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Old Mar 10, 06, 10:56 pm   #1
 
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Question How close to a passport expiration date can you travel?

In 2 weeks, I'm headed out on a 5 week trip. My passport expires a little over 4.5 months after I leave (August). I thought that would be plenty of time for me to make it back home, even counting my tendency to get lost, but a family member thinks it could lead to problems.

So, o wise FT-ers, in your experience, how close to a passport expiration date can you travel? Am I likely to run into any difficulties? Should I try to get the passport renewed in the ten business days before I leave?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Mar 10, 06, 11:07 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csky217
In 2 weeks, I'm headed out on a 5 week trip. My passport expires a little over 4.5 months after I leave (August). I thought that would be plenty of time for me to make it back home, even counting my tendency to get lost, but a family member thinks it could lead to problems.

So, o wise FT-ers, in your experience, how close to a passport expiration date can you travel? Am I likely to run into any difficulties? Should I try to get the passport renewed in the ten business days before I leave?

Thanks for any advice!
It all depends on where you are traveling, but many countries have a rule that your passport must be valid for 6 months when you enter. You really ought to check this out thoroughly soon because otherwise you might be in for a nasty last-minute surprise. This database (maintained by IATA) has a lot of useful info:

http://www.delta.com/planning_reserv...tion/index.jsp
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Old Mar 10, 06, 11:11 pm   #3
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I always make sure I have at least 6 months left. Many countries don't care if it's less -- like 2 or 3 months -- but 6 months is generally a safe bet.

The link dogcanyon supplied is a good one to check out.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 1:57 am   #4
 
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I know that I can travel within the EU right up to the day that my passport expires, and have travelled around Europe on a passport with only a few weeks left.

I remember travelling to Canada one February on a passport due to expire in early June - I made sure to check beforehand that Canada isn't one of those countries that require six months.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 7:40 am   #5
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I went to the UK once with a passport that was expiring in less than 30 days. I was admonished by HMCS but let in as I had a return ticket for 2 days hence... quick business trip.

HMCS was more mad at the airline for transporting me, than for me using the passport.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 9:45 am   #6
 
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The general rule is 6 months which is good idea anyway. If something happens and you need to stay in country for a while (hospital stay) or want to add another country to the trip the last thing you want to do is spend time away dealing w/ passport problems at the local consulate. Besides you have to renew the passport anyway might as well do it now so you won't have to worry about it later on.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 10:25 am   #7
 
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Wow -- thanks for the advice. The IATA database was particularly helpful -- thanks.
Two of the countries (Kenya and Tanzania) state that they require 6 months left on the passport. I presume the 6 month rule is usually set in stone?

Unfortunately, I'm right up under the 2 week deadline. The closest passport center (Chicago) doesn't have an in-person appointment until March 23. Do they process in-person requests on the same day?

Argh. I really could have planned this better, so I appreciate the advice
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Old Mar 11, 06, 10:31 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csky217
Wow -- thanks for the advice. The IATA database was particularly helpful -- thanks.
Two of the countries (Kenya and Tanzania) state that they require 6 months left on the passport. I presume the 6 month rule is usually set in stone?

Unfortunately, I'm right up under the 2 week deadline. The closest passport center (Chicago) doesn't have an in-person appointment until March 23. Do they process in-person requests on the same day?

Argh. I really could have planned this better, so I appreciate the advice

If you think you have time to visit a local confulate in a foreign country
you are visiting, I think you can get eh passport done the same day.
Please check their online site for the information. And you may not have
to pay additional fees for the expedited service.

But please check before you leave US.
you may find links through this: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...renew_833.html
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Old Mar 11, 06, 11:24 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpx
If you think you have time to visit a local confulate in a foreign country
you are visiting, I think you can get eh passport done the same day.
Please check their online site for the information. And you may not have
to pay additional fees for the expedited service.

But please check before you leave US.
you may find links through this: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...renew_833.html
US Embassies/Consulates strongly prefer not doing that any more; and unless an emergency is involved, their default is to request the normal passport from the National Passport Agency and wait for it to get sent back. And ACS, after hearing the details, may well tell the person to wait until the real deal comes in from overseas. I've seen a few cry babies come into the embassy/consulate and leave claiming this would cost a lot of money -- which it would. Maybe they shouldn't have come in with a passport with X days left with a ticket going back to the US in X+10 days.

I'd be curious what ACS would do -- for example in the event of an emergency -- where a US government blacklist prevents the issuance of a US passport to a citizen without override authorization from elsewhere, an override authorization which can take some time to come in. And names being added to blacklists between departing the US and attempt to get new US passport has happened.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 11:31 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUWonder
US Embassies/Consulates strongly prefer not doing that any more; and unless an emergency is involved, their default is to request the normal passport from the National Passport Agency and wait for it to get sent back. And ACS, after hearing the details, may well tell the person to wait until the real deal comes in from overseas. I've seen a few cry babies come into the embassy/consulate and leave claiming this would cost a lot of money -- which it would. Maybe they shouldn't have come in with a passport with X days left with a ticket going back to the US in X+10 days.

I'd be curious what ACS would do -- for example in the event of an emergency -- where a US government blacklist prevents the issuance of a US passport to a citizen without override authorization from elsewhere, an override authorization which can take some time to come in. And names being added to blacklists between departing the US and attempt to get new US passport has happened.
What would be the best choice if you cant get an appointment at the local
passport office in US before you leave?

It would be interesting to know how strictly these countries enforce
the 6 months rule?

I know China suggests 6 months policy, but they are not enforced strictly.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 4:04 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpx
What would be the best choice if you cant get an appointment at the local
passport office in US before you leave?

It would be interesting to know how strictly these countries enforce
the 6 months rule?

I know China suggests 6 months policy, but they are not enforced strictly.
You do not want to find out the hard way, ie at the immigration desk somewhere in Africa facing a long trip back to the states. That is if the airline will even let you onboard initially.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 6:53 pm   #12
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Use a passport service if you have to, they don't need appointments and can get it done in days for you. It will cost, but it's better then not getting in.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 8:24 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csky217
Wow -- thanks for the advice. The IATA database was particularly helpful -- thanks.
Two of the countries (Kenya and Tanzania) state that they require 6 months left on the passport. I presume the 6 month rule is usually set in stone?

Unfortunately, I'm right up under the 2 week deadline. The closest passport center (Chicago) doesn't have an in-person appointment until March 23. Do they process in-person requests on the same day?

Argh. I really could have planned this better, so I appreciate the advice
I had to do the in person thing at the NY office last June and you get it the same day, pretty certain it is the same at all the in-person centers. You have to be traveling imminently to even get an appointment anyway - I saw one woman there with her suitcase, she was traveling abroad that evening!
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Old Mar 11, 06, 8:59 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csky217
Unfortunately, I'm right up under the 2 week deadline. The closest passport center (Chicago) doesn't have an in-person appointment until March 23. Do they process in-person requests on the same day?
When I had mine done in NY last year, I got the passport within 2 hours. They usually
have appointments lined up in the morning, and they hand out the passports in the
afternoon.
Make sure you take your itinerary with you.
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Old Mar 11, 06, 10:11 pm   #15
 
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definately don't risk it, it's easier and cheaper to deal with this now rather than risk it later....just think how much a ticket would be to get back to the US....
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