A passport is absolutely essential if you are planning to go on out of the country trip, whether you are going to meet your family abroad, going on a business trip, traveling with your kids, or simply want to travel alone. No matter if you are going to travel for vacation, work, studies, or to relocate. No matter what the case may be, you will require the document to enter any country. But how long is a passport good for? This article will tell you, but first, let’s discuss other important things you must know about this powerful document.
How Long Is A Passport Good For?
Benefits of Having a Passport
Having this document comes with many benefits. You are not allowed to get out of a country without it. And more so, you will not be allowed to re-enter your home country if you lost it while outside of the country. It’s a proof of authorization to travel and enter a foreign land and to come back to your own. Actually, it has become stricter today. In the past, US citizens are allowed enter countries like Canada and Mexico without passports. Things have changed now, though. Traveling internationally, no matter what the purpose is, require a passport.
There are special passports that are issued for diplomats or those people who travel on behalf of the government. These passports are usually given for free and are only effective when the travel is business-related.
As you gain entrance to a foreign country, you will get a stamp on your passport. As you exit your country, your country’s customs department will confirm where you have been, how long you stayed, and for taxation purposes, you have to declare the items you bought. The stamps are normally considered the best souvenir for many travelers.
Obtaining a Passport
Luckily, getting a passport is not a challenging task. You can apply locally and the process takes a few days to a few weeks depending on where you’re from. Things get a bit tricky if you are having a last-minute trip. If you are thinking about going for an international travel, it is best to make sure that you applied for a passport at least 3 weeks before the trip.
How long is a passport good for?
You have to know that the validity of a passport varies from country to country. Passport validity means the length of time you are allowed to use your passport for or the length of time you can use it as a valid ID outside of your country before the date stated on it expires.
Passports of Adults
Generally, passport for adults has 10 years validity. Some of the countries that apply this include Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, and the United States, or for 5 years like in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. There are also countries that issue adult passports for periods between 5 and 10 years, like passport issued for the citizens of Cuba, which has 6 years of validity.
Optional Validity Period
There are countries that allow adult applicants to pick a validity period for their passport, normally for 5 or 10 years. Some countries that allow this include Hungary, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and Russia.
Passports for Minors
Most countries issue passports for minors that are valid for 5 years, under passport allotting rules a minor passport is defined as being 16 years and below for the US citizens, 19 years old and below for Japanese citizens, 21 years old and below for Croatian citizens, 24 years old and below for a German citizens, and 30 years old and below for Spanish citizens.
Passports for Infants
For the reasons that children change quickly in appearance from infancy to the age of 5, there are countries that issue passports specific for infants that are valid for two years like it is in Australia and South Korea.
Passports for Senior Citizens
There are countries that issue passports with longer validity period specifically to senior citizens. An example is countries like Latvia which issue passport valid for 10 years for people age 60 years old and above and Spain that issue passport that doesn’t have expiration for citizens age 70 and above.
What is Passport 6-Month Validity Rule?
The passport 6-month validity rule is a regulation that your passport should be 6 months away from expiration before you will be given an access to a country. Let’s dig deeper to this topic.
First of all, you have to keep in mind that every country sets the entry and exit requirements that every foreign visitor has to meet. There are other requirements that people may be required to offer aside from a passport.
For example, although not all travel visas are needed for many destinations. There are some locations that require you to have immunization records and/or a test result for HIV. There are also some locations that require you to prove them that you have no criminal records. Lastly, some countries require you to show proof that you can afford to stay in their country by showing them your bank account.
Passport is the most common travel document that is going to look for by an immigration officer. Once a passport has expired, it will no longer be accepted. On top of that, a lot of countries need a particular amount of validity to be allowed an entry. The passport 6-month validity rule exists and is required by most countries. There are countries that require only apply a 3-month validity rule. Every country that is part of the Schengen agreement in Europe follows this rule.
Other Instances When You Have to Replace Your Passport
Sometimes unexpected things happen that lead us to have to replace our passport even before it expires. Here are other two reasons as to why you might have to get a passport replacement immediately:
Sometimes, no matter how much you keep your passport safe in our bag or travel money belt, misfortunes can still happen. One of the biggest nightmares travelers may face is losing their passport, especially in the middle of their trip. In case this happens, you should immediately get in touch with your State Department or Consulate if you are in another country and inform them about the situation. They are the best people to help you.
Once you officially filed a report, you will be then provided with a form to fill out. You might have to fill out the same details you gave out when initially get your passport. Some countries may require you to prepare an affidavit of loss and even file a police report. Depending on your needs you might get a temporary passport from the country you lost it in that is valid for a few months in a couple of days. On the other hand, if you just lost your passport in your home country, you can then just wait for it as you did with your first passport.
Acquiring a new passport due to damage pretty much needs similar steps as an expired passport may require. Just don’t forget to include the information like the old passport with all the documents as required by the government. You will have to surrender your damaged passport. This is in order to prevent for the old passport from being used by the wrong hands and be used illegally.
Damaging your passport while you are on your trip can be a little bit tricky. Depending on the country you are in, the immigration might be strict on whether they will allow you to use your passport or not. If all the information on your passport, especially the number is not damaged, then there is a little bit more chance for you to get on the plane without the hassle. If you are not sure about the condition of your passport, then it would be a great idea to drop by your country’s embassy and ask for their opinion and suggestion. As soon as you get back home, make sure to file for renewal right away in order to avoid any further issues in the future.
No matter where in the world you are planning to go, it’s a smart idea to have a valid form of identification, particularly your current passport with you at all times. When things go wrong, whether you are in Asia, Europe of Americas, you should look at your passport as your ticket to obtain rights and protections as you explore a country you are not familiar with. Have it with you all the time as you would do with your driver's license.
Again, how long is a passport good for always depend on the country it was issued. So, what do you think about the rule applied to your home country? Let us know what you think in the comment below!