When Should You Renew Your Passport | Become A Cruiser
When Should You Renew Your Passport?

When Should You Renew Your Passport

How Long Should Your Passport Be Valid For When Traveling

Many cruisers and travelers, in general, are under the assumption you can travel on your passport up to the day of expiry. In almost all cases, this is incorrect so, when should you renew your passport?

It is a common misconception that you may enter into a country on a passport that is about to expire and remain legal as long as you depart before the expiry date of your passport.

A further misconception amongst cruisers is that you may enter a country up to the day your passport is about to expire, and then once you are cleared in, visit a local embassy to renew your passport.

Except with a very limited number of countries this could not be further from the truth.

When Should You Renew Your Passport?
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French Polynesia Requires 6 Months of Passport Validity. When Should You Renew Your Passport?

The Six Month Validity Rule

Many countries require your passport to be valid for six months past your intended departure date. Other countries impose a four-month, three-month, or one-month validity rule.

It is worth checking to see how each country determines your departure date. The departure date used to determine additional passport validity.

The date you say you will be leaving the country. Which will then be the length of admission the immigration officer will stamp into your passport.

Other countries may determine your departure date as the end date for which normal tourist visas are issued.

For example, certain Schengen states (Most of the countries in Europe) will automatically grant all visitors an entry visa for 90 days (+/- three months).

As Schengen countries require 3-months passport validity past the departure date, you effectively require 3-months (visa) + 3-months (extra passport validity) = Your passport must be valid for 6-months on the day of arrival.

As a further example, French Polynesia requires six months validity beyond the departure date. All tourists are automatically given 90 days on entry. You would require your passport to be valid for 3 months (visa) + 6 months (extra Passport validity) = Your passport must be valid for 9 months on the day of arrival.

Countries That Require 6-Months Validity On Your Passport

Countries change their visa requirements all the time. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the visa section of the country you plan to visit’s website for your home country. The majority of the information comes from the US Department of State Website.

At present, Canada and Mexico do not enforce the 6-month rule for US Passport holders but do require a blank page to be available in the passport.

AFRICA

Algeria
Angola
Botswana
Burundi
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Republic of the
Cote d’Ivoire
Djibouti
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon

Ghana
Kenya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mauritania
Mozambique
Namibia
Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe
Somalia
South Sudan
Sudan
Tanzania
Uganda
Zambia

South Africa – Only requires 1-month

ASIA & MIDDLE EAST

Bahrain
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Burma
Cambodia
China
Egypt
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Malaysia
Mongolia

Nepal
Oman
Pakistan
Philippines
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Turkmenistan
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
Vietnam
Westbank/ Gaza Strip
Yemen

CARIBBEAN

Antigua and Barbuda
Grenada
Guadaloupe
Haiti
Honduras
Bahamas

Martinique
Panama
St. Barthelemy
St. Martin
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Trinidad and Tobago

SOUTH AMERICA & CENTRAL AMERICA

Bolivia
Ecuador – Including Galapagos
Guana

Surinam
Venezuela

AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND,
NORTH & SOUTH PACIFIC

Australia
French Polynesia
Fiji
Kiribati
Marshall Islands
Micronesia

New Zealand – Only requires 1-month

Palau
Papua New Guinea
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu

Additional Passport Requirements

Some countries in addition to extra validity on your passport past your departure date, may also require:

  • One or two blank pages to insert a visa
  • You may be required to obtain your tourist visa outside of the country before your arrival

Note On Entry Visas

Entry requirements for cruisers entering on their own boats may be different from the requirements for entering by air. For example, European citizens can travel visa-free by air on an airline that participates in the visa waiver program. However, the same traveler requires a visa in advance when entering on a private vessel or aircraft.

Tips For Keeping Your Passport Safe On a Boat

We know of more than a handful of full time cruisers who have either lost a passport or some-other important document on board. The most frequent culprit is moisture causing the document to get wet. And none were due to anything as dramatic as flooding.

Most were from a leaking deck-fitting or hatch that allowed water to run down to where their boat papers were stored.

For this reason, keeping your important documents in a drybag or large ziplock is a good idea. Just be careful that when you close the drybag that there is no moisture or humidity inside the bag, this will cause your documents to become moldy or stuck together.

I recommend placing the documents in a small waterproof lockbox or safe.

When Should You Renew Your Passport?
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Nic

Hi, I’m Nic! Our Family of four have been out cruising since 2016. We have sailed about 15,000nm, almost halfway around the world. We sold everything, took the leap of faith, and bought a 10-year-old Lagoon 380 ex-charter catamaran. We’ve fixed every system on the boat, often more than once. Cruising has been such a wonderful, positive experience for our family that I want to share my tips to help you Become a Cruiser.


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