How do you return to the U.S. on an expired American Passport


Return Travel on Recently Expired U.S. Passports

The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is the highest priority of the Department of State. To alleviate travel difficulties and unprecedented appointment backlogs created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are working together to facilitate U.S. citizens’ return to the United States.

U.S. citizens currently overseas whose passports expired on or after January 1, 2020, may be able to use their expired U.S. passport for direct return travel to the United States until December 31, 2021. Certain criteria apply, and we encourage U.S. citizens to confirm their eligibility for traveling on an expired passport at COVID-19 Traveler Information prior to finalizing travel arrangements.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (DHS CBP) 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.

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.

The State Department continues to strongly recommend U.S. citizens reconsider travel abroad and postpone their trips if possible. We also remind U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States that proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 72 hours of their flight’s departure, is required for air travel to the United States. For those wishing to renew their passport upon their return to the United States, current processing times can be found on the U.S. Passports page.

For more information, please see our website at

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