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According to CBP:

Visitors traveling to the U.S. are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the U.S. Citizens of the countries listed below are exempt from the six-month rule and need only have a passport valid for their intended period of stay.

The document then proceeds to list 126 UN members + Taiwan, so 65 countries short from the full list of UN members minus the US itself. Some countries missing from the list include: Albania, Bahrain, Congo, China, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Morocco, Namibia, Oman, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen.

How does the US determine which countries appear on the list?

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1 Answer 1

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The answer is in the title:

Countries That Extend Passport Validity for an Additional Six Months After Expiration

The FAM page linked in that document says this:

9 FAM 403.9-3(B)(1) (U) Passport Must Be Valid Six Months Beyond Initial Period of Stay

(CT:VISA-1648; 11-17-2022)

(U) An NIV is only to be issued in passports that are valid for at least six months beyond the initial period of contemplated stay in the United States, except in the following circumstances:

...

(4) (U) The applicant’s passport was issued by a country which entered into an agreement or arrangement with the United States for the extension of the validity of their passports for six months beyond the expiration date specified in the passport. The countries listed in 9 FAM 403.9-3(B)(2) paragraph f below have an agreement or arrangement with the United States whereby their passports are recognized as valid for return to the country concerned for six months beyond the expiration date specified in the passport.

Paragraph f has that same list the CBP refers to.

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  • So basically it's the same rule for everyone, just that some countries don't print the actual end of validity date on their passports, but a date six months earlier? :)
    – ilkkachu
    Jan 13, 2023 at 18:39
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    @ilkkachu not exactly. The passport does expire for any other purpose except for the purpose of returning to home country. I.e.: these countries will not prevent from their citizens returning with expired passports (these citizens won't be able to go anywhere else).
    – littleadv
    Jan 13, 2023 at 18:49
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    @littleadv Does that mean people from other countries won't be able to return if their passports expire when they are abroad?
    – jy3u4ocy
    Jan 14, 2023 at 5:36
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    @jy3u4ocy it means that these other countries didn't promise that they'd let them to the US government.
    – littleadv
    Jan 14, 2023 at 7:27
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    @jy3u4ocy: Customarily, it is assumed that a country is required to admit their own citizens regardless of paperwork (but note that this is more of a polite convention than an actual enforceable law). However, countries are not generally required to believe that a person is a citizen merely on that person's say-so. It is expected that some standard of evidence will be applied, and invalid or expired documents might or might not meet that standard in a given situation.
    – Kevin
    Jan 14, 2023 at 8:51

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