Confusion over whether I need a new passport to fly to USA or not?! Anyone in the know?

(13 Posts)
YoScience Sat 26-Mar-16 18:57:44

Hoping for a bit of advice. I fly to Florida in June, returning July and my passport expires in September. I believe this is ok as America doesn't require UK citizens to have a longer period than necessary on their passports.

However I've read that from April you now need a chipped passport and that these were issued from October 2006. My passport was issued September 2006 however it has the icon on the front (looks like a camera) that apparently indicates a chipped passport. But it wasn't within the correct date.

I don't know if I need a new passport or not. I'd rather use this one if possible, obviously due to the cost of getting another and I also have a valid ESTA attached to this one. But also don't want to be stopped and not allowed into America!

Any advice much appreciated! smile

whattodoforthebest2 Sat 26-Mar-16 19:11:00

It sounds as if yours is a chipped passport, but to be on the safe side, give the passport office a ring to check www.gov.uk/passport-advice-line

Noofly Sat 26-Mar-16 19:25:53

There was just a thread about this on Trip Advisor's NYC forum. Quite a few people have received notice that their ESTA's have been cancelled because their passports were issued before October (can't remember the exact date) 2006, even though they have chipped passports.

It seems to have been a mess up, but one that needs sorted if you get the email. If you look for the thread - it was last posted on a couple of days ago, I think, and has an obvious title like "cancelled ESTA", someone has posted the phone number to get it sorted. Your might want to phone this number just to doublecheck your passport's position if you are worried.

YoScience Sat 26-Mar-16 19:47:59

Brilliant thanks both I've just had a check online and my ESTA is still showing as valid. I'll give the passport office a call. Thanks for that link. Will also check out the other thread. smile

Janek Sun 27-Mar-16 19:04:09

If you renew your passport now you can maintain your current expiry date (you can do this up to nine months before a passport expires, mine expires in Oct, but i have just renewed it and the new date should be oct 2026), so unless you were planning on letting it expire/lapse after September, this would be your best bet.

rugbychick Sun 27-Mar-16 19:08:58

I thought that all passports needed to have a minimum of 6 months left until expiring when travelling overseas. The 6 months starts from the time you land back in the UK

kickassangel Sun 27-Mar-16 19:11:10

I thought that the US required 6 months still on the passport anyway? I could be wrong - we're on green cards so go under a whole set of other requirements. But yes, you can renew and keep you old expiry date - the new one would effectively last 10 years and xx months.

ivykaty44 Sun 27-Mar-16 19:13:48

As Janek say you can get a new passport and add the months on - so why not just get a new passport, know that you have the correct type, know you have 10 years + to run on it after your return date

specialsubject Sun 27-Mar-16 19:22:56

the time required to be left on the passport varies with destination and is not a flat 6 months. For the EU, the passport can expire the day after you land and still be valid.

at the moment, anyway.

MadisonAvenue Sun 27-Mar-16 19:24:01

We're going in October and my passport will still be valid for another couple of months afterwards but I've (just a few days ago) applied for a new one because I read that the US requires a chipped one, or they deny entry.

tootiredforthissh1t Sun 27-Mar-16 19:34:28

I've been denied entry to the US as my passport wasn't chipped. It was such a faff having to go to the passport office and queue for hours to get a new one issues and miss 2 days of work (business trip). Save yourself the worry and trouble and get a new passport.

Fizrim Sun 27-Mar-16 19:39:58

I also thought you needed 6 months on your passport - I'd get a new one!

YoScience Sun 27-Mar-16 22:25:35

You don't need any time beyond date of return I've checked that out. It's just the chip thing I'm unsure of.

I do have the camera symbol in the front of my passport which is supposed to mean it has a chip. But according to the government passport website this didn't happen to October 06 but I got mine in September 06.

I'd rather not get a new passport if I don't need to for the cost and also I already have an ESTA in place. But o will if need be. I'll call on Tuesday. Thanks all smile

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