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Christi85

Travelling internationally with an expired passport?

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Hi folks,

I'm wondering about what I'm asking in the title.

I'm a US permanent resident with a valid green card, and a Greek national (although I went through immigration in the UK where we were living previously). Long story short, we have booked a 5-week vacation to Greece in July-August (which will be 14 months after I last visited) and my Greek passport expires in late April. I contacted my country's local Consulate for a passport renewal, and it turns out I may not have enough time before my trip to renew the passport through them, since they weren't able to offer me an appointment to submit my paperwork until mid-May and processing takes up to 8 weeks thereafter under normal circumstances, so we may be cutting it very tight with the trip, just days before we're due to depart, and that's not counting unforseen delays. I had no idea it could take this long through the Consulate - see, if you renew in Greece, it's done in just 3 business days.

So I was wondering what people's experiences are for leaving the US without a valid passport (I'll still have my current passport with me but it will be expired) but with a valid green card. I'll also have a valid Greek national ID card with me and my California driver's license, though I don't think they'll care. There should be no problem being admitted in Greece since I'm a national and I can present my ID card instead of passport at the POE. Then the plan is to renew the passport there as soon as we arrive (like I said, it takes just 3 business days) and so I'll be able to return to the States with a valid passport + my green card.

I'm quite confused as I spent the whole day trying to figure out if that would be a problem. TSA and the Department of State make it sound as if I should be ok as long as I have the green card (that's on their websites). I called US Airways, our airline, and they said "whatever TSA requires, we have no additional requirements, you should be fine" but the guy couldn't give a definite answer, but then their website explicitly says you need a valid passport to be allowed to board any international flight - go figure! So I'm really confused.

If anyone has any experience of traveling from the US to your home country with an expired passport but a valid green card, and whether that caused any problems boarding the flight from the USA or not, please share and advise. I'm at a loss.

Thank you!

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You cannot fly internationally on an expired passport. Its required to have at least 6 months valid left on it to travel internationally and if you don't they stop you.

A green card is NOT an international travel document. It only lets you into the USA. You must have a valid passport to travel.

:thumbs:

Let's see, you show up at teh airport and show the airline counter person your passport in order to check-in. It will be scanned unsing the machine readable information. I am sure the computer will flag your passport as expired and you will be denied a boarding pass. Now just for grins let's say you manage to get a boarding pass and now show your passport to the TSA agent in order to go thru security. Somehow I think it will be noticed that it is expired. Now let's say for some reason you manged to get on the flight and get to your home country. What will happen when you go thru immigration with an expired passport? Will you be forced to return to the US immediately? So you see they are several steps to getting out of the US where the passport is checked. Ihope you have 1)enough time to get the new passport or 2) flexible tickets where you can change departure date.

Good luck,

Dave

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Hi folks,

I'm wondering about what I'm asking in the title.

I'm a US permanent resident with a valid green card, and a Greek national (although I went through immigration in the UK where we were living previously). Long story short, we have booked a 5-week vacation to Greece in July-August (which will be 14 months after I last visited) and my Greek passport expires in late April. I contacted my country's local Consulate for a passport renewal, and it turns out I may not have enough time before my trip to renew the passport through them, since they weren't able to offer me an appointment to submit my paperwork until mid-May and processing takes up to 8 weeks thereafter under normal circumstances, so we may be cutting it very tight with the trip, just days before we're due to depart, and that's not counting unforseen delays. I had no idea it could take this long through the Consulate - see, if you renew in Greece, it's done in just 3 business days.

So I was wondering what people's experiences are for leaving the US without a valid passport (I'll still have my current passport with me but it will be expired) but with a valid green card. I'll also have a valid Greek national ID card with me and my California driver's license, though I don't think they'll care. There should be no problem being admitted in Greece since I'm a national and I can present my ID card instead of passport at the POE. Then the plan is to renew the passport there as soon as we arrive (like I said, it takes just 3 business days) and so I'll be able to return to the States with a valid passport + my green card.

I'm quite confused as I spent the whole day trying to figure out if that would be a problem. TSA and the Department of State make it sound as if I should be ok as long as I have the green card (that's on their websites). I called US Airways, our airline, and they said "whatever TSA requires, we have no additional requirements, you should be fine" but the guy couldn't give a definite answer, but then their website explicitly says you need a valid passport to be allowed to board any international flight - go figure! So I'm really confused.

If anyone has any experience of traveling from the US to your home country with an expired passport but a valid green card, and whether that caused any problems boarding the flight from the USA or not, please share and advise. I'm at a loss.

Thank you!

Most likely you would denied a boarding pass at the airline counter check in. As others have said, most airlines want a 6-month valid passport.

