January 1, 2020

How long do you need on your passport for travel?

This post provides a quick check of the passport and visa requirements to visit a list of 40 countries (and counting).

“How long do I need on my passport?” is the first question you need to check when you’re about to travel internationally. This post covers 40 countries and I have added links to the offical websites so you can drill down for more specific information pertaining to the nationality of your own passport and whether a visa is also required.

Because the answer is: it depends!

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to travel requirements.

If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for in the list below, my advice is to contact the airline you are flying with or embassy.

Some countries only require a valid passport for the duration of your holiday, others need three months on your passport, still others require a full six months clear AFTER you have departed. Some need you to apply for a visa and other’s don’t – depending on which passport your hold.

Passport requirements listed by country

Little passport story which nearly caught me out: I was recently invited to Singapore to join a 5-day cruise (yes please) which will stop at Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. A no-brainer as a travel blogger and I said yes straight away, but then it randomly occurred to me (in the middle of the night, when these tend to do!) that my passport expires in five months and I need to quickly check how long it needs to be valid to visit each of those countries.

So what did I do? Why, I jumped onto this very post to double check and HELLO a new passport was needed! I popped into the chemist, got a quick photo taken and applied for my new passport online that afternoon.

I do hope you find this one-stop post of passport requirements helpful πŸ˜€

Passports on vacation
Make sure your passport is valid! Pic Spencer Davis

*Please note: I get so many questions from readers asking me about their own passport situations. I am not a travel agent. If you have specific questions about your own passport, please contact your travel agent, the airline you are flying with or the embassy of the country you are visiting. I won’t be publishing any more comments about individual passport questions. My aim in this post is to provide you with an easy one-stop article filled with helpful links so you can research further if you need to. Hope that makes sense πŸ™‚

*I try and keep this post up to date, but sometimes the rules change and they don’t tell me! Please make sure you have checked onto the appropriate link for up to date information on passport and visa requirements for each country you plan to visit.

Passport and visa requirements

Click on the links for more detailed information, as many countries also require visas for entry, depending on which passport you hold.

Yacht in Croatia

Update: The ETIAS to visit Europe

From 2021, a new visa waiver to enter the EU is coming in. The ETIAS will be required for citizens from 60 countries to enter the Shengen area of Europe.

What is the Shengen area, you ask? Good question! I looked it up. It’s a group of some European Union (EU) and some non-EU countries who have signed up to a treaty in 1985 and covers 26 EU countries which have no passport controls because they are all joined together.

But for now, this list includes passport validity for European countries, assuming you are flying in to check through customs.

Passport info for Argentina
You will probably need a visa for Argentina – as the Pope welcomes visitors to La Boca in Buenos Aires!

Argentina – just a passport valid for the duration of your stay. A visa is not required for stays up to 90 days.

Australia – just a passport valid for duration of stay. A visa is also required for passport holders from Britain, EU, Canada, USA.

Brazilsix months passport validity beyond your stay, plus a visa is required for US, Australian citizens. New Zealand and UK do not require a visa.

Cambodiasix months validity, plus a visa which can be obtained on arrival or in advance

Canada – just a passport valid for duration of stay you’ll also need an ETA visa, which you can get online for CAD$7 from most countries.

Chilepassport valid for 90 days beyond departure date. A visa is not required for stays up to 90 days.

Chinasix months passport validity and you’ll also need a visa if you’re from the countries on this link. And here’s a very important detail: even if you are doing the 24 hour or 72 hour transit without a visa, if you stop twice in China you will need a visa. Despite my brother-in-law and his girlfriend doing all their research telling them no visa was required and boarding a flight to Beijing from Amsterdam, they were declined onward travel and had to purchase a new direct flight once they were in Beijing. €1500 later! It seems that one employee decided this was the rule, despite assurances by the airline it wasn’t. Moral of the story, don’t stop twice when transiting through China if you can help it!

Passport and visa info for China
Visiting the Great Wall of China

Croatiathree months passport validity beyond the length of stay. A visa is not required but a return ticket is if you not travelling on an EU passport.

