Passport Help

Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Passport Help

Please help me if you can. I am going on vacation to England in late September for 11 days and have a return ticket purchased. My passport expires the end of November. I do not want to renew it right now if I do not have to. I have been to the British consulate site and the only information they have is that the passport must have "ample" time left on it. I have tried several phone numbers to get more information and all of them lead to a 900 number that requiires $2.10 per minute to get more information. I personally find this a bit unconscionable that the British consulate will not spell out the requirements and then require money to get the information. Anyway, does anyone here know what the requirements are for American tourists visiting England for less than two weeks? Will I be turned away if I only have 2 months left on it? Thanks!
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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UK has an agreement with the US (which unusually works in both directions) that as long as your passport is valid when you enter, you can use it up to 6 months after it's expiry date.

as for "I personally find this a bit unconscionable that the British consulate will not spell out the requirements and then require money to get the information.", the US Embassy in London does the same
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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Cosmos, you need to get your passport renewed now, to be on the safe side-when the Brits say "ample" you can take that as a safe bet that they mean more than two months-many countries will refuse entry if there is less than 6 months remaining on your passport.

If you google "commercial passport services," you can find a company that will get you an expedited passport, particularly if you live in a city that has a US Passport Agency Office there. You'll have to pay extra of course, but it will be worth it for the peace of mind.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:43 AM
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Are you an American? If so, maybe call someone in the British Counsulate in your area.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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I've visited Germany on a US passport a month ago, with my passport being valid for another 1 month ... On passport check points I was just reminded that my passport is expiring really soon and then stamped ... UK maybe different - but it is EU so maybe not ;-) you maybe asked to show your return flight ticket - since you could visit for 90day (or is it 60days) max I think, but still this should be no issue ... also you may want to call airlines you be using - they should be able to provide this info for you as well ...
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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In general - ie for most nationalities - for tourist purposes the UK allows entry up to the expiry date of the passport or whatever is normally allowed for that nationality whichever is the earliest.

As OP is returning before their passport expires, it isn't a problem - though it's a good idea to check with the AIRLINE as they can be somewhat clueless on the subject
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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check for info here:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/...es_1229.html#u
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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"Clueless" or not I agree with checking with the airline and get ready for some possible scary answers that you will be FORCED to comply with, i.e., if the airline does NOT agree that your passport has enough time left (I honestly cannot imagine they would do so but one never knows) they will deny boarding and there will probably be no recourse beyond a shouting match.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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The airlines won't be able to tell you anything on this score, other than if your passport is valid going out, you're fine-which simply doesn't address the issue.

The problem is, if you have something happen that would cause you to overstay your visit, thus running into the expiry date. I would still go ahead and get it renewed before the trip, to be on the safe side.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 11:25 AM
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Thanks averyone for you very quick responses. I am indeed a US citizen. I visit regularly for approximately 2 weeks per year so there is a history on my passport. I will not be staying longer. I know it would be ideal to get the passport renewed now, however, as mentioned I do not want to if it isn't required so that is why I am looking for help. It is a big expense and time commitment right now that I do not have and it would save me another year of a passport as I won't be going back for awhile. I have already checked all the sources mentioned. The airlines now refer people to the British consulate. This has recently changed. None of them gives a reply. All point to that 900 number. Has anyone had personal experience with entry under similar conditions?
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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Try this thread...

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34813522
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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Cosmos,
If you elect to renew your passport before your trip, do it NOW and pay for the expeditied service. It took nearly eight weeks to get mine back.
 
Old Jul 19th, 2006, 03:24 PM
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cosmos, if I were in your shoes I would call the 900 number and pay the cost. To me that seems easier than worry about your situation or getting advice on a travel board that may or may not be correct. Best wishes to you.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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We ran into this problem in 2004. At that time the British Consulate in the US highly recommended that we have at least 6 months left on our passports when we entered the UK. We were staying for only a week and would have had four months left.

Remember, it's up to the immigration officials at the airport whether or not you are allowed into the country. I would bite the bullet and get the passports renewed.
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