This post is a list of 30+ countries and the rules around how long your passport must be valid for entry…
A cautionary tale: Last year our friends (visitors from Hawkes Bay) were about to embark on a family holiday in Vanuatu and stayed with us in Auckland before their departure the next day. They’d booked a deal on Expedia, entered the required details, got their tickets and arrived at ours bouncing with excitement, snorkels and masks, sun hats and sun screen all carefully packed.
The next morning they left our house bright and early and an hour later we got a phone call. Dad’s passport had 5 and a half months before it expired and they were refused entry. Even a phone call to the Vanuatu consular went in vain who they told Air New Zealand that if they carried him, he would be sent home. After a few more phone calls and racking of brains about how to change their holiday, Air New Zealand graciously let them book a trip to Sydney instead where snorkels and masks were not required. Expedia came to the party too with a part refund on accommodation.
So to make sure the same fate doesn’t befall you, I have gathered together this list of 34 countries and added links for you to do any further investigation you might need to re how long your passport needs to be valid to visit…
Australia – valid for duration of stay. A visa is also required for passport holders from Britain, EU, Canada, USA.
Cambodia – 6 months, plus a visa which can be obtained on arrival or in advance
Canada – valid for duration of stay
China – 6 months passport validity and you’ll also need a visa if you’re from the countries on this link
Cuba – You’ll need 6 months after departure and a visa. Read my 20 Things You Need To Know Before You Go To Cuba here >>
Fiji – 6 months
France – 3 months
Germany – 3 months
Greece – 3 months
India – 6 months (actually they say 180 days) And you may need a visa if you’re from NZ, Australia, UK, USA, Canada or the EU
Indonesia – 6 months
Italy – 3 months
Japan – valid for duration of stay
Malaysia – 6 months
Mexico – 6 months 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 – 6 months 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 – 6 months plus a page free for a visa. You can get your visa on arrival.
New Caledonia – 3 months, or duration of of stay for EU nationals
New Zealand – 3 months
Philippines – 6 months
Rarotonga (Cook Islands) – 6 months
Singapore – 6 months
Samoa – 6 months
South Africa – 1 month
Tahiti – 3 months
Thailand – 6 months
USA – 6 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 6 countries: Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen, you will NEED a visa. You cannot use the ESTA visa waiver. But the good news is your visa is valid for 10 years.
USA Addendum: after this post was published, all sorts of hooha ensued and it turns out that New Zealand (and all these countries listed here) have signed an agreement with the USA that we can enter for the duration of our passport validity.
Here’s a quote from the Big Gun to give you peace of mind:
“As a general rule, passports must be valid for six months beyond the date the traveler will exit the U.S., however, the U.S. has signed agreements with a number of countries (including Australia and New Zealand) to waive this requirement. When such an agreement is in place, the passport must be valid for the entire period of the visitor’s intended stay, but the additional six month validity period is not required.”
Vice Consul, United States Consulate General, Auckland, New Zealand
(And here is my post with a link to apply for your ESTA Visa Waiver – don’t get duped and pay too much!)
Vietnam – 6 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. Click here for info on your Vietnam visa and how to go about getting one online >>
If your destination isn’t listed here, jump onto World Travel Guide and find it >>