Slightly complicated passport question

Old May 12th, 2015, 12:05 PM
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Slightly complicated passport question

I will be in Spain from June 2-July 14 and my passport expires in late September. That means that the airline may not let me leave the country with that passport because the rule seems to be that they require your passport to be valid for six months beyond date of travel (As an aside, I should also note that I just returned to the US from Europe on Saturday after a three week trip, and if that rule had been applied to me, I should have not been able to get on the plane because my travel date was April 20, which is less than 5 months from expiration of my passport, but no one said anything).

I also have an Irish passport, which is valid for another 8 or 10 years. I know I can use it going in and out of Spain. I also know I can use my "soon to expire" passport coming into the US (I spoke with an immigration official about the issue when I just returned, and he told me I will have no problem with US law or rules by going in and-or out of the country so long as my passport is valid.

So it seems to be an airline issue. I am just planning to use my Irish passport with the airlines, which should mean there´s no problem, since it won´t violate the 6 month rule -- does anyone have any knowledge about this kind of peculiar issue?

Thanks.

p.s. I could use an expedite service to get my US passport renewed and I may just do that anyway to be on the safe side, but it seems silly to spend the multiple hundreds they charge plus delivery fees if I won´t have a problem with my Irish passport.
lreynold1 is offline  
Old May 12th, 2015, 12:19 PM
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I would go with a new US Passport. Just received a new passport after waiting only three weeks.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 12:43 PM
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Use your Irish passport. Just use the US one to re-enter the US. You avoid immigration queues at both ends, and any stroppy airline official too.
Usually you are required to have a passport valid for 3months from your arrival, so you have a valid passport at the end of the visa free period.

Last year DH had just over 3months on his British passport when we went to California. It wasn't a problem with the airline or US immigration.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:12 PM
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I believe it is 90 days to Europe. not 6 months. I'm going to check now because I am curious.

Which camino are you doing this time?
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:13 PM
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There are some countries, mostly in Asia that require 6 months validity beyond your travel dates, but most European countries just require 3 months beyond your travel dates. Have you checked specifically for the requirements for Spain?

You could also just ask for expedited passport service from the State Dept rather than from a visa service. The State Dept offers expedited service for $60. http://www.travel.state.gov/content/...expedited.html
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:18 PM
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You are right.. 3 months from country exit date... looks like you are lucky to have the Irish passport.

"....Check the expiration date on your passport carefully before traveling to Europe. Entry into any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area for short-term tourism, a business trip, or in transit to a non-Schengen destination, requires that your passport be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure..."
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:22 PM
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I always leave and re-enter the US on my US passport, and then frequently switch to my UK passport for the rest of the trip. Occasionally I have needed to show both passports to the check in agent - for instance when flying from the US to Brazil, when I would have needed a visa in my US passport, but not in my UK one. Never had a problem.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the replies. If it´s 90 days to Europe, that would explain why I had no problem with my US passport leaving in April, returning early May.

The US immigration officer told me there is absolutely no problem with my coming back to the US with a passport close to the expiration date (he said that even if my passport were expired, I´d get back in), and that there´s no problem with me using my Irish passport to go in and out of Spain. So, since the US government is fine with my US passport, and Spain is fine with my Irish passport, I will stop worrying about American Airlines and just use my Irish passport with them, as hetismij2 suggests.

Lincasanova -- I´m starting to walk in Port de la Selva, on your side of the country. There´s a Cami St. Jaume to Montserrat, from there the Cami Catala to San Juan de la Peña, from there the Camino Aragonés to Puente la Reina. In Puente la Reina, I´ll hop a bus or train to Ponferrada, and from there the Camino de Invierno to Santiago, after a little walking detour to Peñalba de Santiago, which is one of the most beautiful little towns in the Valle de Silencio. I bet you didn´t want such a long convoluted answer, sorry! Any camino for you? I know cruiseluv is walking again, seems like more and more people are getting the camino bug!
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:47 PM
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Just to confirm. Use Irish passport in and out of Spain (and Schengen) and your US passport for re-entering US. Problems solved!
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Old May 12th, 2015, 03:29 PM
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No long camino per se but might take the train to Moixent in a couple weeks and walk the 20 km. to F. de la Higuera. It looks like an attractive stretch easily done from here.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old May 13th, 2015, 09:37 AM
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If you are a US citizen, it isn't the US that doesn't allow people to go back home because their passport isn't valid 6 months. It's the countries you enter where you are a not a citizen who sometimes have those rules, worried about illegal immigrants, I imagine.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 09:59 AM
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Hi lreynold!

I dont have any wisdom to offer but it seems that with your Irish passport you have all your bases covered. Being so close to your departure I wouldnt risk mailing your US passport for renewal, even on an expedited basis.
Wow, your Camino sounds interesting! So sorry I will not coincide this time with you in Santiago, going in Sept. Just doing Sarria to Santiago with my two friends that did the Portugues with me last year. Unfortunately Lincasanova can't join us!
Buen Camino, good luck!
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