Passport requirements

Old Sep 25th, 2004, 05:44 AM
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Passport requirements

I have a machine readable British passport which has just under six months to run. I read on the British government website that the USA and Britain have an agreement that you can use passports that have less than six months to run. Can anyone verify this?
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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Um, you are asking random people on an internet discussion board to verify information that was posted by the British government on their own website??
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 09:02 AM
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Anonymous, this isn't as dumb a thing to ask as you think. I know of a number of things on U.S. government websites that are less than reliable. Alih, as it happens the govt website is right in this instance. The six-month validity is waived for U.K. passengers, although you want to make sure it's valid for the full period you plan to be here (technically, it only has to be valid at your entry, but I've known of people to have problems if it expires during the period of stay). And since your PP is machine-readable, you won't run into problems after October 26, when the requirement kicks in that you either have a machine readable PP or a visa. (Incidently, although I'm a random person on the internet, I'm also a U.S. immigration lawyer, and so it's my business to know about this).
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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Or so you say . . . ;-)
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 04:16 PM
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I'm with Anonymous on this one. I am continually amazed at how often people will post questions on this board seeking answers from strangers rather than going face to face with a qualified expert, i.e., a doctor, embassy or consulate official, etc.
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Alih, I had a similar issue when I travelled to Switzerland recently, and I finally called the Swiss Embassy. I suggest you call the US Embassy to make sure and get the right answer.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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You make it all sound so simple! I have spent the last week phoning various numbers (U.S embassys in Ireland and London) as well as other information numbers in the U.S. These are all charged at premium rate (€2.40/min)and I was left holding for 15mins!! I still have not managed to speak to an operator. So this was a last gasp attempt which I don't think was dumb.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 11:51 AM
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Why don't you just renew your passport?
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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This is one of the favorite things for people such as Anonymous, mgmargate, and HowardR to do -- jump down the throat of anyone posting something they think shouldn't be asked. Ignore them. I assume most Fodorites are trying to get some corroborating personal experiences, just help them get a picture of an issue that might have affected someone else.

It's completely fair to mistrust something on a government website, or mistrust your own reading of it, esp. if you've ever had the experience of being stopped short by something unexpected. And of COURSE you've had alih's experience trying to get straight answers from bureaucracies.

In this case, I would imagine alih might expect to have someone say, "I thought this too, but I arrived at Stanstead (or Boston) and they said no, I had a problem because the passport had less than 1 month to go and my return ticket said I was staying more than a month......" (see crys's answer) OR "I arrived at Stanstead (or Boston) and had only 3 weeks to go, but they said fine, as long as I got it renewed at the Embassy before I left," or some such.

These responses would alert alih to OTHER issues that affect that one issue and would give him more background if/when he DOES talk to the passport office about this.

Finally, I actually do agree with mgmargate on this one -- renew your passport if there's anyway to do so before you travel.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2004, 01:59 PM
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Cassandra:Jump down their throat.What the h--l are you talking about?
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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If you believe alih's posts she has spent more than a week and god knows how much on toll calls.I should be thanked for solving her problem and saving her money to boot.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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Cassandra is talking about the tendency of people to be immediately critical without offering any advice. I'm hopeful that alih tried her best to travel without trouble but is trying to be covered on all bases. She is just looking for actual experiences, not looking for people to jump down her throat.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 02:07 PM
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Same Question.How was my response jumping down her throat.Are you people serious?
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 04:49 PM
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Alih, as I mentioned before, I called the Swiss Embassy with a similar question. I had no difficulty getting someone on the phone, therefore I had no idea it was so much harder when you call the US Embassy. The only other thing I can suggest is calling the airline, as they often have such info. But I think your best option would be to renew, as you will have to do that sooner or later anyway. Good luck.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 02:18 PM
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Alih - I have your answer! I was just in this position as my husband is a permanent resident in the US but is still a British Passport holder with less than six months left on his passport and we're going to London in a week or so.

I tried for several weeks to get a defnitive answer, but here it is:

YOU CAN ENTER THE US WITH LESS THAN SIX MONTHS PROVIDED YOU HAVE A MACHINE READABLE PASSPORT AND A RETURN TICKET (normally required anyway.)

Hope this helps you out. And, don't give a second thought to all the crap you got about asking this. I know what you probably went through trying to get a straight answer for this question and this is probably one of many places you were hoping for an answer from!
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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Cassandra, back off! What you call jumping down someone's throat, I call solid advice, i.e., ask an expert!
Do us all a favor and stop trying to live up to your name!
(I'll match the quality of my advice giving on the forum against yours any time!)

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