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I am traveling with my daughter to Israel from NYC on ITA airlines for two weeks. We have a connection in Rome (transit) for three and a half hours. We will NOT exit the airport in Rome at all.

We all have valid passports but my 11 year old daughter has a valid passport the will expire a month AFTER we return to the United States. Italy has a rule that a passport needs to be valid for three months after the departure but again we are not staying in Italy and only have a connecting flight 3 or 4 hours later to our destination (Israel).

My question is, will my daughter have an issue or will it be ok since we are simply connecting through Italy and not leaving the airport?

By the way, Israel currently does NOT have an issue with the passport having extra time as long as the passport is valid upon entry and upon exit. Thank You!

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  • For clarity, does ‘not leaving the airport’ mean you are transiting airside?
    – Traveller
    Apr 4 at 19:28
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    I am not sure what the answer is but I would suggest slightly reframing the question. Basically, local law applies so you definitely need to be concerned with it, that part is clear. If the rules for transit are more lenient (as they are for visa requirements for example), it would be because of the local (and EU) law, not because it doesn't apply. The questions is whether the rules for transit are different. Since this three-month requirement stems from the Schengen Borders Code where it is mentioned in the article on entry, I think it might be possible.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 4 at 19:34
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    That said, if you are able to transit airside, your passport is unlikely to be checked by the Italian authorities. In practice, you mostly need to make sure the airline will let you board and for that it can be useful to check TIMATIC (the database they use to look up rules like that).
    – Relaxed
    Apr 4 at 19:37
  • Thank You. We are not leaving the airport as we are simply waiting for our connection flight in the terminal. The layover is about 4 hours. Same airline. I spoke to the airline and the representative said it should not be an issue but they couldn't send me something in writing. It would definitely be an issue if i tried to exist in Italy because i would go through border control. Our flight is not to Rome, it is to Israel and my daughter passport will not expire till a month after we come back to the USA so i hope there is no issue. Please let me know if you think of anything else. Thx
    – Joe
    Apr 4 at 21:25

2 Answers 2

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As long as you're not going through border checks (i.e.: leaving the airside area of the airport), you should be fine. Since you're traveling from outside Schengen to outside Schengen - you shouldn't be going the border checks at any point. If you want to spend some time in Rome while waiting for the connection, then you may have an issue, but with 4 hours connection it's probably too short.

Flights to Israel go through additional security, so be at the gate early.

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Here are the people who can check your passport on the way:

  • Airline check-in agents. Will check your paperwork against Timatic, the database used by airlines for this purpose. See below.
  • Origin country passport control - none in the US, and even when there's one, they usually don't care about other countries' requirements.
  • Airline gate agents, if the check-in agents did not check, same rules as above.
  • Transit country passport control - does not apply if you stay "airside", which is apparently your case (double check you don't have to switch terminals, though).
  • Destination country passport control - at this point obviously any requirements for the transit country are not their problem.

In your case (I'm considering you have US passports, let us know if I'm wrong), Timatic says:

Travelling to Israel via Italy

Travelling to Israel

Passport

Passport required.

(...)

Document Validity:

Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid for the period of intended stay.

(...)

TRANSIT INFORMATION

Transit Countries

Italy

Passport

(no requirements regarding passport)

So the only requirement is that the passport is valid for the the period of intended stay in Israel. No requirement for Italy.

It is possible that the check-in or gate agent may initially be confused (especially if they are new) as they will be applying the Italy rule for many (most?) people they're checking, but they should quickly revert to reality once they realise you are in transit. If they don't snap out of it, tell them to "check Timatic".

Note however that there are quite a few Covid-related requirements for both Israel and transit through Italy I have removed from the quote, as this wasn't relevant to your question. You may want to review those.

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