I'd start with calling customer support at the airline and present the case to see what they suggest. They might tell you to re-schedule, with the corresponding fee of course. You might be Greek but an expired passport suggests you are no longer Greek and then they have no way to know whether you can enter Greece or any country in transit and they don't like to transport you back if you are denied entry in the country. The fact that you have a Greek id might mean nothing to them as there is no way to 'prove' that you will be allowed to enter until you are in front of the customs officer over there.

At same time, I'll check with consulate for an 'emergency' traveling doc. They do have those for cases when a passport is lost, stolen, etc; maybe they have a provision for expired passports -some countries do for cases like yours, I know this first hand- The key here would be when the passport actually expires. And often there is a subjective factor on the part of the Consul/Ambassador; here is where you would need your best power of persuasion. Before I get flamed here, no it is not illegal; many consuls/ambassadors have some flexibility in certain cases and this is one of them (at least in some Consulates, again first hand experience, just not with Greece)

Edited by Gosia & Tito

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Thanks for your responses guys.

Being admitted into my HOME COUNTRY on an expired passport is not a problem, I know for a fact that my country of citizenship allows that since it's a passport issued by them and I'm a citizen. Plus like I said, I have my valid national ID card which they accept in the same way as they do a passport, so I don't even have to show them the passport. I just show them the ID card. Lots of people do that in Greece. ID card and passport have the same validity as ID documents there, and if I was traveling within the EU I could be traveling passport-free, just with the ID card.

My main problem is getting on the plane from the US, since I'll then be able to renew my passport in Greece and travel back with a valid one. Of course I don't intend to hide or try to conceal the fact that my passport is expired (how could I do that?), I'm just asking if a green card would suffice. If it came to that I'd probably explain the situation and offer any extra info they required to identify that it's really me and not a terrorist or something.

I asked because of:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm

and

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1191/kw/permanent%20resident/sno/1

Plus the US Airways rep on the phone said they're more laxed on people leaving the States than to those entering and that I shouldn't have a problem when leaving, but then again their website said otherwise (= you need a passport for international travel). Whatever.

I'll see what I'll do. Changing the dates is an option but not a cheap one ($500 to change both tickets + the difference in price since we bought non-flexible tickets over a month ago not anticipating this hiccup), so it'll be very hard if it comes to that.

Another option is to see if my Embassy will provide me with a temporary travel document (valid just for one trip to Greece), which is some sort of a temporary passport until I get the regular one, like Gosia & Tito has said. I know they do that for lost/stolen passports and for expired ones at their discretion. These are valid just for one trip and under the condition that you'll be getting a proper one as soon as you are at your destination country. By the time of the appointment in mid-May my current passport will be expired already (it expires in late April).

Definitely a worry that wasn't necessary, especially since I'm trying to sort things out 4 months in advance of the trip :huh: - wish I knew it would be so long, so that I could have started earlier.

NigeriaorBust: indeed, they do. Well, I can try checking with other Consulates, but the added difficulty is that they want you to make the application in person and then again pick up the passport in person or send an authorized representative to pick up. So I have to go through LA, since I'd have to fly to go to any of the others, possibly twice.

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Forgot to mention: we're not traveling via any other country. We have one stop in Philly from LAX, and then straight Philly to Athens.

Delta Airlines has a travel tool which you enter your Citizenship, Country of residence, destination country, connecting country (if any) and it will then show you what the passport & visa requirements are for that trip. I entered Greece as Citizenship, USA as country of residence and Greece as the destination country and received the following information:

Information for Normal Passports

Passport required.

- Expired passports and passport replacing documents issued to

nationals of Greece are accepted.

Passport Exemptions:

- Nationals of Greece:

- holding a Temporary or Emergency passports, allowing them

to be able to return to Greece;

- holding a National ID Card;

- holding any other state issued document proving identity.

http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/plan_flight/international_travel_information/visa_passport_information/index.jsp

So according to Delta, they will allow you to travel to Greece using your expired Greek passport and/or your National ID Card. I would of course verify all of this with US Airways but it looks like it is possible.

Edited by Eric & Jin

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I checked the US Airways website and they have a Travel Documentation Requirements link which takes you to a Star Alliance travel tool that is similar to the one that I used with Delta in the post above. I entered the same information as I did in the Delta Travel tool and received the same information - Greek nationals can travel to Greece using an expired passport and/or National ID card.

http://www.staralliance.com/en/services/visa-and-health/

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Thanks for your responses guys.

Being admitted into my HOME COUNTRY on an expired passport is not a problem, I know for a fact that my country of citizenship allows that since it's a passport issued by them and I'm a citizen. Plus like I said, I have my valid national ID card which they accept in the same way as they do a passport, so I don't even have to show them the passport. I just show them the ID card. Lots of people do that in Greece. ID card and passport have the same validity as ID documents there, and if I was traveling within the EU I could be traveling passport-free, just with the ID card.

