A traveler claimed in a TikTok viewed more than 10 million times that they were turned away at the airport because their passport was set to expire in five months. The traveler says they were told they would need to get a new passport to fly.
“Imagine planning a family trip for over six months to celebrate your mom’s birthday, only to get to the airport to be told that you can’t fly,” the traveler said in the viral video. “They turned me away because my passport was expiring in five months.”
Do some countries deny you entry if your passport expires within six months?
- U.S. Department of State
- European Union
- U.S. consulates in Greece and Hong Kong
- Embassies of the United Arab Emirates and Mexico
- Fastport Passport, a passport and visa expediting company registered with the State Department
Yes, some countries deny you entry if your passport expires within six months.
WHAT WE FOUND
Many countries require your passport to be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip, the U.S. Department of State says. Some airlines may not even let you board your plane out of the U.S. if you do not meet this requirement.
For some countries, this rule is based on the date you arrive in the country. For others, this rule is based on the date you’re scheduled to leave the country.
The reason countries enforce this rule is because they do not want to risk travelers to their country overstaying their passport validity, says Fastport Passport, a passport and visa expediting company registered with the U.S. State Department.
Many countries will not issue you a visa or give you permission to enter if your passport expires within six months, the State Department says. Some countries have variations of this rule in which they deny entry to people whose passports expire within three months or one month, and some do not have this rule at all.
There are dozens of countries with this requirement or a similar requirement, so the State Department generally recommends Americans have at least six months before their passports expire whenever traveling abroad to avoid potential travel disruptions.
The United Arab Emirates, which is where the traveler in the viral TikTok was heading to, requires passports be valid for at least six months before entry, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates says.
If you’re traveling to a country in the European Union, your passport must be valid for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting, the European Union says. But because some EU countries assume all travelers will stay for the maximum allowed time of three months, you should still play it safe by keeping your passport valid for at least six months beyond the date you arrive in the EU, according to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Greece.
Some places, such as Hong Kong and Macau, require U.S. passports to be valid for at least one month after your travel dates, the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau says.
And then some countries, such as Mexico, just require that your passport be valid for the length of your trip, the Embassy of Mexico says.
The U.S. State Department keeps travel requirements and information for each country on its website. When you search for a country, passport validity requirements are listed near the top of the country’s page in the “Quick Facts” box. You can see an example of this on Germany’s travel page.