Returning to the United States on an Expired U.S. Passport Possible in Temporary Exemption

The Biden administration is allowing U. S. citizens with expired passports to return to the U. S. Citizens with recently expired passports will be able to return until the end of the year. There were more than usual due to the pandemic.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will accept for admission certain expired U.S. passports, thereby assisting U.S. citizens who have been affected by appointment backlogs at embassies and consulates overseas caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a notice issued early this week said. “Recently expired passports cannot be used to travel from the United States to an international destination or to travel to a foreign country for any length of stay longer than an airport connection en route to the United States or to a United States territory.”

Not all expired passports will be eligible for the temporary waiver. All travelers should check to see if they are eligible before firming up travel arrangements.

To qualify for this exception you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
  • Flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or have only short-term transit (“connecting flights”) through a foreign country on your direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
  • The expired passport was originally valid for 10 years. Or, if you were 15 years of age or younger when the passport was issued, your expired passport was valid for 5 years.
  • The expired passport is undamaged.
  • The expired passport is unaltered.
  • The expired passport is in your possession.

More information is available on the U. S. State Department website.