Time left on U.S. passport

Jul 31st, 2007, 10:24 AM
  #1  
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Time left on U.S. passport

I am traveling to Italy in September. When I depart the U.S. I will have 5 months left on my U.S. passport. Does anyone know whether that will pose a problem? Some sites say you should generally have 6 months left on your passport or the airline may stop you from boarding. I can't find any specific time period required by Italy for travelors from the U.S. I really really don't want to try to get my passport renewed before my September departure. Any info would be appreciated.......
giordano17 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 10:33 AM
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For such an important question, I wouldn't rely on a message board for an answer. Call the state department and call the airline you are traveling.
fall06 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Looks like it's only 90 days needed. Here's a good page:

http://www.us.cibt.com/visa_overview.htm
josephina is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 12:32 PM
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I will ask the airline - that's a good idea. As for calling the State Department I think it was easier for ET to phone home. Series of automated lines....Also the charts I've found say you can stay in Italy 90 days with a U.S. passport, not how much time you have to have remaining on your U.S. Passport to get into Italy. I am trying to find something in writing to have in my hand so if we get stopped I have more than just an answer I can say I got over the telephone. The link for the State Dept. site "Foreign Entry Requirements" says that the brochure is no longer available. I'll keep investigating......any other suggestions?
giordano17 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 12:42 PM
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You might be right to be worried: scroll down this page...

http://www.languagecourse.net/visa/italy.php3

There's a link to the consulate there to find out more.
josephina is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Josephina, the info on that site is confusing, didn't you think? For one thing, they write;

"Citizens of the following countries require a passport:
Passport valid for 6 months required by all except:
nationals of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain and Switzerland with a valid national ID card. "

That says, "the following countries," then lists no countries, then lists the exceptions. (!)

From what I've read on these forums, some specific countries have the 6 months rule. Italy has never been among among them.
Following is the single paragraph of the official Italian tourism board website:

"Passport Regulations
A visa is not required for a U.S. or Canadian citizen holding a valid passport unless he expects to stay in Italy more than 90 days. If, after entering Italy, the tourist decides he would like to stay more than 90 days, he can apply, once only, at any police station (questura) for an extension of an additional 90 days. He will be asked to prove that he is a bona fide tourist with adequate means of support. As a rule, permission is granted immediately. Non-American citizens should check current visa requirements with the nearest Italian Consulate before departure."
http://www.italiantourism.com/
tomassocroccante is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:20 PM
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legally, your passport has to be valid for another 6 months after you leave the country, despite what all kind of sleazy websites tell you. And this applies to all Shengen countries. In practice you will probably be allowed to enter the country with your passports if they are only valid for 5 months. Question is: are you prepared to take the risk?
tjenneke is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:28 PM
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tomassocroccante,

Exactly. That's why I said "may have reason to be worried" and that's why I noted the listing for Italian consulate, which I honest to God hope has some clear info!

I had been checking sites for other countries we'll be going to. We were warned that Czech Republic was pretty strict about the 90 day (3-month) rule already.
josephina is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:44 PM
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With all the horrer stories I have heard about renewals at the passport office I'm thinking about going for a renewal NOW, even though it doesn't expire until 2011.
AisleSeat is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:59 PM
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I have not been able to get past the automated voice system for the Philadelphia Italian Consulate and there is nothing on their website addressing how much time you need to have remaining on your U.S. passport to legally enter Italy. Some people are confusing how long you can stay in a foreign country as a possessor of a U.S. passport, with the issue of how much time you must have left on your passport to be allowed into a foreign country.

Tjenneke says "legally, your passport has to be valid for another 6 months after you leave the country"...Is that a U.S. law, and if so where is that stated? And if that's the case, then a passport is really only valid for 9 years and 6 months. After that it apparently can't be used for international travel? That may be the case but if so, it's ridiculous. Six months is a long time. It's a half a year on a 10 year passport.

We can't take the chance of being stopped and therefore we have to start a frenzied, expedited passport renewal process for passports that currently have 6 months remaining and will be "valid?" for 5 months at the time of our departure. Not to mention the fear of turning in our "valid"? passports this close to departure.

Would still like to see the actual citation for this rule/law. And would like to see the same for Italy.

giordano17 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Just my opinion, but if I were in your position, I would do the following:

1. Call the airline & ask for the "rule" in the US departure/entry points & in the foreign countries. They may have contact numbers for getting the "official" written rules. However, I have found that the call center people have no idea how the airport folks work - so I would go to the airport & talk to the checkin desk supervisor & the Homeland Security supervisor - either one of these checkers could stop your travel. The checkin desk can give you the phone numbers for their airline checkins in other countries.

2. Maybe the place you will get stopped is at the airport security check? So, I would call Homeland Security. I've called them before; no problem getting thru. If not them, they will direct you in the proper direction.

