1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Passport Validity

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Corzhens, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Are you aware that your passport should be valid for at least 5 months when you travel? If your passport is nearing expiration, you'd better have it renewed to save yourself from the problem with immigration. It almost happened to us when we were going to Beijing. It's just a good thing that China requires a visa so when we applied for it, we learned that we needed to renew our passport just in time for our trip.
     
  2. reverserewind

    reverserewind Member

    Well, my passport usually lasts for 5 years. So, I don't really have to worry about that. But yeah, you should definitely watch that. The main thing is: your passport validity should go beyond the last visa expiration date.
     
  3. Ava

    Ava Member

    Yes, I am aware and most places don't allow you to enter unless your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date you arrive. As people tend to book online now, they don't always think about it, as travel agents always tell you this.

    If you apply for a visa, they won't usually issue it if your passport will expire in less than a year. The only exceptions are if you are an EU citizen traveling between countries as some don't need a passport, but an ID card.
     
    Corzhens likes this.
  4. It depends on where you are going, I suppose. Traveling on a Malaysian passport to Thailand, I only need to have at least one month's validity left on my passport. I don't need a visa to travel around Thailand. When I cross the border, I automatically get 30 days. That's enough to get anywhere in Thailand. Anyway, there's no place in Thailand which is more than a day's travel from the nearest border.
     
  5. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I actually had to renew my passport a couple of years ago for this very reason - when I vacationed to Malaysia I was only going to have 4 months left on my passport, and when I checked the entry requirements it was a country that required 6 months validity for entry. It was pretty straight forward to get my passport renewed, and it's a 10 year passport so I wont have to worry for a while - but I'm just glad I noticed it before I left for my trip and assumed that just because my passport hadn't expired that it was okay! I think that's why it's always super important to check the entry requirements for any country you travel to - better to be safe than sorry!
     
  6. Just wondering. Do you get a warning before you leave your country if your passport doesn't have enough months left? How about at the time when you book your tickets? Do the airline people let you know the requirements?
     
  7. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I have never been outside the 6 month window to know if a customs official would let you know on the way out if there were issues. I've never been told the requirements outside my own research but that might just be here in the States, I don't know if other countries tell you! I'd be curious to know if anyone else on here has experience with being told by a customs official or an airline representative that their passport didn't have enough validity!
     
  8. What I do know is that when I am checking out from Thailand and my passport has less than a month's validity left, the Thai immigration officer would remind me to get a new passport before I come back to Thailand. That's very helpful, I think. Maybe that's applicable because I use a border pass which is only for travel from Malaysia to Thailand. It can be done in just less than half-an-hour. All I need are two passport-sized photos, my ID card and RM10, which is about $2.50. I don't even have to fill in any forms now since everything is computerised. The officer will scan my ID card and my border pass will be printed out immediately.
     
  9. Thank you so much to letting me know that. I didn't know that there was an expectation that you need at least five months left on your passport. That makes sense considering that you could get stuck there sick or some other reason.
     
  10. Ava

    Ava Member

    It's the responsibility of the individual always, even airline staff don't have to tell you. Basically, you choose to buy a ticket and fly thus you have to be responsible for your documents. Some people have more than one passport and use one to enter and another to leave if they have dual nationality. Immigration can deny you entry into a country, and it's not the responsibility of the airline to make sure your documents are in order.

    Often travel agents would do this, but as many people book online they don't bother or know what to check. If you are on a domestic flight it doesn't matter, only international flights do they have more stringent rules.
     
  11. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    I don't think airlines will remind you that your passport is expiring when you're booking your flight. If you are booking online, some airlines won't even ask for your passport information so there's no way they'd know. It's really your responsibility to check and make sure your passport is valid for the time you're traveling.
     
  12. Oh really? I didn't know that. What I know is that every time I want to book a plane ticket online, I have to give my passport number because the ticket counter at the airport will match my booking number against the passport I am carrying. Of course, this only applies to international flights.
     
  13. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    I guess it varies by airline. I've flown international before too and they don't ask for my passport number. They just asked for my name and birthday. I'm supposed to print my receipt and that's how they check me in at the airport. So they have no way of telling if my passport is going to expire.
     
  14. Ava

    Ava Member

    This is to check that the passport is not fake (they check it against the computer records) as there are so many fake ones these days. I used to work in an airport, and all they check is identity and that the name matches the ticket.

    I had a friend who flew to South America and when he got there they turned him away as he had no visa. He initially blamed the check in staff as they never stopped him, but it wasn't their job to make sure he had a visa or the passport had at least 6 months on it. When you travel read the small print.
     
  15. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    In one of our trips, we chanced upon a guy who is going to Canada with only 1 month left in the validity of his passport. He was inquiring in the airport desk which is presumably an immigration officer who said that it is okay because he is a Canadian citizen, whew, that gave him a relief. But if he is going to another country then he needs at least 5 months of validity in his passport. The guy was profuse in his gratitude because he said he only learned of his expiring passport upon entering the airport (it was not clear who pointed that to him).
     
  16. Ava

    Ava Member

    But this is common sense surely? If he was traveling home, you can't use documents that have expired. You can't use a credit card that has expired, so why would you chance traveling home on a document that was about to expire?

    I'm sorry, but when you travel you need to be responsible and insurance doesn't cover you if you get stranded in a country because your passport expired. While most countries say a minimum of six months is required, some immigration officers can still turn you away if they think you maybe trying to pull a fast one. If you have a return ticket most it will help you enter quickly, but as many people have open tickets or ones where they fly out of another city or a multi-trip ticket, it's harder for them to police and even if you have the minimum validity, they can still deny entry.
     
  17. Wait, if that Canadian is traveling home to Canada, why does it matter whether he has one month or five months left on his passport? He's going home, isn't he? As long as his passport is still valid, he should be allowed to travel home to his own country.
     
  18. Ava

    Ava Member

    That's completely true. It doesn't matter how long your passport is valid for if you are returning to your home country. The validity is only an issue at immigration when they stamp your passport to say how long you are legally allowed to stay. People can and do get extensions to their visas though as I have done before.
     
  19. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    That definitely makes sense - I wouldn't really have expected the airline to take responsibility since airlines have to deal with passengers from all different nationalities with different passports and different visa requirements for entering and exiting countries.

    Also, I think those kinds of regulations tend to change quite a bit - so it's not a surprise to me that the airlines expect the customers to be aware and take responsibility for their own documents.
     
  20. I get the point that it's the responsibility of the individual to make sure that his passport is valid for the journey. However, in the interest of service, it would be a good thing for the airlines to give would-be passengers a reminder about their passports. It would take much. Just a simple notice which pops up when booking online. Or just a pleasant question from the ticket reservation officer when booking or buying tickets in person. That would go a long way in improving the flying experience.
     
  21. Ava

    Ava Member

    The thing about check in staff is that some are outsourced due to code sharing, therefore their job is to check in passengers, and to make sure that their identity matches that on the ticket. It's not their job to do any more, and if it was then I know some American would then try to sue an airline for not telling them their passport was due to expire. It's your passport, so you should know!

    The small print states when you buy a ticket that you are responsible for all documents to enable you to travel such as visas and permits. A ticket does not guarantee entry into a country, and there are no refunds if you are denied entry.