Understand the 6 month validity rule?


6 Month Validity Rule Explained

When you apply for a U.S. Passport they are issued for a certain time frame. They are valid for 5 years for a child’s passport age 15 and younger and they are valid for 10 years for an adult passport age 16 years and older. Many international travelers are now hit with a new rule issued by most major countries called the 6-month validity rule. To the everyday U.S. citizen, what does this mean?

This means you must have 6 months of validity on your passport beyond your stay in a foreign country. For example, If you plan on traveling to Spain January 1st, 2018 and your passport is going to expire on June 1st, 2018 when you appear at the airport they will not let you board the plane since your passport is going to expire within the next 6 months.

The Reason Behind The 6 Month Validity Rule

The question is why is the U.S. Department of State doing this when you pay for a ten or five-year passport? The reason is they want all international travelers to renew the passport early to generate revenue for passport services as well as should anything happen to you when you’re overseas you will have a newly renewed passport, so you are not stuck trying to renew it at a U.S. embassy overseas. If you are in this situation overseas the embassy can only issue a limited validity passport and it can take a week or longer.

How can I find out what countries require 6 months of passport validity?

The state department’s website has a link to most major countries about what is required when going to the country and travel warnings and how much passport validity you need in your passport to make this a smooth process to the country you are traveling to.

Learn About Your Destination

Renew Your Passport Early

Our recommendation since some countries require 6 months and now some countries only require 3 months is renew your passport early. You can actually renew your passport as quickly as you want. You can even renew your passport should your physical appearance change and you want an updated photo. The main goal is not to get to the airport and be the one who has to turnaround from the airline because of this rule.

Learn About Passport Renewals


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