Updated: Sep 18
You bought the airline tickets, booked the hotel, and set your itinerary for your exotic international vacation, but wait... your passport is expired! Don’t let this happen to you!
When planning a trip out of the country, you must review your passport or visa to ensure that all the information is updated with your current status. Also, verify that your passport will not expire during your stay.
The consequence of not keeping your passport current was illustrated this week by the punter for the New York Giants, a native of Scotland, Jamie Gillan. Jamie was fourteen years old when he immigrated to the United States nine years ago with his father as a dependent on his father’s NATO visa. After playing American football in high school and college, he went on to work in the NFL.
Jamie had never checked his passport to see if it was still valid, and the problem hadn´t been discovered until his team went to play in London last Sunday. Traveling with the team to the U.K. was not a problem, but he was held up by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol after the game and was not allowed to travel back until he received a new passport. See the link to the news article: Giants punter stuck in London: Jamie Gillan remains overseas due to passport issues, per report (msn.com)
Obviously, someone dropped the “football”: either his agent or the team’s travel coordinator. Regardless, the NFL team worked with U.S diplomats and got DHS to issue a new passport urgently. Unless you have some powerful and well-connected friends, no one will be able to throw a “Hail Mary” and get you out of your trouble so quickly. This is why you must get your paperwork in order before planning your international travels.