The U.S. State Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced that certain U.S. citizens may return to the country using expired passports.


Through December 31, 2021, the U.S. government will allow U.S. citizens to return to the U.S. using passports that expired on or after January 1, 2020, provided they meet certain requirements.

Travelers will be granted entry into the U.S. if they have a direct flight into the country, a U.S. territory, or if they will fly through another country via a connecting flight to reach the U.S. Additionally, the expired passport must have had an initial validity of 10 years, or five years for U.S. citizens who were 15 years old or younger when the passport was issued. The expired passport must be in the traveler's possession, undamaged and unaltered at the time of travel.

Travelers who qualify for the eased travel restrictions should also note that they are only permitted to enter the U.S. with an expired passport. U.S. citizens may not use expired passports to enter a foreign country, except for transiting through on a connecting flight to return home to the U.S., nor can they depart from the U.S. to a foreign country with an expired passport.

Looking Ahead

Although the government has announced eased restrictions for travelers, the protocols only apply to a limited number of individuals.

Originally published 28 May 2021

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.