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passport issue/France

I am leaving for France in a few weeks...have a valid passport BUT was just reading in RS 2009 France guidebook that the passport must have an expiration 6 mo's AFTER one's planned departure from France...mine expires before that...can anyone validate this ? I tried calling the French consulate but cannot get through and I could not possibly get a new passport in time...help !

Posted by
12040 posts

That is technically true, although I've never heard of anyone actually being denied entry for this. Check with the state department, if I'm not mistaken, you can pay extra money to have your passport renewal expedited.

Posted by
9106 posts

For most all countries in Western Europe your passport needs three months validity. In practice immigration agents have a lot of discretion when it comes to this. As long as you have a return ticket and come from a "rich" country like the US or Canada, it shouldn't be an issue. Back in 2006 I took a last minute trip to Germany and Holland, with less than 3 months validity, and the immigration folks at either country didn't say word about it. Although I knew I was taking a calculated risk.

Posted by
67 posts

thanks all for the info...I have a Canadian passport though...I guees I could just risk it...though what is the point of an expiration date if it actually is not accepted as such ?! Mine expires about 40 days after my departure date...I never even thought of this before !

Posted by
67 posts

The Canadian Consulate website states that France requires 3 mo's beyond departure date for expiration,not 6 as RS says in guidebook...however that is only splitting hairs...I have not been able to talk to a real person @ the consulate in NY...already tried and also the French...will try again tomorrow but generally speaking I may be scre... since the Can. Consulate does not handle passports and I don't qualify for an emergency situation according to their definition...I may have no other choice than to risk it though it would be a major,major of the worst kind of situation if I were not admitted ! This trip is way more than just a vacation !
Thanks for the advice...I will keep on trying to find a way to deal with this...

Posted by
368 posts

Went through customs as Schiphol in the Netherlands and they stamped my passport without even looking at the information page. Needless to say, I think it really will depend on the customs agent you get to deal with.

Posted by
10344 posts

It's possible that at passport control they scan your passport's bar code so quickly (flick of the wrist) that it might look all they're doing is stamping it.

Posted by
67 posts

OK...I am curious...how many of you would take a chance and just hope they let you in...or...pursue renewing the passport,which would entail a trip to Canada of min. 3 days in order to have expedited service...there is not the option of expedited service from the States...this I was just told by a Canadian consulate agent on the phone a few moments ago...20 days min...does anyone know of an occasion when entry was denied because of this ridiculous expiration regulation ?

Posted by
15532 posts

How important is the trip to you? How much will you lose if you are denied entry? What would the cost be to postpone the trip a few weeks so you could get an updated passport?

It's possible that you would be allowed entry. How long is your trip?

Posted by
11507 posts

Karen, how far are you from a Canadain border,, can you make a visit over to the passport office on a day trip and get you pp renewed. I had my renewed in ten days, and that was not the EXPEDIATED renew.They can renew pretty fast, but it is best to do it in person,, not by mail .

Posted by
67 posts

This trip cannot be postponed or cancelled...it is a very important trip for me and others...I can drive to Canada in 8 hours time,weather permitting...so it will be 2 days driving,2 days for the renewal (ha!) minimum ...most likely a week minimum and that would give me 2 days when I get back to prepare to leave...it may be done with any luck but it is a tradeoff...much else as a result will not be accomplished...oh well...better to have peace of mind...

Posted by
9106 posts

On Friday try calling the French Consulate in NYC again. If you still can't get through try calling some of the other consulates scattered across the US and Canada. Once you get a human being, explain your situation; if they say you will have no problem, then I see no reason not to make the trip. Also, make sure you jot down that persons name and the time you called just in case your questioned about it at the immigration check at CDG.

Posted by
368 posts

If your passport were destroyed, would you get a faster turn around (as you would be a Canadian stuck in the US without a passport)?

Just a thought...

Posted by
11507 posts

Jon, if you have travel tickets and need a passport quickly you can get one in less then 10 days, BUT, you have do this in person. You can also get an emergency passport in cases where you need one in less then 48 hours,, usaully in cases of family deaths or illnesses. If Karen wants to solve this problem she needs to get to a Canadian Passport office. There are extra fees for expediated passports.

Truthfully I think she might be able to get through without a new passport,, BUT, technically it would be within the immgration officers right to deny entry.. and you never know if you might get a strictly by the book guy. I would get a new passport myself.

Posted by
881 posts

Hi Karen, the rule is technically 6 mos for most countries. The keywords that get most folks confused are "3 months after your travel period". Many governments define this as your VISA length, not your date of departure. (Since you could extend your trip, etc). So 3mos VISA + 3mos after = 6 mos.

Like others have said, it really depends on the agent you get, and many of them are lax on that rule.
But the risk is losing your entire trip,I'd go with the piece of mind.

I've seen people make it right through (more often that not), but I've also seen them even denied boarding by the airline in the US. (As the airlines get fined for each passenger that doesn't have the proper documentation.), and denied entry at customs.