Soon to expire passport

Rules for travelling with a soon-to-be expired passport

People can often forget to check the expiration date on their passports before travelling, assuming that as long as it’s in date then they will be fine. However, a lot of countries still need a certain amount of time on a passport before they allow you in. Find out whether you can travel when your passport is about to expire with our handy guide.

How long should you have left on your passport?

Many people pack their bags for a holiday or business trip with just a casual glance at their passport expiration date, but if it’s due to expire you may be refused entry. While most countries in the European Union, as well as Australia, Canada and the USA, just need your passport to be valid for the length of your stay, other countries such as China, Thailand, Egypt and Turkey need at least six months.

In general, many countries that require a visa to enter will require at least six months validity on your passport when entering the country, so make sure you find out whether your passport has long enough before it expires before you travel.

How do I find out how long I need on my passport?

The best way to find out if your passport is valid for travel to certain countries is to check the Travel Advice section of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Choose the country you’re visiting, before clicking on ‘Entry requirements’ and scrolling down to ‘Passport validity’.

What to do when your passport is nearing expiry

Passport rules for different countries

All countries will have their own rules concerning passport validity and expiration rules. Here’s a list of the most common ones:

Australia

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Barbados

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Canada

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay, but if you have less than six months validity it may take longer to pass through immigration control.

China

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

Egypt

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

European Union

All 28 countries in the European Union require that your passport is valid for the duration of your stay. Those countries are:

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus*

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

*However, if you’re travelling to the north of Cyprus, your passport should have at least six months validity.

India

Your passport must be machine readable, with two blank pages for your visa and valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of entry into India.

Japan

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

Mexico

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

New Zealand

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of one month from the date of exit.

Singapore

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

South Africa

Rules state that your passport should be valid for at least 30 days from the date of exit, but it’s recommended that you have at least six months on your passport before it expires. Your passport should also have at least two blank pages when you enter or leave South Africa.

Thailand

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

Turkey

Your passport should have at least six months validity.

USA

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. However, your passport must be a biometric ePassport with the silver camera symbol on the front. There are also a number of other rules concerning entry to the USA, which you should check before travelling.

What to do if you need a new passport

If you need to renew your passport and have more than four weeks before you travel, pick up an application form from your local Post Office or use our online Passport Check & Send process.

If you need your passport more urgently, then read the Government’s official passport advice to find out more on soon to expire passports.

Travel insurance

Have you checked whether your travel insurance is still valid? If not, check out the travel insurance offered by the Post Office to cover you for your next holiday.

 

Post Office Passport Check & Send can help guarantee your passport application is processed without delay. Find your nearest Post Office branch.

Have you thought about protecting your travel documents and belongings with travel insurance from Post Office?

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