Integrity Legal

18th Apr 2010

Traveling to the United States of America, for any purpose, can be a costly and arduous endeavor. Recently the American Immigration Lawyers Association distributed a a memorandum that was promulgated by the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) Service. In this memorandum the Foreign Affairs Manual was referenced. The following is a direct quotation from that memorandum:

“The Department of State (DOS) recently revised 9 FAM 41.104 Exhibit I, entitled, “Countries that Extend Passport Validity for an Additional Six Months after Expiration.” The Inspector’s Field Manual (IFM) Appendix 15.2 will be amended to reflect the new DOS 6-month list.”

The Inspectors Field Manual is important because it notes the countries that will extend passport validity by six months past the date of passport expiration. The memorandum goes further and discusses specific countries that will no longer be recognized as allowing this type of extension past the underlying passport’s validity:

“Among the countries that have been removed from the 6-month list since the last revision of the IFM are the following: Bangladesh, Cuba, Ecuador, Holy See, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Oman, Russia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, and Togo.

We have posted this information in order to better inform those travelers from the aforementioned countries who are accustomed to traveling to the USA on a passport with little, or no, official validity left. It would be unfortunate for an individual from one of the countries listed above to travel to the USA only to find that they are inadmissible due to the fact that they no longer have a travel document that is recognized as valid by United States Customs and Border Protection.

Thai Authorities generally require that those applying for a Thai visa have at least 6 months of stated validity on their passport. This is due to the fact that Thai officials do not like to issue visas with a validity that stretches substantially past the the date of the underlying passport’s validity period. In some cases, a Thai tourist visa can be obtained when there is little validity left on the passport, but these cases are rare. In cases involving the multiple entry one year Thai business visa or the one year Thai O visa, it has become practically a hard and fast rule that the validity of the passport be more than 6 months before a visa will be issued.

For further information about passports and travel to the USA please see: US Visa Thailand. For further insight into Thai Immigration matters please see: Thailand visa.

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