Today, I learned something that affects many of our clients - it’s called the “Six Month Validity Rule,” and I decided to do a bit more research on the topic to help all of our 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:
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Papua New Guinea
Trinidad & Tobago
For a complete list of countries that require six-month validity, head here.
We recommend 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 or contact your favorite Upon A Star agent. Happy traveling!