U.S. citizens who are currently overseas and whose passports expired on or after 1 January 2020, can use their passports for to return home to the U.S.  Passports must meet certain criteria, and the exception will remain in place until 31 December 2021.

This exception is being made due to travel difficulties and unprecedented passport appointment backlogs at embassies and consulates overseas created by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are working together to help U.S. citizens return to the United States.

Who meets the criteria?

Customs and Border Protection officers will accept expired U.S. passports for Americans reentering the country, providing:

  • They are flying directly to the U.S. (airport connections through foreign countries will be allowed).
  • Their passport must have been originally valid for 10 years (or five years if they were a child when it was issued).
  • The expired passport must be undamaged, unaltered and in the traveler’s possession.

In addition to having a valid passport, or one that meets the criteria listed above, all air passengers ages 2 and older must present a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of their flight’s departure to the U.S. Alternatively, they can present proof that they recovered from the virus within the past three months. 

The U.S. Department of State encourages U.S. citizens to confirm their eligibility for traveling on an expired passport at COVID-19 Traveler Information prior to finalizing travel arrangements.

Sources:

U.S. Department of State

USA Today

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