6 months passport validity ruleBack to Forum
I have just realised that my passport will expire in 6 months and a couple of weeks approx.
I live abroad and a renewal will take 4 weeks, but would like to travel before the end of the month on holiday.
Does anyone know of countries where this rule is strictly enforced?6 Sep 2016
Hi Ice’nSpice, if you have a UK passport they will sometimes give a second passport if you need one, and ask for one. It is not as easy as it used to be, but is still possible as I just renewed my second passport. If you are in EU you just need to write saying that you travel extensively and must have your passport with you at all times for boarding flights. They will write saying that you should call, and will send a pre-paid envelope for your reply, but a passport will soon be issued. If you are employed, and your employer will provide a letter confirming that you travel extensively within Europe then it is even easier.
Hope this helps6 Sep 2016
almost all countries that have the rule in place enforce it. Not only that but the airlines will check before you get on a plane and if they aren’t happy they simply won’t let you on as they’ll be open to fines.
So really depends on where you want to go. I certainly wouldn’t book to a destination that requires 6 months validity in the hope that it will be waived. That way lies disaster, disappointment and potentially a lot of money that can’t be recovered.6 Sep 2016
If I am not mistaken, some countries only require a three months beyond ‘expected period of stay’ validity. But generally one shouldn’t risk it unless absolutely necessary and then too only after confirming it on timatic or the country’s own immigration website, if available.6 Sep 2016
Tim is spot on, I’ve 2 mates that have been caught out. And comically so, on a trip to our mates wedding in Sydney. Well at least for those of us not affected.
First mate allowed on KLM flight at EDI. Only to be stopped by the Garuda lass at AMS on our way to a Bali. He had to spend 2 days in Holland getting a new one.
In Sydney, my 2nd mate laughing at firsts misfortune, wasn’t laughing 5 minutes later when his travel agent girlfriend announced that he’d have to do the same,if their intended Singapore short stay stopover was going to go ahead on the way back to Blighty.
So be very aware of your itinerary..6 Sep 2016
Icenspice, renewing passport from overseas is notoriously painful if you need it in a deadline. one of my staffs attempts last year took 3 months! and with the amount of temporary passports he had to get + visas it ended up costing more in both money and days not working than if he had flown back to UK gone fast track and flown back to HK! my advise is if you can get to UK and have 3-4 days do it in person. 4 weeks is no gurantee7 Sep 2016
Thanks for your replies.
I discovered yesterday that I will be able to keep my current passport until the new one is issued. Good news, and essential for me. Travelling ‘home’ to renew it is not a viable option.
Now to make myself presentable for the mugshot. May take a while!!8 Sep 2016
6 Month Rule. Recently on holiday in Bali, a fellow guest at the hotel, was telling me of the horrible experience her daughter had entering Indonesia( Bali). Her passport was just under 6 months to renewal. They refused entry, and as Emirates had not checked correctly, they made her return home to UK, get a new one and then return to Bali.She did not say who picked up the bill.Apparently Indonesia are very strict.10 Sep 2016
Emirates would have been fined and (at least as far as Indonesia is concerned) responsible for taking the passenger back to her original departure point.
I have had a related experience, although not due to my passport expiring – it disappeared somewhere between the departure gate (where I know I had it because they checked it at the gate) and disembarkation in Manila. I only realised when I was walking to immigration (cue usual mild panic, checking of packets, bags, re-checking, greater panic etc etc). Cut a long story short, they wouldn’t let me back on board to search for it, crew said they couldn’t find it. Went to immigration anyway who refused to talk to me, CX staff tried to intermediate but without success. Managed to get hold of the British Embassy’s emergency hotline and the guy who answered was incredibly helpful. He knew someone in the central immigration department who persuaded airport immigration to talk to me and, long story short, after I pointed out I was meeting the number 2 in the Finance Ministry the next day and (fortunately) being able to confirm that with the Ministry, they permitted me to enter against surrender of my Hong Kong ID card and an undertaking I would get a new passport before leaving. I went to hotel, managed to find a passport photo machine and managed to get a surprisingly good night’s sleep. Embassy guy (what a star!) arranged for the embassy to open early (because my first meeting was at 9), helped with all the forms, I went off to my meetings, and by the time I got back to the hotel that afternoon the passport had been issued, collected by a CX staff member, taken to the airport, had my immigration stamp entered, and it and my ID card delivered back to the hotel where it was waiting for me at reception. I genuinely cannot praise Embassy guy or CX enough, particularly since (poor sods) CX got fined for bringing in an undocumented passenger even though they DID check my passport at the gate when I boarded.