Cuba – You’ll need six months passport validity after departure and a visa. Read my 20 Things You Need To Know Before You Go To Cuba here >>

Dubaisix months passport validity after departure. Read my post on 6 Things To Do In Dubai here >>

Fijisix months passport validity

Malamala beach club island fiji
I took my iPhone into the sea to get this shot of our cabana at Malamala Beach Club, Fiji!

HELP: My passport expires in 3 months! Can I travel anywhere? Why yes you can. Most of Europe only needs 3 months, plus some countries will let you in as long as your passport is valid just for the duration of your stay. Check out Canada, UK, Japan, Argentina and Australia if you want to travel but your passport doesn’t have long enough.

Francethree months passport validity

Germanythree months passport validity

Greecethree months passport validity

Hong Kong – passport valid for one month after departure.  You might also like my post on Where to Shop in Hong Kong here >>>

Indiasix months (actually they say 180 days) passport validity And you may need a visa if you’re from NZ, Australia, UK, USA, Canada or the EU

Indonesia/Balisix months passport validity

Italysix months passport validity beyond your departure date

Passport requirements for Italy
Civita di Bagnoregio. This is the exhausting walk, but oh so worth it!

Japan – passport needs to be valid for duration of stay

Laos – passports need to be valid for six months. You’ll also need a tourist visa (valid for 30 days). You can get your visa on arrival. You will need a passport photo.

Malaysiasix months validity after departure

Mexicosix months passport validity is recommended, although you may be able to have shorter if you can prove your length of stay is over before your passport expires. Read my post on Baja Mexico is the Next Big Thing >>

Myanmarsix months passport validity beyond the date of departure. Visas are also required and cannot be acquired upon arrival, you need to sort this out before you arrive.

Nepalsix months validity plus a page free for a visa. You get your visa on arrival for $25.

New Caledoniathree months passport validity, or duration of your stay for EU nationals

New Zealandthree months passport validity As of 1 October 2019, visitors will also need to apply for a NZeTA (like the US ESTA visa waiver).

Online Visa waivers are now required for travel to New Zealand
You’ll need an online visa for your NZ vacation!

Omansix months passport validity. Here is my post on 5 Great Things To Do In Oman >>

Philippinessix months passport validity

Rarotonga (Cook Islands)six months passport validity

Singaporesix months remaining on your passport

Cruise ship leaving Singapore
Our cruise ship leaving Singapore. Make sure your passport is valid for all the countries you’ll be visiting on your cruise!

Samoasix months remaining on your passport

South Africaone month passport validity (although I have had a note from a reader that this is now six months. So please check with the embassy or airline before you book.) Also note that visa rules have changed and New Zealanders are required to obtain a visa. Click here for the list of exempt countries >>

Spainthree months passport validity. I loved Barcelona, so if you’re heading there read my post 9 Best Things To Do In Barcelona

Sri Lankasix months passport validity – and at least one blank page in your passport! You may also need a visa and can get that online through ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation System)

Tahitithree months remaining on your passport

Passport requirements for Tahiti
Tahiti: I’m feeding fish while walking on the ocean floor like a bobble-head doll

Thailandsix months passport validity required

UK – passport must be valid for length of stay

USApassports must be valid for six months longer than your intended stay and a Visa Waiver must be purchased online at least 72 hours before departure for US$14.

Note: if you have EVER visited these seven “banned” countries: Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran, Iraq and Yemen, you will NEED a visa to enter the United States. You cannot use the ESTA visa waiver. But the good news is your visa is valid for 10 years. Just make sure you allow plenty of time (like maybe even a couple of months) to arrange your interview at your local US Consulate and the processing time.


USA Addendum: after this post was published, all sorts of hooha ensued about whether or not we can enter the United States with a passport valid for less than six months, and it turns out that New Zealand has signed an agreement with the USA that we can enter as long as our passport is valid for the duration of our stay.

(And here is my post with a link to apply for your ESTA Visa Waiver – don’t get duped and pay too much!)

Mission Santa Barbara
Clever chalk art in front of the Old Mission, Santa Barbara

Vanuatusix months validity beyond your departure.  Check out my short videos I made in Vanuatu if you need an excuse to visit!

Vietnamsix months required after your passport has expired. And yes, just about everyone needs a visa (Brits don’t if staying less than 15 days). Note: you cannot just get a visa on arrival any more! I learned this only recently when a friend’s daughter was blocked from boarding her flight out of New Zealand.

