Passport types and conditions
What is required to apply for a passport?
Do you have, or have you applied for a passport for your international travel? Please prepare all the documents if you are applying for a passport for the first time. These required documents will be the same when applying for renewal of a passport that has expired or been lost or stolen.You may apply for renewal of a passport beginning one year prior to its expiration date.
Types of passports
After obtaining a passport, check to make sure that the letter “P” is indicated under “Type” on the identification page.
This “P” stands for “passport.” It shows that the document is an official passport. The two-character letter and number shown on the passport’s identification page will be read by a machine prior to immigration screening at the destination of travel.
When the machine reads the “P” at the start of these two characters, it recognizes the document as a passport. However, non-machine-readable passports, on which an original photograph is simply affixed to the page, do not have these two characters and cannot be read by machine. Machine-readable passports must comply with international standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).In some cases, the passport may indicate two letters, such as “PD” or “PM,” instead of just “P.” In addition, when a traveler has been issued a visa, his or her passport may have a “V” indicated on it. After obtaining a passport, keep it in a safe place and be sure to carry it with you when traveling internationally.
Technical requirements and conditions of passports
【Passport requirements for visitors to the U.S.】
Each traveler visiting the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program must possess a machine-readable passport.
Even young children are required to have machine-readable passports. Please refer to the VWP passport requirements for more details.
IC chips are required even for emergency or temporary passports.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website
Requirements of the Six Month Club
In principle, under the Six Month club travelers are permitted to depart from their countries if their passports have at least six months remaining in their periods of validity. However, some countries have concluded agreements that waive the Six Month Club requirements. Under these agreements, travelers’ passports do not need to have at least six months remaining in their periods of validity, although they do need to be valid for the planned period of stay.
To be issued a visa, you must submit a valid renewed passport and your old passport. You do not need to apply for a visa again due to having renewed your passport.
* Permanent residents, refugees, and exiles must apply to the U.S. for valid certificates such as an Alien Registration Certificate issued by DHS.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Six Month Club update information
Kosovo is the most recent member added to the Six Month Club.
Nationals of the countries listed below are exempt from the rule that their passports have to be valid for at least six months.
They may be permitted to enter the U.S. if their passports will remain valid for their intended period of stay.
The U.S. CBP website
List of countries exempted from the restriction on passport periods of validity
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Saint Christopher and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City