Published on : 07 July 20205 min reading time

You are about to book your next holiday and then a question crosses your mind: is your passport still valid for travel? The validity period of a passport is an element that you must take into account before you even buy your tickets, at the risk of having an unpleasant surprise! Here is a list of information that will be useful for you to know, even if the French passport is the third most accepted paper in the world:

How long is a passport valid for?

The validity period of a passport is 10 years for adults (over 18 years old), and only 5 years for children (under 18 years old). Whether you are an adult or a minor, don’t forget to check the expiry date of your document before you go on an adventure: because the more years you spend, the more you tend not to pay attention to this little “detail” that can quickly turn into a big problem.

Why do some countries require you to have a valid passport 6 months after the return date?

Some countries require nationals to present a valid passport 6 months after the date of return; but for what reason? Even if this measure doesn’t really suit you because you didn’t think you were renewing your identity document now, look on the bright side because it was created for your benefit.

In the vast majority of cases, it is these same countries that require you to be in possession of a visa to cross their territory that impose a passport validity for travel of more than 6 months, and for good reason: if you wish to stay longer, you will have to extend your visa, something you cannot do if your identity papers expire.

When do you need a valid passport one month after your return?

As we told you before, the French passport is one of the most advantageous in the world; many countries do not ask us to have a visa. On the other hand, some require us to keep it valid for one month after the date of return.

Very few apply this measure, but it is still better for you to know it: Canada, South Africa and New Zealand are three examples of countries that are part of it.

Count the number of blank pages left on your passport

Now that you have verified that your passport is valid for travel, consider looking at how many blank pages you have left to stamp and visa. Even if you had never thought about it before, some countries like Haiti require their visitors to present a passport with two free pages facing each other.

If you are a real globetrotter who spends your life in airports, and you keep applying for renewals, why not apply for a frequent traveller’s passport? With this document you will no longer have 32, but 48 pages to register your visas.

Do you need a passport to travel to Europe?

The answer to this question is simple: no. If you are travelling within the European Union, and more precisely within the Schengen area, you only need to present your identity card.

You can therefore travel to countries such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, members of the Schengen area, with your identity card.

Note that minors travelling alone and out of the territory must be in possession of an “Authorization to Leave the Territory” at the time of boarding.

Passport to the USA: what do you need to know?

The USA requires a passport validity of 6 months after the date of return.

In addition, note that you will need to be in possession of:

  • A visa waiver: for a stay of 90 days or less.
  • ESTA authorization: if you do not have a visa waiver, you can apply for an ESTA up to 72 hours before your departure for the United States. Note that this process can be done online and costs $14.

If you are planning to go to the USA, and more particularly to New York, do not hesitate to consult our article “New York Airports: How to get to Manhattan and Brooklyn” in order to properly organize your arrival.

Passport renewal: what procedure should you follow?

Have you come to the conclusion that you need to renew your passport for your next trip? In this case, follow the following steps:

Go to a town hall (or consulate) equipped with a registration station (the request can be made in a town hall other than that of your home).

Make an appointment in advance if necessary.

Please bring the following documents with you:

  • Your original passport and a photocopy of it.
  • A passport photo to standards.
  • A proof of residence and a photocopy.
  • 86 € to pay for the tax stamp.

If you are not really excited about taking all these steps, you can apply for your pre-application for passport renewal online. If you choose this option, you will also need to present your pre-application number at your appointment at the Town Hall.

You will have understood this, to travel with complete peace of mind, you must remain attentive to the validity of your passport, the conditions of access imposed by your destination, the number of blank pages remaining on your passport, and in some cases, the time required to obtain a visa.