Traveling to Lebanon with less than six months passport validity?
February 3, 2017 10:12 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are traveling to Beirut in a month. Her passport expires almost exactly six months after our departure flight, and she doesn't want to pay for an expedited renewal before we leave. I think it would be a good idea, as I've found inconsistent information about validity requirements for visiting Lebanon, and am concerned about airline policies. Am I overly worried about this?

We are both US citizens. Her passport expires 6 months and 1 day after our arrival into Beirut, and we are staying for one week.

The State Department says 90 days validity required.

Wikipedia says 6 months.

Visa HQ says 6 months.

Lebanon says 6 months.

This website says 3 months, including for holders of Australian and Canadian passports, but on Australia and Canada's respective pages, it says 6 months validity.

And finally, the actual Lebanese government page doesn't say anything at all, except the questionably applicable sentence "Arabs and foreigners that hold a travelling document valid for less than 2 months, get a visa of 2 weeks, if they wish to stay longer, they must renew their passports"
posted by Bahro to Travel & Transportation around Lebanon (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just pay for the expedited renewal.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:17 AM on February 3, 2017 [9 favorites]

I would absolutely pay for an expedited renewal, as the enforcement of the 6 months validity seems to be somewhat arbitrary from what I've heard and it seems like a good time to be on the safe side.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 10:19 AM on February 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I used to be a U.S. consular officer. Pay for the expedited renewal. is usually pretty good, but this stuff is unpredictable and there's not going to be a ton your friendly embassy can do if you get turned around. The peace of mind is well worth it.
posted by eugenen at 10:27 AM on February 3, 2017 [12 favorites]

All previous courtesies given to US travelers should be considered null and void now. We now get to travel like everyone else does: treated with suspicion and fully at the mercy of whoever's standing in the booth that day.

Plus, you face potential problems being let back into the US now. Your paperwork needs to be pristine.

Do not leave this country with a nearly-expired passport.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:33 AM on February 3, 2017 [16 favorites]

Nthing not going with a passport that's nearly expired. I did this once and while I was let in, the immigrations officer scolded me for it.

Also, Lebanon right now?! Please be very, very cautious on both ends.
posted by Everydayville at 10:51 AM on February 3, 2017 [7 favorites]

Customs and border control pretty much everywhere have enormous discretion in how to treat you and your documents. I can guarantee that it will be less expensive to pay for an expedited passport than to pay for a trip you can't take because you were turned back before you even got started.
posted by rtha at 11:19 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I travelled to Taiwan on a passport with 92 days until it expired. At checkin in the US, the agent hasseled me because it was under 6 months until expiration. Once she saw that I was going to Taiwan, which only requires that passports have 3 months of validity, she let me check in and suggested I renew it ASAP upon return. I had no problems in Taiwan.

YMMV and the climate is different now; if you're an anxious person I would recommend renewing before you go.
posted by asphericalcow at 11:21 AM on February 3, 2017

Thanks everyone for the advice, I have convinced her to deal with the renewal process now.
posted by Bahro at 11:25 AM on February 3, 2017

A middle way is to apply for the passport regular, and then run the risk that you'll have to show up in person at the passport office to push through an emergency passport. The delays of a few years ago are gone; we got just got a passport renewed in less than a month, over the holidays. It's cutting it very close, to be sure.
posted by wnissen at 11:32 AM on February 3, 2017

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