Your passport may effectively expire months before its expiration date. Certain countries enforce the "six-month rule," requiring your passport to be valid for an extended period of time beyond your intended travel. And it is your responsibility to know the rules of entry before you go. Otherwise, you may be turned away at the airport or the border.
The Alphabetical List
In alphabetical order, the countries that enforce some version of the six-month rule include Albania, Angola, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador (including Galápagos Islands), French Polynesia, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, New Caledonia, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, St. Lucia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.
Know Before You Go
Laws change frequently so look up your destination country on the U.S. Department of State's country-specific website for up-to-date entry rules. Compare the rules to your passport's expiration date found on the page with your picture on it. If you're in a time crunch, request and pay for expedited processing of your passport renewal. You can also schedule same-day renewal at one of 26 federal passport agencies, but some branches require printed proof of travel for same-day renewal. As a general rule, it's a good idea to renew nine months before the passport expires.