
PERU: 2 or 5 years
URUGUAY: 10 years
VENEZUELA: 5 years

Passport validity in Oceania

AUSTRALIA: 10 years
NEW ZEALAND: 10 years
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: 5 years
TONGA: 10 years
TUVALUAN: 5 years

Thomas Busson

Thomas Busson

Thomas is a Passenger Rights and Flight Compensation expert. Frequent traveller, he loves sharing tips and news to help people make the most of travel.

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Is my passport valid for travel to Europe?

If your passport is more than ten years old or there is less than three months before it expires, you may not be able to use it to travel to countries within the EU. The rules came into effect after Brexit, with Ireland being the only exception. Here’s what you need to know.

Main photo: Alamy

What documents do I need to travel from the UK?

A valid passport is essential for travelling outside of the UK. For travel to the EU and EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), it needs to be less than ten years old when you enter the country and have at least three months left on it the day after you leave. The only exception is if you are travelling to Ireland — which is part of the Common Travel Area with the UK — where you can travel up to the day your passport expires.

Depending on where you are travelling to, for what purpose and for how long, you may also need to get a visa. After Brexit, UK nationals are only permitted to stay in EU countries for a maximum of 90 days out of 180, after which a visa or other entry permit may be needed. You will need to check the entry requirements for each individual country you are visiting.

If you are planning to drive or hire a car, you will need to take your driving licence. And if you only have a paper version of the licence, or your licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you may need to apply for an International Driving Licence, which costs £5.50 from the Post Office. Those taking their own cars across the border will also need relevant insurance and vehicle registration details as well as a UK sticker on the vehicle.

When travelling to EU countries, you may also want to apply for and take your UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC). This free benefit replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for most UK nationals after Brexit. It entitles you to the same access to public medical care as residents. In some cases, having the card with you is a requisite of ensuring your travel insurance is valid.

Can you travel to Europe without a passport from the UK?

In most cases, you will need your passport to travel to Europe. Ireland is the only exception, although the government still advises taking your passport with you, and airlines will typically insist on it.

What if I lose my passport?

If you have lost your passport, or you do not have time to get a new one before you travel, you may be able to apply for an emergency travel document. These cost £100 and you will need to attend a British embassy in person after you have applied online. The document contains your exact itinerary and if you decide to change your plans at the last minute you will need a new document.

Can you travel with an expired passport within Europe?

In theory, yes, because land borders within the Schengen area are open and ID checks are only carried out in exceptional circumstances. For example, the Spanish government has said that its citizens may enter the country on an expired passport or ID after its authenticity has been checked; however, a valid travel document is still required to leave the country. In the case of the UK, your passport will be checked at all border controls and you will need to make sure it’s valid for travel.

Passport control at Heathrow Airport

Passport control at Heathrow Airport (Getty Images)

How long do you need on your passport to travel to Spain?

Like most countries in the EU, Spain requires those travelling on a British passport to have at least three months remaining after the day you plan to leave. You also need to check that it is less than ten years old when you enter Spain.

How long do you need on your passport to travel to Greece?

For Greece, the usual EU passport validity rules apply. This means it needs to be less than ten years old when you enter the country and have at least three months left on it the day after you leave.

How long do you need on your passport to travel to Portugal?

EU passport validity rules also apply in Portugal. So your passport needs to be less than ten years old when you enter the country and have at least three months left on it the day after you leave.

How long do you need on your passport to travel to the USA?

For entry into the USA, your passport needs to be valid for the duration of your stay although it doesn’t need to have any additional validity on it. However, you may need an Esta or visa for entry.

How long do you need on your passport to travel to Turkey?

Turkey requires UK passport holders to have at least six months remaining on their passports from the day they arrive. It also needs to have a full blank page for the entry and exit stamps.

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How many months do I need on my passport to travel?

Having a valid passport is essential for international travel, but countries have different rules around when a passport expires — and it’s not necessarily the date shown on your document. After Brexit, for example, UK passport holders now need to have a passport that’s less than ten years old when you enter an EU member state, with an expiry date that’s at least three months after the day you leave.

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For some destinations, a valid passport isn’t the only requirement — you may also need to have full blank pages for visa and entry and exit stamps. Here’s everything you need to know, including the entry requirements for some of the most popular destinations for British travellers.

