We are New Zealand citizens, live in Mexico and travel to the US regularly. We have SENTRI and B1/B2 Visitor Visas for the US.

Some of our passports expire later this year, and the NZ Passport Office has advised that when we make a renewal application it will effectively cancel our existing passports from that time.

With a current Visa and SENTRI, would we be able to still enter the US (at a land port of entry) with the canceled passport while we wait for the new ones to arrive? Our mailing address is in the US, which complicates things a little when it comes to receiving the passports.

I know the US allows Mexican citizens with expired passports to enter with a valid visa, but I'm unsure whether this extends to citizens of other countries. I have contacted CBP directly, but am hoping someone here has some experience or knowledge on this to provide an answer.

  • No. It's as simple as that.
    – Doc
    Jan 17, 2020 at 16:42
  • In my experience one does not retain the cancelled passport while the application is pending. Instead, it is returned to the applicant along with the new passport. However, none of my experience involves New Zealand, and I have never asked whether an exception might be made to the normal practice for good reason.
    – phoog
    Jan 17, 2020 at 17:11
  • @phoog I don't show my passport to enter the US with SENTRI, but anyway I believe I retain the passport as NZ renewals are done online
    – Midavalo
    Jan 17, 2020 at 17:13
  • I don't know whether this will be a problem or not, but to be entirely safe, can you schedule the passport renewal for a time when you don't need to travel for a few weeks? Jan 17, 2020 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


I contacted the CBP through the Trusted Traveler Sentri contact email to ask them. Their answer was short and to the point:

Unfortunately you will not be allowed to enter the U.S. without having your valid New Zealand passport.

I took this period of travel restrictions due to Covid-19 to renew the passports (since I'm currently not allowed to cross the border anyway), and from renewal application to having the new passports in my hand took only 8 days, so we're all ready for when the border re-opens.

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