On Wednesday I'll be flying from Amsterdam to Canada (Saskatoon), there is a layover in the US (Minneapolis) for two hours (and obviously I'm not going to leave the airport). I know that for Canada, my passport has to be only valid for the time I'm staying there, but I don't know how this works for layovers and if it's even valid there?! I'm German, my passport expires on November 12th and I'll be leaving Canada on November 3rd (but directly back to mainland Europe, no layover in the US), so my passport is valid for a bit more than a month at the time of my layover.

So, basically: Should I panic about not being able to board the plane or can I go to bed and sleep without fear?

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    German citizens are a member of the "6 month club", which is countries that do not require 6 months validity on their passport for entering the US. The full list of countries in the "6 month club" is available at state.gov/documents/organization/104770.pdf
    – Doc
    Oct 7, 2013 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


Both the USA and Canada only require a passport to be valid for the period of intended stay FOR GERMAN CITIZENS.

Normally when entering the USA and Canada you would be granted entrance for 90 days/6 months respectively, however given your passport will expire before that period is up you will only be granted entry until the expiry date on your passport.

In future I would strongly recommend not cutting it this close with the expiry. If something goes wrong whilst you are in the country and you end up having to stay longer than expected it can cause real problems. Some countries also enforce that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at time of entry, but thankfully neither the US or Canada do that for GERMAN CITIZENS however the US does requite 6 months validity for citizens of many countries.

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    Oh my god, what a relieve. And yeah, I wasn't intentionally cutting it that short, I just thought it was valid until November 12th 2014, and yeah, I just checked two hours ago (I know, I'm stupid and should've done that sooner. It just never occurred to me (I've never travelled outside Europe, so yeah))
    – JustSid
    Oct 7, 2013 at 20:11
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    You do need an ESTA, however these are generally issued immediately - just go to the website, hand over your $14, fill in the application and you should be fine.
    – Doc
    Oct 7, 2013 at 20:15
  • I tried, but it's currently down for maintenance. Thank you so much though, at least I feel a little bit less panicky now.
    – JustSid
    Oct 7, 2013 at 20:23

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