Main photo: wherever you’re going, check the passport requirements (Alamy)

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Corscia: your passport must be less than ten years old when you enter and valid for at least three months after you leave

Corsica: your passport must be less than ten years old when you enter and valid for at least three months after you leave (Alamy)

Popular destinations

• Spain: passport must be less than ten years old when you enter the country and valid for at least three months after the day you leave.

• Greece: less than ten years old when you enter the country and valid for at least three months after the day you leave.

• France: less than ten years old when you enter the country and valid for at least three months after the day you leave.

• Italy: less than ten years old when you enter the country and valid for at least three months after the day you leave.

• US: passport must be valid for duration of stay, no additional validity required.

The US: your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay

The US: your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay (Getty Images)

Less than three months needed

• Argentina: passport must be valid for duration of stay

• Australia: valid for duration of stay.

• Barbados: valid for duration of stay.

• Bermuda: valid for duration of stay

• Canada: valid for duration of stay

• Chile: valid for duration of stay

• Cuba: valid for two months after departure.

• Japan: valid for duration of stay

• Jamaica: valid for duration of stay

• Mexico: valid for duration of stay.

• Morocco: valid for duration of stay but three additional months is advisable

• Seychelles: valid for duration of stay.

• St Lucia: valid for duration of stay

• Tunisia: valid for duration of stay

Tunisia: your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay

Tunisia: your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay (Alamy)

Three months needed

• EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden): passport must be valid from day after departure and less than ten years old

• Iceland: passport must be valid from day after departure and less than ten years old.

• Norway: from day after departure and less than ten years old

• Switzerland: from day after departure and less than ten years old

Switzerland: your passport will need to be valid from day after departure and less than ten years old

Switzerland: your passport will need to be valid from day after departure and less than ten years old (Getty Images)

Six months needed

• Anguilla: passport must be valid for six months from arrival

• Antigua and Barbuda: from arrival

• Bolivia: from arrival

• Dominican Republic: from arrival (as of July 31, 2022)

• Taiwan: from arrival

India: your passport be valid 180 days from visa application and arrival, and contain two blank pages

India: your passport be valid 180 days from visa application and arrival, and contain two blank pages (Alamy)

Which countries require blank pages in your passport?

Some countries require full blank pages for visas on arrival as well as entry and exit stamps. In some cases, these blank pages need to be consecutive. Double check with the embassy before you travel.

• India: passport must be valid 180 days from visa application and arrival, and contain two blank pages

• Kenya: valid six months from arrival, plus two blank pages

• Mauritius: valid for duration of stay, plus a blank page

• Namibia: valid six months from arrival, plus a blank page

• Rwanda: valid six months from arrival, plus a blank page

• Turkey: valid six months from arrival, plus a blank page.

• South Africa: valid for six months from arrival and 30 days on departure, plus two blank pages

How do I find out how long I need on my passport?

The Foreign Office has a full list of entry requirements for different countries, including passport validity. It assumes you are travelling on a full, standard British passport. If you have a passport issued from a British Overseas Territory, the entry requirements may be different for some destinations. You should also double check details with the embassy of the country you’re visiting.

What’s the minimum passport validity to enter the UK?

The UK government requires visitors from other countries to have a passport (or other valid ID if from EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) that is valid for the duration of their stay. No additional validity is required.

How do I get a new passport if I need one?

You can apply for a new passport online via the government’s website. It costs £75.50 for a standard adult passport (valid 10 years), or £49 for a child under 16 (valid five years), and you’ll need a credit or debit card for this. Alternatively you can apply for one through the post; the forms for postal applications are available through the Post Office and it costs £85 for an adult or £58.50 for a child.

You’ll need to send in certain documents which usually include a birth certificate if it’s your first passport, or your previous passport if you’re renewing. The requirements vary according to your circumstances but the application form will tell you what you need.

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Source https://www.claimcompass.eu/blog/passport-expiration-date/

Source https://www.thetimes.co.uk/travel/advice/is-my-passport-valid-for-travel-to-europe

Source https://www.thetimes.co.uk/travel/advice/how-many-months-do-i-need-on-my-passport-to-travel

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