As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. That means if your passport has less than six months remaining until the expiration date, you should renew it right away! 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.
What is the six months validity passport rule?
It is not a requirement of the U.S. government. The six-month validity passport rule is a requirement of other countries accepting foreign travelers. The six- month passport validity rule is enforced because nations do not want to risk having travelers and tourists overstaying their passport validity. Six months is now the standard validity requirement for many countries. Most visitors to the United States are also now required to have six months validity of their passports.
6 Months Validity Passport Rule Exceptions
Some countries are more relaxed about the 6-month passport validity rule. Canada and Mexico are the two most commonly traveled countries that now often enforce the passport validity rule (only 3 months validity needed for Canada and Mexico). Again, please be sure to check with each countries entry and exit travel requirements before you go as the requirements are subject to change. As a general rule, you should have at least six months validity on your passport before you travel.
Renew Your Passport Before Your Upcoming Trip
One of the most common mistakes travelers make is not renewing their passport before they travel. You will only make it as far as the airport if you do not have enough validity on your passport. We receive hundreds of phone calls every month from travelers at the airport that are being denied entry on the plane. Don’t let this happen to you. Renew your passport before your upcoming trip! We offer passport expediting services as quickly as 24 hours.
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List of Countries that Require 6 Months Passport Validity
Requirements for each country can change at any time. Please contact your destination country’s embassy or consulate directly. This list is meant to be a helpful guideline for countries that enforce the six-month validity passport rule, but are of course subject to change.
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Ecuador (including Galápagos Islands)
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Nicaragua (currently waived by bilateral agreement)
- Papua New Guinea
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
- Timor-Leste (East Timor)
*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.
Passport requirements often differ from nation to nation. Be sure to check the entry and exit requirements for each country you plan to travel as these requirements can change regularly.