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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As a rule of thumb, a passport is no longer valid 10 or 15 years after it was issued.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.

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.

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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

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
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
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
LITHUANIA: 10 years
MALTA: 10 years
MOLDOVA: 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
UKRAINE: 10 years

Passport validity in North and Central America

ANGUILLA: 10 years
BARBADOS: 10 years
CANADA: 5 or 10 years
COSTA RICA: 6 years
CUBA: 6 years
GRENADA: 5 years
JAMAICA: 5 or 10 years
MEXICO: 1 3, 6 or 10 years
PANAMA: 5 years

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
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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Passport Validity for Travel to USA: What You Need To Know

Passport expiration date rules for USA are one of the main concerns when traveling to the States.

And there is a good reason for that since it can get your application denied or if you have already acquired it, the passport validity can still be a reason for authorities to not let you travel to the USA.

Keep in mind, that these rules on the passport expiry date are not the same for everyone who travels to the USA. Which means you have to make sure which requirements you are a subject to in order to understand if you need to obtain a new passport or if you still can travel with the one you hold.


Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!

When you travel to USA from UK, passport requirements are regulated by the US Visa Waiver Program and ESTA which is important to keep in mind when applying for travel authorization and planning your trip.

Do I need 6 months on my passport before expiry date to travel to USA?

Yes, when traveling to the USA you need at least 6 months of expiry date after the planned return date. However, this rule is different for citizens of some countries, for example, the UK. This will be covered in detail in the next chapter.

Passport Validity

Passport validity is one of the most important factors to keep in mind before traveling and even if many people forget about that, one of the most common questions regarding travel to USA is:

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

The answer is this!

When traveling to the USA, the general rule is to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the planned time of return.

However, there are some countries, citizens of which can enjoy a bit more freedom regarding their passport expiry rules when traveling to the USA. For citizens of these countries, the passport validity must only cover the time of their intended stay in the States.

Countries who are subject to this rule are:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

Which countries require 6 months of passport validity?

All of the countries which are not included in this list and are not under the specific rules regarding their citizen passport expiry dates are regulated by the 6-month passport validity law. Which means you have to make sure which of the rules apply to you before further planning your trip to the USA!

Passport Validity when traveling with ESTA

If you are traveling under the US Visa Waiver program, the travel authorization you need to acquire is an ESTA instead of a Visa. So remember, that you also need to pay attention to the ESTA validity date and not just your passport.

If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed above, the validity date of your passport must be at least the same as the date of your planned return from the US. This means that these rules are also the general travel passport requirements for USA from UK.


Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!

Keep in mind that the validity of your passport also affects the validity of your ESTA. This authorization is no longer valid when your passport validity ends. If the passport is valid for more than two years after obtaining an ESTA, the authorization will be valid for two years.

If the country you are a citizen is not listed above, you are a subject to the rule of 6 months of passport validity after exiting the US.

Passport Validity when traveling with Visa

There are no Visa requirements for UK citizens, therefore these passport validity rules do not apply to the UK citizens.

Passport validity for travel to USA when traveling with a Visa usually requires the passport to be valid for at least six months after the planned date of return. However, if you are a citizen of one of the countries listed above, the rules are slightly different.

In this case, the passport validity requires the expiry date to at least meet the date of planned return.

Usually, when traveling with a Visa, your passport expiry date could also influence your chances of obtaining a US Visa. Therefore make sure your passport is valid for a long enough period before applying for a Visa.

Also, keep in mind that your Visa is no longer valid after the passport expiry date. After that, you need to obtain a new Visa.

What to do if Passport expires soon

An upcoming passport expiry date is a common problem to those travelers who are affected by the list of which countries require 6 months of passport validity. Simply because they are more likely to need to renew their passport before being able to apply for a Visa.

But this checkup for passport validity also applies to people who are citizens of countries which are regulated by the US Visa Waiver Program.

Therefore it is good to know how long does it take to get a passport in the UK or any other country for that matter. In most cases, it takes a couple of days, but it can also be done in a single day. However, there are additional fees that you will have to cover if you are renewing your passport in the last moment before traveling.


It is important to understand that there are no Visa requirements for UK citizens since they are a subject of the VWP and need to acquire and ESTA. This also changes the passport validity rules, but that does not mean it is possible to travel with an expired passport!

Do you need a biometric passport to travel to USA?

It is highly important to remember that all travelers who are traveling under the USA Visa Waiver Program need to obtain an electronic passport since the usual, machine-readable passports, will not be accepted.

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Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!

Make sure you can travel before applying for travel authorization

Remember that some sort of passport expiry rules apply to everyone who wishes to travel to the USA. Even if you need to obtain an ESTA instead of a Visa, there are still some rules that affect you.

This is why you should make sure your passport has a long enough validity time even before applying for travel authorization. This way you can be sure to avoid any misunderstandings and unneeded problems during the authorization process.

You should also learn more about traveling with two passports, to avoid any problems if you indeed have two citizenships.

For more specific information on expiry dates and process of renewing your passport, you should contact your local authorities.

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.

Take me there

Wanting to visit Europe but yet to book your trip? Here are the best packages from TUI Holidays* and Expedia*. And if you’re still unsure of where you want to go or what type of holiday to book, get in touch here and one of the Designer Travel experts will be in contact to help you arrange your perfect tailor-made break.

Here’s a selection of some of the best European tour itineraries from our Times Travel partners.

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