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CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

Athens, Greece
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CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

We had a huge disspointment yesterday when long awaited friends visiting from USA, were denied their flight in USA, because they had valid passports, valid though only for the next 80 days.

So?

In order to enter Schengen agreement countries ( more than 20 countries in Europe, including France, Germany and Greece for example ) your passport has to be valid FOR MORE than three months than your intended stay.

American visitors are not in need of a visa to enter Greece, still this rule applies. So, check you passports.

More info, regarding US passport holders, in US Department of State info page at the following link/ Please do take a look.

…state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4361.html

Athens, Greece
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1. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

Please keep it generalised. Most usual contributors will understand who are we talking about.

It's an already very very akward situation, so PLEASE keep it generalised without referring to certain forum contributors.

I would also lke you to ask deletion of any post that is referring to certain contributors, using lower right "inappropriate" button in this case.

Thank you hugely in advance.

Komotini, Greece
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2. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

This is a very good point!! To make it even more clear than Nick already has, if you arrive with 90 days exactly on your passport, unless you are leaving Schengen the same day, it is not good enough! However, TRAVEL DOCUMENTS (i.e., valid plane tickets) are acceptable means of proving your itinerary.

Example:

I have a friend whose US passport recently expired. He wanted to go to Greece for approx. 60 days. When he arrived in Greece, his passport still had about 100 days on it. He had a ticket from Athens to Istanbul 4 days after he arrived in Greece, showing that he would only be in Greece for those 4 days, thereby leaving the Schengen area when he still had over 90 days left on his passport.

The ticket to Istanbul was fully refundable. After being admitted into Greece, he called Turkish Airlines, cancelled the ticket, got his refund, and stayed where he was. When he left Greece, although his passport had only 10 days left, he had no problem re-entering the USA, because it was THEIR passport, and it's valid as far as they are concerned until the expiration date printed on it - no extra time required.

It's a MUCH better idea to renew your passport when it reaches SIX months from expiration, but sometimes that may not be possible, if one is currently traveling and needs the passport on their person. This is actually what happened in my friend's case - he was traveling in other countries when he should have renewed it, and didn't want to surrender it for so long.

But for people who may suddenly find themselves in this position, travel documents (even fully refundable ones - this is the way to go!) showing that you will be leaving Schengen with still 90+ days on your passport should enable you to enter Schengen. Just have these documents on you when you go to the airport (if they are e-tickets, print them out).

If your passport has less than 90 days, don't leave your home country to go to Schengen, there is no way around it.

(By the way, standard (not rushed) US passport renewal is taking about 3 weeks from the day you mail it til the day the new passport arrives. This may be helpful to some in their planning. Of course can vary.)

Yorkshire Dales
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3. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

What a terrible disappointment Nick for all concerned.

BUT.....Thank you for alerting everyone else. It probably wouldn't occur to other travelers that this can happen and you may have prevented others suffering in the same way .

It is common sense to check to see that our passports are valid for our trip, but this extra time 'validity' rule is probably not commonly known.

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4. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

<<In order to enter .... your passport has to be valid FOR MORE than three months than your intended stay.>>

Isnt it similar for going TO USA, I think its even longer, 6 months after departure?

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5. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

Whole morning, i am also trying to find the vice-versa link ( European passports entering USA ).

I would be really happy if someone posted this, even if this is Greece forum.

Most people do not know these rules. They only think "my passport is valid till the day i return, i am ok". I cannot even think the frustration of going to the airport and getting denied to yoru flight.

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6. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

worldtravelguide.net/country/292/passport_vi…

Thing is that this is not a probable problem for Greek passport holders. Unfortunately visa is still required to enter USA, so you get clearly informed on this rule upon applying for visa. Can't get skipped.

Komotini, Greece
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7. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

I know that if it's a US passport, you can enter the USA up to the day before the expiration date printed on the passport, but if it's a European passport, I don't know if there's a lead time. I have never heard of there being one - but then again, how many people knew about this Schengen rule? (I only found out recently because of my friend's situation. I had assumed that it had to be valid until the day I re-entered my home country, 'cause that's what "expiration date" usually means!)

(Also I would ASSUME that if you are holding a Greek passport, you can enter Schengen and/or Greece up to the date printed as the expiration date, but I do NOT know - that is also important information for those who will be traveling outside of Greece and/or Schengen and wanting to return.)

Komotini, Greece
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8. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

From Nick's link:

"for most countries the passport must be valid for at least six months from the date on which the holder enters the USA"

It doesn't specify that Greece is one of these countries, but since Greece is not part of the visa waiver program (which specifies 90 days, not six months), it may be in fact SIX MONTHS.

Check at the embassy when applying for visa to be sure!

Athens, Greece
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9. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

Exactly. These things can get messy sometimes.

Original US Department of State link also suggests that you sometimes have to **request** for your passport to get stamped upon entering Schengen Agreement limits.

It is a common thing, especially when transiting through a European country upon your arrival from US than your passport does not even get stamped. This is a possible mess when a thorough count-check on stamps is made in the future.

Devizes, United...
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10. Re: CAUTION***US Passport requirements to enter Europe***CAUTION

Hi Nick

What a dreadful disappointment for those concerned, they must be gutted as indeed you and the Athenians must be Nick. So sorry that the party has been spoiled....:-(