Ask Sophie: Will I be allowed into the US if my passport expires in 5 months?

Right here’s one other version of “Ask Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how firms.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of information that enables individuals everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in individuals ops, a founder or in search of a job in Silicon Valley, I might like to reply your questions in my subsequent column.”

TechCrunch+ members obtain entry to weekly “Ask Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Pricey Sophie,

I based a startup in Zimbabwe a couple of years in the past. I deliberate to go to america for the primary time subsequent month to take a look at the market and utilized for a customer visa.

I’m planning to remain within the U.S. for a few months, however I simply realized that my passport expires in September. I perceive that I must have at the least six months left on my passport with a purpose to journey to america.

Is that (nonetheless) true? Do I must delay my journey?

— Hopeful in Harare

Pricey Hopeful,

Thanks for reaching out to me together with your questions! It’s so splendidly thrilling to listen to about your plans to go to america for the primary time. Let’s dive proper in.

Normally, sure, guests who’re touring to america are required to have passports which can be legitimate for at the least six months after the date they arrive within the U.S. Many international locations have this six-month passport validity requirement.

Within the U.S., nevertheless, sure international locations are exempt from the six-month requirement and residents of these international locations solely must have a passport that’s legitimate via the date of their keep within the U.S. Residents of Zimbabwe are exempt from the six-month rule, so so long as you permit the U.S. earlier than your passport expires, you’re lined! You don’t must delay your journey!

Vote for immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn to speak at TechCrunch Disrupt in September 2023.

Picture Credit: TechCrunch

Final month, U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP), which is answerable for border safety at U.S. airports and different ports of entry, issued an up to date checklist of nations exempt from the six-month passport validity rule. Almost 130 international locations, together with Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Taiwan and Ukraine, are on that checklist. China shouldn’t be exempt.

This six-month passport validity exemption solely applies to guests: These on a B-1 enterprise customer, a B-2 vacationer customer visa, or these on ESTA (Digital System for Journey Authorization), the U.S. Visa Waiver program. Sadly, residents of Zimbabwe are ineligible for the ESTA program, which allows residents of 40 international locations to journey to the U.S. for enterprise for stays of 90 days or much less with out first acquiring a visa.

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