Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Are our soon-to-expire passports valid for the US?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 13 August 2013
Q We travel to America at the end of October this
year. Our passports run out in March 2014. Will they be OK to travel with?
I have checked loads of websites including the US border agency and they are
all useless, none can tell me if we will be OK or not. What is the rule please?
A Relax: you need your passport to be valid only as long as the proposed duration of your stay. “You don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this,” confirms the Foreign Office.
However, were I in your position I would certainly renew my passport this month or next. You will get “full value”, with the remaining months credited, so that the new passports will be valid to March 2024. And since you will have to spend $14 (£9) applying for an Esta (electronic permission to enter the US), you might as well make full use of the two years that you are allowed under that scheme.
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