If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021.
You qualify for this exception if all the following are true:
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You are currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
- You are flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or have only short-term transit (“connecting flights”) through a foreign country on your direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
- Your expired passport was originally valid for 10 years. Or, if you were 15 years of age or younger when the passport was issued, your expired passport was valid for 5 years.
- Your expired passport is undamaged.
- Your expired passport is unaltered.
- Your expired passport is in your possession.
You do not qualify for this exception if:
- You wish to depart from the United States to an international destination.
- You are currently abroad seeking 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.
- Your expired passport was limited in validity.
- Your expired passport is a special issuance passport (such as a diplomatic, official, service, or no-fee regular passport).
- Your expired passport is damaged.
- Your expired passport is altered.
- Your expired passport is not in your possession.
If you qualify for this exception and choose to travel to the U.S. with an expired passport, you will need to obtain a new passport before leaving the United States again. It is important to be aware that currently, routine passport processing in the United States can take 10-12 weeks. If you need a passport in less than 10-12 weeks due to international travel plans, you can pay an additional $60 fee to expedite your passport, which will shorten the processing time to 4-6 weeks.
If your U.S. passport expired on or before December 31, 2019, or if you prefer to renew your passport in Germany before traveling to the U.S, please see our website for instructions: Passport Services | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Germany (usembassy.gov)
Actions to Take:
- Verify the current expiration date of your U.S. passport. · Enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Germany. · Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens: Alerts and Messages | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Germany (usembassy.gov) · Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. · Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions. · Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
As always, for emergency services, please contact the Embassy or appropriate Consulate General:
U.S. Embassy Berlin
+49-30-8305-0 (business hours)
+49-30-8305-0 (after hours)
U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt
+49-69-7535-0 (business hours)
+49-69-7535-0 (after hours)
U.S. Consulate General Munich
+49-89-2888-580 (business hours)
+49-89-2888-0 (after hours)
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or +1 202-501-4444