Advice: When should I renew my passport?

Last updated 14:34 17/09/2013

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From passport validity to travel itineraries...

If you have a travel question, email us at travel@stuff.co.nz.

Q. Hi, I've heard that one can't travel on a passport that will expire within a certain period beyond your travel date even if you have return plans that are well before the expiry date.

So for example, someone plans to go overseas for three weeks but their passport will expire three months beyond their return date so they can't travel unless they renew their passport first. Is this true? Or is there some form of this that is true?

If so, please can you explain the actual rule so that I can plan my travel and passport renewal accordingly. Cheers, Susan.

A. Thanks for the question Susan.

There is actually no one rule around this as each country has their own entry requirements. 

For example if you are travelling on a New Zealand passport to Fiji you must have 3 months validity on your passport at the time of departure from Fiji, for the USA your passport only needs to be valid for the time that you are visiting but for Russia you would require an entry visa and must have 6 months validity on your passport. 

So you would need to check what the entry requirement is for each country you plan to visit first and then work out whether your passport might need to be renewed before you travel. 

You can check this information online if you wish to, my advice would be to make sure you only use official government websites to ensure as this information can and does change so the official websites will be the most up to date. 

Alternatively a travel agent has access to a system that holds the most accurate and up to date information so they can most certainly assist you and in fact if you book with an agent they have a legal obligation to check these details.

 Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment below.

If you have a travel question, email us at travel@stuff.co.nz and we'll get the experts at House of Travel to provide the answer. Include a nickname if you don't want to be identified.

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