Validity passport USA

Validity passport for trips to the USA

Travelling to the USA is only allowed if the passport used to travel meets the validity requirements for travelling to the United States. Check before submitting an ESTA application if your passport meets these standards to avoid trouble.

General passport requirements

To travel to the USA, travellers each need to possess their own passport. This also applies to children; just being included in the passport of their parents is not enough. This passport needs to have a digital chip with biometric information about the holder, and a machine-readable part. Most current-day passports have a machine-readable part. Older passports, however, might not always have a digital chip with biometric data. To check this, the following e-symbol should be on the front of the passport.

digital passport

Validity requirements passport

The US government requires that all travellers possess a passport that is valid for the entirety of their stay in the USA. There are no further requirements. For instance, the passport does not need to be valid for a certain minimum period after the date of arrival, which can be the case with other countries.

Changing names

If your name has changed, for instance through a marriage or divorce, both your ESTA and your passport need to contain your new name. If either your passport or your ESTA still mentions your old name, you will need to apply for a new version with your new name.

Other requirements ESTA

Aside from a passport, travellers to the USA need to meet the other requirements of the ESTA. Read more about this on the page about the general validity requirements of the ESTA.

Passport USA

What to do if the passport is not valid

Does the passport not meet the validity requirements to travel to the USA? Then a new passport needs to be applied for. It is essential that a new passport is applied for first, before submitting an ESTA application. Only after the new passport has been issued, can it be used to submit an ESTA application. If an ESTA was applied for earlier with the old passport (which is not valid for the required period), the ESTA is no longer valid. In that case, a new ESTA application needs to be submitted with the new passport. Make sure that the passport is the same one that was used to fill out the application form.

Emergency passport

Applying for a new passport can takes several days to weeks. If there is not enough time left to go through the regular application procedure of the passport, inform at the passport office if it is possible to get an emergency passport. It is important that the emergency passport is an electronic passport; paper emergency passports do not suffice to travel to the USA.