Skip to main content

Key Points

  • DOS and CBP will temporarily allow US citizens to enter the US with an expired passport
  • The measures will remain in place through December 31, 2021
  • Travelers must fly directly to the US, a US territory, or fly to the US on a connecting flight
  • Passports must have had a 10-year validity initially, or five years for citizens 15 or under
  • Passports must not be damaged or altered at the time of travel
  • Expired passports cannot be used to enter a foreign country


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

What Should Travelers Know?

Through December 31, 2021, the US government will allow US citizens to return to the country using passports that expired on or after January 1, 2020, provided they meet certain requirements. Travelers will be granted entry into the US if they have a direct flight into the country, a US territory, or if they will fly through another country via a connecting flight to reach the US Additionally, the expired passport must have had an initial validity of 10 years, or five years for US 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 US with an expired passport. US citizens may not use expired passports to enter a foreign country, with the exception of transiting through on a connecting flight to return home to the US, nor can they depart from the US 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. Updates on additional COVID-19 travel easements will be provided as available.

Close Menu

Corporate Immigration Partners

Chicago Office
+1 312-722-6300

Cincinnati Office
+1 513-381-2011

San Francisco Office
+1 415-771-7500

Europe, Middle East, and Africa
+44 20 34326564

+86 10 84053554