Things to note about getting a Vietnam visa

Here is the latest info on how to travel in Vietnam courtesy of Travcour, a visa service company based in Auckland, NZ: There are 3 ways to get your Vietnam visa.

1 Use the Vietnam government website and get your eVisa online.

2 Fill out old-school visa forms from your local Vietnam embassy and send it in.

3 Use a third-party website. Note: they charge an extra fee, but if you are caught out, they are your only option as they can do it immediately – for your fee.

But the really big thing to note is that IF you use a third-party site (and they can trick you by looking like the government website) you are actually only getting a “letter of invitation to Vietnam” and will be on a list and you will need to line up and pay for your visa on arrival. Two fees. In fact you will even be issued the list of visa applicants arriving that day and your name will be there along with all the others – which you get to see!

But if you are stuck, OR you come and go from Vietnam to say Cambodia and forgot that you are visiting Vietnam technically twice, then you’ll need to use one of these companies and are caught out. Here is a link to VietnamVisaCorp.com to try.

Passport requirements for Vietnam
Our bamboo boats on a little row around the fishing village floating in Ha Long Bay

If you’re in New Zealand and you need to get a visa organised for any country, visit Travcour.co.nzSaveSaveSave

About Megan Singleton

Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!

"How long do you need on your passport for travel?" - What do you think?

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  1. Leona basigsig on

    Hello!! How about the lebanon how many months is the validity to enter back their country. I am currently working here in Lebanon and I will travel back to Philippines for two weeks my problem is are they allow me to travel back here in Lebanon if my passport had 5 months validity to travel. I renew already my passport but it takes 45 to 60 days the processing of the passport. My flight will be October 22 back November 8 then my passport will expired April 11 2019.

    • Megan on

      Hi Leona, wow this question is well beyond the pay grade of a blogger! I suggest you contact your airline or travel agent or even your embassy for a definite answer πŸ˜‰

  2. Charlotte on

    Hi Megan, can you update your article to say that if you are on a cruise regardless of what the agreement between governments is you must have 6 months validity on your passport.

  3. Megan on

    Hi Shahid, I’m sorry I can only suggest you contact the Indian embassy or call the airline you are flying with to get to the bottom of this, then ask them to send you an email so you have it in writing.

  4. Thelma on

    Hey Megan!
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was a victim of that once when I was to travel to South Africa, and I got to find out at the embassy that my passport has to be valid for a period of 30 days after the expiration of my visa. It was very stressful having to get another passport, and visa after I had gotten the previous on.

    I found this blog post: https://hotels.ng/guides/visa/south-africa-visa-apply/ very helpful, as it had almost all the information I needed and a step by step guide on how to obtain a South Africa Visa. Following through it was seamless, and I had a wonderful stay in South Africa.

    Thanks for sharing this again. I’ll be more careful next time.

  5. Zeena on

    Hi Megan, nice and very informative post. My question I guess is first where can I find the agreement between countries that this is the specific amount of time that a certain country allows the passport validity and second is if such an agreement is existing then why does airline still refuse to issue ticket. My passport will expire by July 11th this year and my British partner and I wants to go to HK from Feb 28 to March 6 this.
    Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

  6. chibuzo on

    Please can someone who just did her American international passport on 19/12/2017 travel with it to Nigeria for a visit?….Please I need an answer, she want to come and visit me in Nigeria next month she is American citizen.

    • Megan on

      Ummm I would have thought so, but as I said in the post I am not a travel agent or an embassy official. Please check with them or the airline you will fly with to be sure.

  7. Mystika on

    Hi Megan, I’m Philippines citizen and live in Netherland , I go for vacation/passport renew in Philippines on January 19, 2018 but my passport is valid until May 18, 2018! Can you give me advice what to do!
    Thank you so much…

  8. Christine Routledge on

    Iam travelling to kefaloinia in Greece in May 2018 from the UK our passports run out November the 2nd are we ok to still travel with our passports or do they need to be valid for 6 months.

  9. LJ on

    I want to travel to the UK in 2 weeks from Zimbabwe. My sons passport expires in February 2018 he has a valid visa. Would we be refused entry into the UK?

