Your passport is your key to international travel. You should ideally look over your passport a few months in advance of travelling abroad and check for these four items.

passport
Passport ready to go
Photo by Rocio Ramirez on Unsplash

1. Look at the passport requirements for the country you are visiting

Each country has their own rules for entry. Search for the country you are travelling to on the U.S. Department of State website. You will also find other helpful information about visas, safety, and emergencies. This first step may be your most important one!

2. Confirm your passport expiration date

Many countries require that your passport be valid for a certain period of time before your arrival. This is typically between six months and 90 days. Allow enough processing time to receive your new passport before your departure. Plan in advance.

passport
Leave enough passport pages for more stamps
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3. Check that you have enough blank passport pages

Other countries require that you have a specific number of blank pages in your passport to ensure there is enough space for the entry stamp. This is usually two to four blank pages. You cannot add additional pages to your existing passport and must order a new passport. You may choose a new passport book that is 28 or 52 pages.

passport
A passport is necessary for Global Entry
Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

4. Use your passport to enroll in Global Entry

Global Entry allows expedited entry into the United States. At the airport, there are Global Entry kiosks for travelers to present their machine-readable passport. All they need to do is have their fingerprints verified and complete a customs declaration. Learn more about how to enroll in Global Entry here.


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