My children are 10 and 12 years old. They are US citizens (no dual citizenship). There is no consulate or embassy on the island where I live (Guadeloupe). To renew the children's passports, I need to travel to another island (Martinique) which is a bit costly.

Can my children travel to US using their expired passports?

  • 3
    For what it's worth, children under 16 can enter the US by sea from the Caribbean with any proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or consular report of birth abroad, though I suspect that sailing to the USVI, Puerto Rico, or Florida may be even more inconvenient than getting to Martinique.
    – phoog
    May 3, 2019 at 3:40
  • 3
    Have you telephoned or written to the consulate in Martinique to ask for advice about this? Do they insist on an in-person appearance? Another possible source of information is the office of a senator from the state where you vote. This is called "constituent service" and senate offices have staff to do it.
    – O. Jones
    May 3, 2019 at 10:52
  • 1
    I found the trip Martinique - Guadeloupe costs only $50, one-way. Is that costly?
    – Pierre B
    May 3, 2019 at 13:32
  • 5
    @PierreB That adds up to $300, in addition to the cost of the new passports. So, it could be considered costly. May 3, 2019 at 14:15
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton: that can definitively be costly under certain circumstances. I just wanted to make sure the OP had a similar figure in mind.
    – Pierre B
    May 3, 2019 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


If they manage to get to a port of entry, they should eventually be admitted, though it may not be a fun experience.

However the airline will almost certainly not let them board an international flight without valid passports, so what would happen on arrival is kind of moot.

  • 23
    +1. Denied boarding will probably cost OP more than the trip for passport renewal.
    – RedBaron
    May 3, 2019 at 8:18
  • Does "how expired" impact it at all? Since they're minors, would it make a difference if the passports expired, for example, at the end of April and the travel was sometime in May? Technically/legally, I understand the answer is "no", however, would there likely or even possibly be leniency granted?
    – FreeMan
    May 3, 2019 at 12:20
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    @FreeMan, why would an airline want to put themself at risk by being "lenient"? They wouldn't be able to provide truthful API for that flight, excluding themselves to hefty fines and possible withdrawal of their right to fly to the US at all. May 3, 2019 at 12:36
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    @HenningMakholm because that's the kind of question that someone who finds himself in this kind of bind and doesn't have your knowledge of the rules & regulations might think of asking. Knowing that the answer is "no, they won't be lenient because it could come at a great cost to them", reduces the likelihood that said person will waste time & money on the hopes that they might be lenient. Many people have banked on that type of leniency, found it wouldn't happen, then come here looking for a solution after having wasted the time & money.
    – FreeMan
    May 3, 2019 at 13:38
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    @chepner: I don't think any airline has a policy of denying boarding for passengers with soon-expiring passports from the country they're flying to. May 3, 2019 at 20:25

US consulates, including the one in Barbados, offer Consular Outreach Visits for U.S. Citizen Services:

In order to better serve U.S. citizens living throughout the Eastern Caribbean, the U.S. Embassy in Barbados makes every effort to send a Consular Officer to countries in our Consular District approximately twice a year to offer certain American Citizen Services such as accepting applications for U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, and provide notarial services.

I had a look through their events calendar and don't see anything coming up for Guadeloupe, but it would be worth asking them. The US citizens in my family have used this service in our part of the world and it is definitely more convenient than travel to the consulate location.

  • 2
    Looking at that calendar, it appears that the last such trip to Guadeloupe was in June 2018. If they're shooting for twice a year, they're way overdue. May 3, 2019 at 1:46
  • 1
    This answer provides a useful tip on how OP can arrange for renewal at their place of residence but does not provide answer to the actual question ("Can the children travel with expired passports to the US")
    – RedBaron
    May 3, 2019 at 10:48
  • Consular budgets are severely constrained these days.
    – O. Jones
    May 3, 2019 at 10:49
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    @O.Jones But if the OP contacts them and indicates the need for a consular visit to Guadeloupe, they may schedule a visit they wouldn't otherwise.
    – David K
    May 3, 2019 at 12:42
  • I have contacted Barbados embassy. I was told there is no consular travelling to Guadeloupe and was referred to Ms. Leah Mcgraw Maurice in Martinique.
    – Christine
    May 4, 2019 at 16:58

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