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Passport Validity: How Long?

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On another thread it was stated that certain countrise require your passport to be valid for a specified number of days after your proposed departure.

That validity period seems to vary between 90 and 180 days at least.

My (rhetorical I admit) question is why? Why would a country care if a passport is valid for one day or a million days after you have left?

And how was 90 days selected? Why not 86 or 27 or 59?

I am certain somebody out there has the(and which will probably seem very "obvious") answer.

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