How long a U.S. passport is valid depends on the type of passport a traveler has. The validity of a U.S. passport also depends on the foreign destination where you are traveling. Some countries require that a U.S. passport be valid for a period of time past the expected length of the visit.
A U.S. passport for an adult is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. The U.S. Department of State considers an adult passport holder an American citizen who is 16 years old or older on the date he applies for his U.S. passport.
A U.S. passport for a child younger than 16 years old is valid for 5 years from the date of issue. If the child is still younger than 16 years old when her child passport expires, she must apply for another 5-year child passport.
Many countries require a U.S. passport to be valid for at least 3 to 6 months after the date his round-trip airline ticket shows him departing the country. Airlines will not even allow you to board the plane if this validity requirement is not met. Essentially, a U.S. passport has expired months before the printed expiration date if you are traveling to one of these countries.
3 Month Validity
The following countries require a U.S. passport to be valid for 3 months after the date of departure from the country: Cambodia, Fiji and Switzerland. The country of Denmark places this limit on all the time spent in 15 countries in Europe.
6 Month Validity
The following countries require a U.S. passport to be valid for 6 months after the date of departure from the country: Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Paraguay, Romania and Singapore.
Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.