I recently went on holiday to Japan for 3 weeks. I knew my passport was getting close to expiry, but my trip was entirely within the validity period, and I read that Japan didn't have minimum validity requirements (Minimum passport validity for travelling to Japan).

I got through immigration with no worries. I looked at my landing permission sticker and was mildly interested to note that the 90-day period of stay ended exactly when my passport expired - clearly they'd just cut down the period to match my passport validity. Except they didn't. I checked my partner's sticker and it had exactly the same period as mine, and she has years left on her passport. By sheer luck, I had exactly 90 days left on my passport.

Not that I ever intend on doing this again, but I was wondering what would have happened if I had less than 90 days on my passport? Would the period match my passport validity, or would something else happen?

  • Does the sticker have "visa" written on it? No, so it's not a visa. – fkraiem Dec 15 '16 at 4:15
  • Oops, I see you already linked that, but I don't really see how these questions differ...? – lambshaanxy Dec 15 '16 at 5:13
  • Edited to clarify. The other question asked if you can get in, but I'm asking what would happen with the dates on the stickers, and I suppose, if there would be any consequences – Phill Dec 15 '16 at 5:22
  • The date that would be written on the sticker is largely a curiosity; the consequences would nothing if you left before your passport expired and, if you left later, the usual problems of trying to travel internationally without a valid passport. – David Richerby Dec 15 '16 at 8:39

Timatic, the database used by airlines, states:

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

There are rumours that some officers will reduce the amount of days you're allowed to stay, but this did not happen to me when entering at Narita on a passport with one week left in 2012. I got the full 90 days, and when exiting they simply made sure that the sticker validity hadn't expired.

However, I may have been lucky, seeing as I've heard of numerous people being prevented from exiting on an expired passport. That said, again, they will let you in even if your passport validity doesn't cover the entire stay, but it will be your responsibility to renew it.

Furthermore, not all countries accept expired passports even of their own citizens. I flew home to Sweden via Denmark (thus entering the Schengen Area in Denmark) and simply used my (valid) ID card to enter - my expired passport would not have been accepted.

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