My main problem is getting on the plane from the US, since I'll then be able to renew my passport in Greece and travel back with a valid one. Of course I don't intend to hide or try to conceal the fact that my passport is expired (how could I do that?), I'm just asking if a green card would suffice. If it came to that I'd probably explain the situation and offer any extra info they required to identify that it's really me and not a terrorist or something.

I asked because of:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm

and

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1191/kw/permanent%20resident/sno/1

Plus the US Airways rep on the phone said they're more laxed on people leaving the States than to those entering and that I shouldn't have a problem when leaving, but then again their website said otherwise (= you need a passport for international travel). Whatever.

I'll see what I'll do. Changing the dates is an option but not a cheap one ($500 to change both tickets + the difference in price since we bought non-flexible tickets over a month ago not anticipating this hiccup), so it'll be very hard if it comes to that.

Another option is to see if my Embassy will provide me with a temporary travel document (valid just for one trip to Greece), which is some sort of a temporary passport until I get the regular one, like Gosia & Tito has said. I know they do that for lost/stolen passports and for expired ones at their discretion. These are valid just for one trip and under the condition that you'll be getting a proper one as soon as you are at your destination country. By the time of the appointment in mid-May my current passport will be expired already (it expires in late April).

Definitely a worry that wasn't necessary, especially since I'm trying to sort things out 4 months in advance of the trip :huh: - wish I knew it would be so long, so that I could have started earlier.

NigeriaorBust: indeed, they do. Well, I can try checking with other Consulates, but the added difficulty is that they want you to make the application in person and then again pick up the passport in person or send an authorized representative to pick up. So I have to go through LA, since I'd have to fly to go to any of the others, possibly twice.

I do believe that airlines are more relaxed when you are leaving, but all it takes is someone with a bad hair day at the time you are checking in and then you have a problem. The check-in point is actually the only point of risk, as going thru security, they only need to see an id, and your DL/GC would do; at boarding, they often want to see your passport, but they just want to see the picture and your face to ensure is the same person. I'd still go for the emergency passport.

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Then the plan is to renew the passport there as soon as we arrive (like I said, it takes just 3 business days) and so I'll be able to return to the States with a valid passport + my green card.

Do you have to renew in person in Greece? What if you sent your passport and required items (new 2x2 photos?) FedEx to a family member in Greece. Let them take it in for renewal. Then FedEx it back to you here in the US.

Just trying to think out side of the box.

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Thanks for your responses guys.

Being admitted into my HOME COUNTRY on an expired passport is not a problem, I know for a fact that my country of citizenship allows that since it's a passport issued by them and I'm a citizen. Plus like I said, I have my valid national ID card which they accept in the same way as they do a passport, so I don't even have to show them the passport. I just show them the ID card. Lots of people do that in Greece. ID card and passport have the same validity as ID documents there, and if I was traveling within the EU I could be traveling passport-free, just with the ID card.

My main problem is getting on the plane from the US, since I'll then be able to renew my passport in Greece and travel back with a valid one. Of course I don't intend to hide or try to conceal the fact that my passport is expired (how could I do that?), I'm just asking if a green card would suffice. If it came to that I'd probably explain the situation and offer any extra info they required to identify that it's really me and not a terrorist or something. If you don't have a valid passport ( ifyou don't get your new one issued before you come back to the states) they will not let you back in the US till you have a valid passport. If you have no problem being stuck in Greece till they are able to issue you a new one. It's a game of chance it's upto you if you are willing and able to wait... :huh:

I asked because of:

http://www.tsa.gov/t..._documents.shtm

and

https://help.cbp.gov...0resident/sno/1

Plus the US Airways rep on the phone said they're more laxed on people leaving the States than to those entering and that I shouldn't have a problem when leaving, but then again their website said otherwise (= you need a passport for international travel). Whatever.

I'll see what I'll do. Changing the dates is an option but not a cheap one ($500 to change both tickets + the difference in price since we bought non-flexible tickets over a month ago not anticipating this hiccup), so it'll be very hard if it comes to that.

Another option is to see if my Embassy will provide me with a temporary travel document (valid just for one trip to Greece), which is some sort of a temporary passport until I get the regular one, like Gosia & Tito has said. I know they do that for lost/stolen passports and for expired ones at their discretion. These are valid just for one trip and under the condition that you'll be getting a proper one as soon as you are at your destination country. By the time of the appointment in mid-May my current passport will be expired already (it expires in late April).

Definitely a worry that wasn't necessary, especially since I'm trying to sort things out 4 months in advance of the trip :huh: - wish I knew it would be so long, so that I could have started earlier.

NigeriaorBust: indeed, they do. Well, I can try checking with other Consulates, but the added difficulty is that they want you to make the application in person and then again pick up the passport in person or send an authorized representative to pick up. So I have to go through LA, since I'd have to fly to go to any of the others, possibly twice.

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