This post provides a quick check of the passport and visa requirements to visit a list of 40 countries (and counting).
The passport validity question is probably the most important question you need to ask yourself before you travel. How long does my passport need to be valid to travel to X country? The answer is it varies – dramatically!
Some countries only require a valid passport for the duration of your holiday, others need a full six months clear AFTER you have departed. It can be a nightmare if you arrive to check in for your flight and find that your passport expires in five and a half months so you cannot go (which actually happened to friends of ours).
This post provides helpful links to a growing list of now 40 countries so you can see at a glance how many months passports need to be valid for entry (usually one, three or six months) and if you need more information, I have added the links to the local embassy and official pages for each country.
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 blogger and I said yes straight away, but then it randomly occurred to me that my passport expires in five months and I need to quickly check how long it needs to be valid to visit 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 😀
*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 🙂
What I am keen to hear though is if you find any rules have changed or any of the links I have included are broken. I try and keep this post up to date, but sometimes the rules change and they don’t tell me! 😉
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Required passport validity for these countries…
Click on the links for more detailed information, as many countries also require visas for entry, depending on which passport you hold.
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.
Brazil – six months passport validity beyond your stay, plus a visa is required for US, Australian citizens. New Zealand and UK do not require a visa.
Cambodia – six months validity, plus a visa which can be obtained on arrival or in advance
Chile – passport valid for 90 days beyond departure date. A visa is not required for stays up to 90 days.
China – six 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!
Croatia – three 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 >>
Fiji – six months passport validity
France – three months passport validity
Germany – three months passport validity
Greece – three months passport validity
India – six 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/Bali – six months passport validity
Italy – six months passport validity beyond your departure date
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. Cost AU$45.
Malaysia – six months validity after departure
Mexico – six 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 >>
Myanmar – six 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.
Nepal – six months validity plus a page free for a visa. You get your visa on arrival for $25.
New Caledonia – three months passport validity, or duration of of stay for EU nationals
New Zealand – three months passport validity As of 1 October 2019, visitors will need to apply for a NZeTA (like the US ESTA visa waiver).
Philippines – six months passport validity
Rarotonga (Cook Islands) – six months passport validity
Singapore – six months remaining on your passport
South Africa – one 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 >>
Thailand – six months passport validity required
UK – passport must be valid for length of stay
USA – passports 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!)
Vietnam – six months after your visa has expired. And yes, just about everyone needs a visa. You can get them at your local embassy or online and pick up at the airport. Note: if you are entering Vietnam another way (via road or river boat, for example) you need to get one BEFORE you enter.
You might also like to read my best tips for what NOT to do on a cruise here!