Six Month Passport Validity Rule

Are you familiar with the “Six Month Validity Rule”? When I started planning international travel, I decided to do a bit more research on the topic to help my clients who travel to other countries.

If your passport is set to expire soon and you have travel plans, watch out for this six month rule. Many countries require a six month buffer on your passport’s expiration date. Quite simply put, this means if you travel to those countries and your passport expires in a month, it may not be valid and you may not be able to board a flight, or enter your destination county.

Your best bet is to renew your passport at least nine months before it expires; however, it’s useful to know which countries enforce the rule. U.S. Passport Help Guide lists 50+ countries that require six-month validity when traveling from the U.S.

Here are a few of the most popular for tourists:

  • Bahamas
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Burma
  • China
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
  • French Polynesia
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Malaysia
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nicaragua
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • St. Lucia
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

For a complete list of countries that require six-month validity, head here.

Outside the Lines Travel recommends that you renew your passport nine months before your passport expires. This gives you enough time to apply for a U.S. passport with the passport office.

If you are traveling soon and your passport is about to expire, you will need to expedite your passport renewal. The post office is not recommended in this situation as the turnaround time to expedite a passport renewal at the post offices is two to four weeks. Go to a passport agency or center. Find more information here.  If you would like our services for your next adventure, visit Outside the Lines Travel. Happy traveling!


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