Sorry, a bit OT, but goes to show that if running into immigration/passport problems, it is sensible to contact your local embassy or consulate – they may be able to help!!14 Sep 2016
@IanFrom HKG — regarding your last comment – help from your local embassy or consulate? Are you joking? They couldn’t give a rat’s ***e!
Years ago, and not so many, I used to renew my passport at the Abu Dhabi embassy, I also use to see some Brits there too (as well as the Indian administrative staff) but now just recently, I went there to get some bank document attested and the ‘G4S’ would not even let me in without an appointment, and so I spoke at the gatehouse to a member of staff inside ( a Brit) who told me coldly “oh we don’t do that anymore”. So then I responded and said that ‘before you used to renew passports and now you don’t, and this (document attestation) is also something else you don’t do anymore, so could you explain to me what you do actually do here still?’ Any ideas what she responded forum members? ….. She said “we are here in case of an emergency and you need to leave the country in a hurry’ !!!! I said “Madam, if there is an emergency, and we need to leave the country, I shall not wait for your advice, I shall do it in my own way”.
So there you are folks, the British Embassies are there only for emergency situations, and that is what the tax payers are paying for, so they can ‘work'(doing what I don’t know) 5 hrs a day, 5 days a week and the rest of the time (here in Abu Dhabi) enjoying life in the Gulf. And before any of you ‘jump down my throat’ and say its the same for everyone, my French colleagues still renew theirs here (it takes a 7-10 days) and also my Italian friends do so, not to mention my staff, including Philippinos, Indians, Thais etc etc.
But not good ol’ blighty! You will have to make an emergency booking, fly to UK, travel to a Passport Office, pay 3 times the normal fee (over 135 quid) and have it renewed in 4 hours.
What a completely inept unprofessional and useless Government, ours has turned into!14 Sep 2016
I have to agree with Ian on the helpfulness of British Embassy staff (actually same goes with the Swiss Embassy but they can be a bit cooler!). They do bend over backwards to assist and the emergency line is always answered no matter the time of day or night.
I must admit I know many embassy staff personally and it helps when I mention I know so and so, but even if i don’t or they haven’t a clue who so and so is, I’m still helped in a very professional and efficient manner.
I used them for lost (stolen) passport, dental emergencies, business introductions, travel advice and local briefings.14 Sep 2016
Tut Tut alainboy56……How on earth are we supposed to lower our budget deficit man. It seems perfectly sensible to outsource official government activities in order to lower running costs. Empower the passport user to take responibility to organize their own budget and time to renew an official government document : )
Evening Ian & on the run …..i’m doing a bit of cross threading here. Your Manilla experience reminded me about my unfortunate mate’s brush with Garuda. He ‘d probably have wished he took your advice about packing a change of clothes in his hand luggage…a tale of his woes on the other thread about cabin baggage.14 Sep 2016
The only thing I can agree with in Alainboy’s statement is about passport renewal though I of course believe what he says though it’s not what I have experienced. I also find it frustrating I can’t renew my passport at the Embassy as I used to, and I can at the Swiss Embassy or consulate world wide. In fact I don’t even have to submit to the horrors of a photo booth and getting it right as they do the whole thing in house.
I recently did this for Mrs. LP, the boys and myself in Cape Town. It was painless and I then had a choice of passport being sent to my address in Switzerland, my home address or collection from the consulate. I collected them from the consulate and we were allowed to keep our old passports till the new ones arrived whereupon they were cancelled, taking care not to put a hole or stamp through valid visas and permits.
The passports are still printed in Switzerland (they used to be also done at the embassy but the new bio-metric passport makes this impossible) and then couriered out and I do feel this is something the UK government could and should do as well for their citizens overseas.14 Sep 2016
As you can renew a British passport 9 months in advance and have the unused part extended to the new passport, there is really no excuse for people not to renew well in advance. In fairness though little information is given to people about this and perhaps a bit of money should be spent on informing British citizens.
One of the difficulties British Embassy staff have is that there is no obligation to register yourself when you live in a foreign country, which there is for most other nationals, so they do not know you exist and so cannot inform you of the latest news/advice etc.14 Sep 2016