Time left on U.S. passport

Aug 1st, 2007, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,195
Why do so many of you think a foreign government - never mind foreign legislators - would have the foggiest idea what requirements Italy imposes on foreign tourists?

More extraordinarily sill, why on earth would Italy change its rules, as some posters seem to think, just because the US is incapable of organising its passport system?

Many countries impose passport validity rules on foreign tourists. Italy doesn't impose such a rule on foreign tourists who don't need visas. It DOES impose a minimum (3 month beyond the intended departure date) validity rule on foreign visitors who need visas - including many categories of visitor from developed, but non-European, countries

But for an ordinary US tourist with only a month left on his passport, there's nothing to worry about. To prove this, here's a simple challenge.

Find me one developed-country tourist(just one) who's been denied admission to Italy because they had a valid passport that expired a week or so after they were due to leave Italy.

You have billions of pages on Google, Yahoo and their competitors to choose from. So where's the example?
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 09:28 AM
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flanner, I don't believe any post on this board suggests that any non-Italian body has governance over Italian regulations. If anyone implied that, I think it would simply be based on a misunderstanding that the 6- month number was a US creation. Of course it's not, and of course it's not universal, but particular to a few countries. Travelers to those countries need to know that.

There are posts that firmly state information that I (and apparently you) believe is incorrect, to wit, that Italy has such a 6 month rule.

The problem is quite simple, but still a problem: the OP has received conflicting information before posting (and since) and hasn't been able to get a simple resolution by calling the State Dept or Italian Consulate (although I believe he has yet to call the consulate in DC) or his airline. This causes him concern.

Since we have been told that countries with the "6 month" rule will indeed ask airlines to refuse boarding, or will refuse admittance to travelers out of compliance, it's no wonder that someone might be concerned hearing that this applied in Italy. And the absence of any information to the contrary on the websites of the Italian tourism board, Alitalia, the US State Dept etc causes him concern.

You seem to know, with certainty, otherwise. Thanks for the information.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 10:43 AM
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I received this email from the Consolato Generale d'Italia - Informazioni <[email protected]> in response to my question.

"You should have a minimum 90 days validity left on your passport as of the date you are exiting Italy."

I am considering that response an official answer in writing and I am not going to seek renewal of our passports until we return.

I think it's interesting that the answer states you "should" not you "must" but it's enough for me to count on at this point. Thanks to everyone for contributing their thoughts and information.

----- Original Message -----
From: Giordano Betterly
To: [email protected]
giordano17 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Giordano: Congratulations on a firm answer! I bet you are going to do this anyway: print it out and take it with you to show to the airlines JUST IN CASE.

I became quite interested in some of the assertions/arguments here and thought I'd see if anyone had been denied entry to a European country because of a passport THAT WAS NOT EXPIRED.

Found one example and it wasn't the country making the decision; it was the airline. Virgin Airlines in 2005 refused to board a man and his family who were coming to the US from the UK because his kids' passports would be expiring in 72 days (may have been 75, but you get the drift).

He had to reschedule, and he found out after the fact that the US would have allowed him entry. Virgin gave him a bit of money back, but since they had their rule in bold on their website, they did not think they had to refund in total the costs of his rescheduling.

For the full discussion with some rather comprehensive legal points(and as one reads, one sees that the lack of clarity is a constant throughout the travel industry) go to this URL:

josephina is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 03:10 PM
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Josephina, that thread points out why people do, and perhaps should, pay attention to these things.

Great action on your part, Giordano, and results to match.

Buon viaggio a settembre ~
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Hi G,

>...I think it's interesting that the answer states you "should" not you "must"...<

That's because the agent at passport control has the authority to let you in even if your passport has fewer than 90 days after you say you will exit.

We have been allowed entry to Italy on passports with only 4 mos before expiration.

ira is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 06:33 PM
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Ira, my man - now I know you weren't a math teacher. (!)
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:16 AM
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I just went through this dilemma very recently. I was set to travel to Italy in early April, and my passport was set to expire later the same month. I didn't know that you had to have 90 days from your date of return on your passport, so I called the Italian embassy and they essentially said that you "should" have the 90 days, but that your entry more or less depended on the immigration official who was checking you in.

I didn't want to leave anything to chance, but knowing that the state department was SO far behind on passport renewal, I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I speak fluent Italian, so I figured that if asked any questions I could explain that I didn't know about the 90 day rule.

The official ended up just asking me about my return date and telling me to make sure to renew my passport when I got home.

In another turn of events, I think the state department must be catching up on their backlog. I sent in for mail renewal on July 5 and got the new passport on July 23. Not too shabby at all. I did not pay for expedited service, either.

p.s. When I called the State Department to ask, they told me you needed to contact the country to which you are travelling for the correct information, so if you haven't talked to anyone there yet I wouldn't bother wasting your time.
nnolen is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 12:22 PM
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My daughter ordered the renewal of her passport the middle of July and as of yesterday she still hasn't received it. That is interesting that you received yours so quickly nnolen. Lucky you!
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 11:40 AM
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We left June 11th for Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England... one of the girl's had a passport that was to expire in August... I asked her mom if she didn't want to get it renewed and her mom (an attorney/judge) said "no, it's good until August and we're coming back end of June... and no one said anything to her in all those countries. Or any of the airlines/train companies...
GirlScoutMom is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
We are not known for trying to illegally immigrate to other countries or for acts of terrorism so most often we are freely let in and out as long as the passport is valid since we are considered "big spenders". I just renewed my passport by mail, sent it 7/18 and they processed it 7/24 and it arrived earlier this week (less than 2 week turn around without being expedited). I think they are catching up or possibly they already know everything about me from how many fillings in my teeth to my preference in toilet paper since I work for Uncle Sam LOL. Actually, I think renewals are catching up.
centralpa is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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There are a lot of conflicting replies on here and I don't know what the correct amount of time is, but I just wanted to impress the importance of finding out the actual rule for the country you are visiting. A couple years ago my friend was not allowed to board our flight to the Czech Republic because her passport expired a month after we were set to return. Her trip got cut in half and she lost a lot of money.
flyfaraway is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 220
If there is a problem while abroad, just seek out a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and they'll be able to renew your passport, perhaps the same day. Here's a list--scroll down to find the ones in Europe, which are numerous.
Mollie is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Some African countries are strict about having 6 months left. But as long as it is not going to expire while you are traveling in Europe, should be fine.

You really don't have much time to renew it anyway. I sent mine in in late April and got it back last week. Even expediting can take a few weeks and it would be panic time if it wasn't back
julienk is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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It took 18 weeks to renew my passport. If you need to, pay the expedited fee and then you won't have to worry for ten years. Keep calling the state Dept. I called six times before I got a live person who actually helped. (The same number is sometimes automated and sometimes live)
tweety817 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I believe that your passport must be valid for 6+ months after the last day of your travel.However, you may check it out at: http://travel.state.gov/
sk8nski18 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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As others indicate, but I will do here briefly for the "skimmersquot; the 6-month rule is imposed by SOME other countries, i.e. it must be valid for 6 months after you travel to that country, not the U.S. Those countries don't want any problems sending you BACK to the U.S.

Frankly, I think you'll be fine, and given the back-up at the passport renewal offices, it's probably the less stressful course of action.
madameX is offline  
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