Do You Need 6 Months on Your Passport to Travel to Spain?

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If you’re planning a trip to Spain, one of the key steps before booking your travel is to check the validity of your passport.

When you’re wondering whether you need 6 months on your passport to travel to Spain, this guide will take you through all you should know before you go.

Two passports lying on top of map with the country Spain circled

Spain is located within Europe, and one of the main points to be aware of is that all countries have their own regulations when it comes to entry requirements. Thus there is no one-size-fits all rule when it comes to passport validity.

Where travel restrictions are in place, it’s always essential to check with the Spanish embassy in the country you’re traveling from before departure.

Otherwise you could encounter problems upon arrival, which could result in you being refused entry to Spain.

Fines of up to EUR 3,000 are in place where entry requirements are not adhered to, and even if you’re only due to change planes at a Spanish airport then you still need to ensure you can comply with the rules upon arrival.

Passport Validity for Spain: Country by Country

This guide outlines the Spanish entry requirements for many major destinations across the world, including the US, the UK, the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Read on to find out about the passport requirements applicable to your country, along with links. This way you can double check what the current rules are – before boarding that plane bound for sunny Spain.

Please note – all the following information is correct at the time of writing but should be verified before travel as rules may change at any time.

A minimum of six months’ validity after departure from Spain is always ideal, and can mean you don’t experience unwanted delays at the airport.

These rules are also intended as a guide for those visiting Spain as a tourist. If you plan to enter for work or study purposes, then you must check carefully which additional rules will apply.

United States

Minimum passport validity: 3 months after departure; 6 months recommended

Those who want to enter Spain from the US must have at least three months remaining on a US passport after their departure date from Spain.

As with all countries, six months’ validity is recommended to avoid unnecessary delays.

Click here for an at-a-glance guide to Spain’s rules for US passport holders


Minimum passport validity: 3 months after departure; 6 months recommended

On a standard Canadian passport, the Canadian government advises that this should be valid for a minimum of three months after departure from Spain.

The Canadian government website also makes mention of those passports marked an ‘X’ gender identifier, as other countries may not recognize or accept this for entry or for transit.

This applies to all countries rather than Spain in particular. Citizens who are affected should thus contact an official Spanish representative to check before travel.

Read more about entering Spain on a Canadian passport here

United Kingdom

Minimum passport validity: 3 months after departure; 6 months recommended

Anyone traveling from the UK to Spain on a ‘British Citizen’ passport must comply with the EU area regulations.

These state that your passport must be valid for a minimum of three months after the date you’ll depart from Spain, though six months is preferable.

A UK passport must be under 10 years old, in addition to having at least three months’ validity remaining when you depart.

Do check the start and expiry dates of your passport carefully, as when renewals have taken place early extra months may have been added.

Check Spain’s current entry requirements for UK passport holders here

canada and united kingdom passport on brown table

European Union

Minimum passport validity: Duration of stay; 6 months recommended

Spain is a member of the European Union and thus different rules apply to citizens who hold an EU passport.

As these people can move freely between EU countries, they can live and work in Spain should they choose to.

In fact EU citizens should be allowed to travel, live and work in Spain freely, and thus should not be refused permission to enter.

To verify this right, however, you may be asked to show a valid passport. This may especially apply when traveling from outside the EU, even on an EU passport.

See the latest rules for EU citizens entering Spain here


Minimum passport validity: 6 months recommended by AU government

Due to travelers to Spain reporting a variety of experiences, the Australian government advises all visitors to have at least six months’ validity remaining on their passports when departing Spain.

This also applies to anyone transiting via a Spanish airport.

The Australian government takes care to warn travelers that they may become stranded if their passport is not valid for long enough.

For this reason, they advise all travelers to check carefully before departing. If the passport will expire less than six months after departing from Spain, then applying for a new one is recommended.

Find out the latest Spain entry requirements for Australians here

New Zealand

Minimum passport validity: 3 months after departure; 6 months recommended

As with many other countries, a passport issued in New Zealand should be valid for three months following the traveler’s intended departure date from Spain.

Having six months’ validity remaining after this date is again the ideal scenario.

Access the NZ foreign affairs and trade website’s Spain pages here

Other Factors to Consider When Traveling to Spain

As you can see, having at least three months’ to run on your passport after your booked departure date is necessary for travel to Spain. This minimum applies to citizens of various countries but excludes those from the EU.

UK passport holders are advised by their government that their passport should also be less than a decade old, and should therefore check the start date in addition to the expiry date.

It’s not only the validity of your passport to be aware of, however. There may be other rules in place affecting whether or not you’ll be granted permission to enter Spain.

You can check these by clicking on the links supplied above, as each of these leads to an official government website outlining the latest travel advice. This relates to topics such as Covid-19, the risk of terrorism and more.

It’s also worth considering what might happen in an emergency situation.

If this meant you needed to stay in Spain for longer, then you might well be very relieved that you entered the country with over six months’ validity remaining on your passport.

The Schengen area

Another factor that comes into play for many people who enter Spain is the Schengen area.

Spain belongs to the group of Schengen States that have no border controls, allowing citizens to move unrestricted between them. While many of these countries are EU members, several are not.

The Schengen area covers 26 countries, and these include major European destinations such as France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and more. Such citizens can enter Spain without restrictions.

People from countries outside the zone may be able to obtain a Schengen visa.

This is a short stay visa issued by any Schengen State, and allows the holder to stay for up to 90 days in the Schengen area.

The 90-day stay must fall within a 180 day period. It can also be used as an airport transit visa.

View the full  map of the Schengen area on the official EU website here

Passport validity for Spain: FAQs

Can I travel with less than 6 months on my passport?

As a general rule of thumb, many countries require a minimum of six months’ validity on your passport for entry. Thus you should always check how long your passport has left to run long before you travel.

In theory, you can travel to Spain from many countries with just three months’ validity remaining on your passport when you depart. Taking heed of the Australian government’s advice, however, is wise – wherever you travel from.

Due to citizens reporting a range of experiences, the government of Australia advises its citizens to have at least six months’ remaining on their passport when leaving Spain.

To avoid unnecessary delays or complications, we reckon it’s a wise idea to follow suit.

Can I travel to Spain with only 5 months left on my passport?

As long as the rules for your country allow this, you can enter Spain from many destinations as long as you have three months or more remaining on your passport when you depart.

For a trip to Spain, any country in the Schengen area or indeed any country in the world, having six months plus on your passport after you depart is ideal.

This will ensure you don’t experience any avoidable delays – or run into trouble if you need to stay longer.

Passport validity for Spain: Final thoughts

Before booking any travel that involves staying in or transiting Spain, you should always check the validity of your passport. Three months is the minimum requirement, but this does vary according to the country you’ll be entering from.

Six months’ validity is what some governments recommend to their citizens, and this is because of those with less sometimes reporting delays upon arrival.

In the case of an emergency you might also need to stay longer, and having more time on your passport could ease the burden at an already-stressful time.

Always check the rules that apply to your country before you travel, and do take heed of any advice supplied by your Foreign Office or equivalent as well. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be free to enjoy a fabulous time in sunny Spain!