3. Call your Federal Senator's office & explain there is no way to effectively navigate the State Dept.'s phone & website systems to get a correct answer. Ask for verification (in writing on official letterhead) of the law here & in the countries you are going to visit. That is their job to assist their constituency navigate thru the national system. The least you should end up with is a direct phone number to the State Dept. to get the info. By the way, depending on the Senator's office, some of the phone answering folks can get snippy & not too helpful. If necessary, visit the office & insist on some assistance.

4. Also, in areas of the U.S. there are Passport offices where we can go in person. I'm in Indy; ours is Chicago. If you get desperate enough, you might sacrifice a day or two & go there & wait in line & have your passport renewed on the spot - no risk for you at all then when you travel. This is what I would do no matter what I had in writing - I don't like to take chances. But then I am retired & have the time.

5. Lastly, there is the option of calling your local news TV station's community action person. WHile this is not a "cause" for them to run with, he/she may assist with directing you in the right direction.

BTW, we sent our passports in for renewal in May this year. Did not expire until 2/2008, but we did not want to take a chance of getting too close. We got them back in 5 WEEKS!!! With you leaving in Sept. however, I wouldn't take the chance, if I were you.

Good luck, Julie
Julie_Hurst is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 03:28 PM
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DH wants some input. He thinks the 6 month rule has been waived because of the passport backlog. You might ask that question when you search around.
Julie_Hurst is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Dept of State Foreign information:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1765.html

Their Italian page says not a word about expiration date of passport.

The Italian Embassy in DC is at:
http://www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it...nti/Visti_faq/

They make no mention of it, either, that I can find.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Julie, the "6 month rule" in fact is not from the US, but certain other countries. (I think I recall Poland being one, perhaps some other eastern European countries.) THEY say your US passport must be good 6 months beyond your exit. Otherwise I'd say it was just a way of cutting 6 months off your passport.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 05:32 AM
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I called the airline (American Airlines) and the rep told me that it wouldn't be a problem but could give me no citation/website/etc. I think we will try to make an appointment for renewals in person in Philadelphia (which you can do once you are within a two week window of travel). That feels better than actually turning in our passports and hoping for the best.

The waiving of the 6 month rule seems to be a 6 month window in which you can travel with your official application for a passport, in the event that you haven't received the actual passport. I don't feel like taking the chance and traveling with our applications for renewal......

I'm also going to place another call to American Airlines to see if a different rep gives me the same answer........
giordano17 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 05:52 AM
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One more note, on the State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/fri/faq I found the following statement:

"If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. "

That would support that it is not a U.S. requirement to have a set number of months left on your passport. I also found the State Department email site for passport questions that says a response will come in 2-4 business days.
giordano17 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 05:54 AM
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That's a good plan, Giordano.

You might also call Alitalia to see what they say. (If you can get anyone.)

I'm pretty sure you have no issue in Italy, but once the bug is in one's ear, I know it's hard to quiet it without a good answer.

One wonders what the "6 month" justification is. Does a passport "expire" 6 months - or even 3 - before its expiration date? Why all these multiple layers of confusion for travelers?
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Checked the Alitalia website - it has no info on entering Italy that I could find. Although even the English-language page has information for Itlaians coming to the US!
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 06:02 AM
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According to KLM you just need a paasport that is valid for the duration of your trip. See their website: http://www.klm.com/travel/nl_en/trav...c/visaform.htm
you can fill in your nationality and destination and it will give all the info you need. Since KLM would be fined for transporting a passenger without the correct documentation I assume this information is correct.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 06:10 AM
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Just checked some other threads here and came up with - guess what? - conflicting answers. But only one claims that they were told 6months for Italy:

<<I've actually called the French Embassy, as well as the Italian embassy, and they have stated IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS you MUST have 6 months validity remaining on your passport.<<


However, others responded differently, regarding both the UK and the Schengen countries (Italy, France, Germany, etc):
<< [passport must]
"contain photograph, name and date of birth of holder; state the holder’s nationality (or disclaimer if holder is stateless or of undetermined nationality); be valid for travel to the UK; be valid for long enough to cover length of intended stay in the United Kingdom." [from UK embassy website]
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/servlet/Fr...=1034348270424 >>

<<Suzan, if you go to one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, then your passport has to be valid till 90 days after leaving the country. This is the official rule. A lot of people that don't comply with this rule get away with it.It's up to you to decide if you want to take the risk.For othet European countries:every country has it's own rules. I jhopt this finally ends this discussion>


<<Kate, Of course you're right. I checked the State Department Web Site and talked to the Italian Embassy in DC. Both sources said that your US passport must be valid for 90 days from the day you leave Italy (not arrive). Since mine will be good for 92 days at that time, I guess I'll stick with it and not drive myself crazy trying to get a new one in two weeks.>>
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