    • Megan on

      This is a question for the airline, your embassy or your travel agent. I have provided links to more info, but if what you’re looking for is not there, then you’ll need to make a phone call to one of those.

  10. Chantele Cropper on

    Hello! I plan to leave for Sri Lanka in July of 2018. Does the passport requirements mean I need to get a passport now so that it’ll be valid for 6 months? Or does it mean that it needs to be valid for 6 months after I get to Sri Lanka? The wording confused me. I just want to know if it’s already too late for me to get my passport.

  11. Eve on

    I am planning to travel to philippines this coming christmas ..I am holding a german passport which is expiring in April 2018. Can I still travel?..my plan is to stay only for 2 weeks.
    Thank you for your help.

  12. clarissa on

    I’m planning to go to Las Vegas, Nevada in December of this year 2017 but my passport will expire next year of May 2018.. Can i still use my passport though?

    • Megan on

      Hi Clarissa, you don’t say which nationality your passport is, so I can’t answer this question – and of course anything could change between now and December with the US government! I would check with your airline or travel agent.

    • Christine on

      Hi clarissa I have the same concern like your and I’m brother is traveling here in the California, thus the Philippines Immigration allowed you to go out in the Philippines? Thanks aand God bless

  13. Mj on

    My son is station in japan. Wanting to go stay for 6 months. And when I leave to come back to the states how long will it be before I could go back and see him again. Is there a time fame that I have to Wait to go back?

  14. dino on

    Hi Megan. I’ll be travelling to Japan this nov but my passport will be 1 day short of the so called 6 months validity when I leave japan (ex. japan trip nov 1 to 5 2017 but passport will expire May 4 2018). Will I be denied entry when I get there? Also, you mentioned in your post above the a “passport must be valid during the duration of your stay in Japan”, does valid mean expiration on the passport or the so called 6 months before expiration?



  15. Asi on


    I am due to travel to Canada on 8th and return on 14th of August my passport expires 1 Nov. 2017…does my passport allow enough time to make trip and return? Thanks in advance.


    • Megan on

      Well according to my research linked on this post your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. If you need reassurance contact your travel agent or embassy πŸ™‚

  16. Brenel B.Alcause on

    my phillippine passport starts september 2012 and ends up september 2017 can trevel torist hongkong for 3days do i have to renew it my phillippine passport

    • Megan on

      Hi Susanne, my post has links to more info on passports and that’s all I can offer as I’m not a travel agent. I would personally err on the side of getting a new one, but you’re best to check with the airline or embassy.

  17. lucy on

    Devastated! I am a British resident of nz. Stupidly didn’t even think to check my passport expiration / entry requirements for fiji. My passport expires in October giving me 3 months. Fiji requires 6 months. We travel on 6th July ??? … am hoping against hope that a phone call to the fiji embassy might allow me some grace on this… any other ideas.? Completely devastated right now!

  18. kyle on

    I already booked a flight from philippines to honkong, but i only have 5months and 2 weeks passport validity, will the hk immigration allow me to enter or is there any possible problem i will encounter. are they not strict about 6 months policy, thanks.

    • Megan on

      Hi Kyle, I only know what you have seen on the link I provided. I would phone your travel agent or the airline to double check that. Let us know the outcome!

  19. Avi Tiwari on

    Hi Megan,

    My passport expires on 16 oct 2017 and i need to travel Austria on 05 aug and return on 14 aug 2017. This will be a business visa travel
    Googling mentions that it should not expire within 3 months of last date of travel. Can you please confirm on this.

    • Megan on

      Hi Avi

      I’m not an authority on passport expiration, I wrote the post with links to help readers easily access the info they need. My advice is to check with the embassy or your travel agent to be doubly sure.


  20. James @ Wan Ling Tea House on

    Just checked on the UK by phoning their expensive advise line and they have confirmed that you only need a passport and visa valid for the duration of your stay. 15th June 2017

    @Megan – thanks for this article. The airline prevented us booking tickets for my daughter last night and we had a family panic. Hopefully everything is now ok. However, probably good for everyone to think about updating their passports if there will be less than 6 months validity at the time of travel. Seems many countries are now applying this rule.

    @Megan if you ever make it to Shanghai please do come and visit us for tea. We have a small tea house in Xuhui district. Thanks again.


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