How Long Does My Passport Have to Be Valid For When Visiting the U.S.?

08/08/2019
Question:

My husband and I are planning for our winter in Florida and my passport expires in June, 2020. I always thought my passport had to be valid for 6 months after my return date to Canada, but a friend recently told me that it only has to be valid until my return date. Can you please confirm if this is true?

Answer:

Your friend is correct that your Canadian passport only has to be valid for the duration of your stay in the U.S.

However, we have heard reports that some U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents are unfamiliar with this exemption and are requiring passports to be valid for 6 months after your expected return date.

Accordingly, whenever possible we suggest travelling to the U.S. with a passport that is valid for 6 months after your expected return date to Canada.

If you do decide to travel with a passport that has an earlier expiry date and you run into trouble at the border, you may want to try politely directing the CBP agent to the directive on the CBP website that states Canadian passports only need to be valid for the duration of your stay in the U.S. Learn more here.

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