How long is a U.S. passport good for?
The standard validity of a U.S. passport is 10 years, if the passport holder is 16 years old or above. For those aged below 16 years the passport will be valid for just five years.
The validity of a passport is hugely important and a minimum remaining validity of six months on a passport can often be a requirement for those entering or applying for a visa to visit many countries. If you are planning long-term travel then it is vital that you check the remaining validity of your current passport and you may want to consider renewing your passport before you travel.
Leaving the United States with a passport that is set to run out in the near future is a huge risk, as it may result in being denied entry into some countries on your itinerary. For example, if you are planning a six month backpacking trip then you will want a minimum of 12 months remaining on your passport before you set off to explore the world. This will minimize the risk that your visa applications are rejected six months down the line when you are coming towards the end of your trip. It can even be the case that some airlines will refuse to allow you to travel if you have less than six months remaining on your passport. The worst case scenario is that this will mean that you overstay your visa in that particular country and therefore risk facing substantial fines.
In some cases it may be possible to apply for a second passport, although approval is granted on a case by case basis and you will need to meet specific requirements to be allowed to apply. If you are successful in your application for a second passport, then do be aware that it will only be valid for two years once it has been approved. Even if you meet the following criteria to apply for a second U.S. passport, it is worth noting that approval is not guaranteed:
– You need a passport for travel which has already been confirmed whilst you simultaneously need to send your original passport to apply for a visa
– Your passport is currently being held by a foreign government and you require a passport to travel
– You have confirmed travel plans to a country that will deny entry or a visa based on evidence of travel to certain other countries It is also possible to apply for an emergency passport, which will be valid for one year.
Again, you will be required to demonstrate that you meet criteria requiring you to receive an expedited, emergency passport, which includes illness, injury or death in your immediate family which will cause you to travel within the next three days. In this situation you should discuss the issue with your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Travel Visa Pro offers a passport and visa service which provides expert advice and can assist with passport renewals, expedited passports and second passports for U.S. citizens.