My son and I are US citizens, and we are currently in China. We will fly home to the USA at the end of August. My son's passport expires in early February. This means that in August, my son's passport will expire in 5 months.

We are flying back to the US via two separate itineraries:

  1. We fly from China to Tokyo on about August 20
  2. We fly from Tokyo to the USA on about August 25

Will my son be eligible to enter Japan in late August via the visa-free travel? If not, what do we need to do to enter Japan with only five months remaining on his passport?

  • You know what. As you know, generally, one can renew a US passport quickly (compared to other countries). I have never had to renew a child's US passport in China. I would suggest. Spend 5 minutes, call the embassy in China and ask them how long it would take to renew your child's (existing, valid) passport. If you can get it done by the day you fly, go for it. The expense is #$#$ed, but that's governments for you, and you will have to pay the expense later anyway. It will be one huge problem off your mind, certainty is a fresh passport for kids.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 13:39
  • @Fattie I don't know if the embassy is going to be interested in replacing an undamaged, unexpired passport for somebody who doesn't live in the country and expects to be back in the US prior to its expiration, especially with the current logjam. Regular processing times within the US are up to 13 weeks, and expedited processing is still 9 weeks right now, and there are limitations about who can get non-emergency urgent processing. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 14:49
  • @AR-solidarityforModstrike I wasn't suggesting OP asks for unusual or emergency processing. Anyone can order a new passport at any time. Millions of US'ers live or are extended overseas, and it's totally normal to get a new passport while overseas. It's ten weeks until they fly right? As I said clearly, Spend 5 minutes, call the embassy in China and ask them how long it would take to renew your child's passport (It does suck it's running 9+ weeks currently in the US - sometimes it's actually quicker if you're overseas, depending on the country combination!)
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 18:12
  • @Fattie August 20 is only just over 5 weeks, not 10. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


Yes, there are no validity requirements for passport in Japan

TIMATIC states :

Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid on arrival.

  • 4
    I would just caution that, airline employees now ubiquitously think that all countries in all cases need 7 months passport validity. This is incredibly stupid and annoying, but it's reality. Be prepared with printouts, etc, showing your belief in the matter. Get timatic screenshots and government web site screenshots printed on paper. The fact is, on this planet, passport expiry dates have now all been "moved back six months", in practice, which is incredibly annoying and stupid but that's how it is.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 13:35
  • 1
    @Fattie It gets more complicated: in the UK, this made people apply early to renew passports and got new ones dated for more than 10 years validity so as not to lose money over the overlap, but some places (e.g. Schengen) then reject these passports before their stated expiry date.
    – Henry
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 14:22
  • Henry - true. I'm just keeping the QA on track for the US OP though. Which is bad enough!
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 15:11

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