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I am dual citizen currently outside the US (living in my other country of citizenship).

I am coming to the US for a week with my expired US passport (I know about the exemptions to enter the US with an expired passport)

Apparently, there is no time renew my US passport in a week (I have checked the appointments and FedEx fast services).

My questions are as follows:

-When exiting the US, should I give the airline my other passport (knowing that I am flying back to my other country of citizenship) or should I give them my US passport?

-Will the self-check in kiosks detect that my US passport has expired?

-If I use my other passport to exit the US, will the kiosks detect that I entered the US with my US passport and am not allowed to exit it with another passport?

What are the risks?

Thanks

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    I am also a dual citizen living abroad. I don't know if it universal or country-dependent, but where I am, the US Embassy/Consulate can provide a limited-validity emergency passport quickly when needed (sometimes you have to present your airplane ticket, though I did not a few months ago). I suggest you contact your embassy/consulate (try email if they do not answer the phone) to see whether such an option is available in your country.
    – Basya
    May 2 at 8:11
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    Also, if you plan to enter the US on an expired US passport, I suggest that you confirm that this option is still available; when I checked (a month or two ago) it was close to expiring; I don't know whether they extended or renewed it.
    – Basya
    May 2 at 8:13
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    Double check the exemption. It was originally extended from Dec 31, 2021 to Mar 31, 2022 but as far as I know, it has not been extended again. From their website: state.gov/….
    – Hilmar
    May 2 at 13:19
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    A potentially more important consideration is: are you allowed to enter the US with your other citizenship? May 2 at 14:11
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    Hi Basya, check the above link, it has been extended again to June 2022. The embassy where i live have plenty of appointments those days, the issue is i found out very late and my trip is so soon for them to issue a temporary passport. They have told me i should have no issues in entering and exiting since my flight back is to my other country of citizenship. So, lets hope i dont encounter any issues ), will keep you all posted on how it went. DiplomacyNotWar, no am not allowed to enter the US with my other passport, this is for sure. Thanks all
    – user128030
    May 2 at 14:56

4 Answers 4

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When exiting the US should i give the airline my other passport (knowing that i am flying back to my other country of citizenship) or should i give them my US passport?

Give them your other passport. That's what I always do.

Will the self-check in Kiosks detect that my US passport has expired?

Not if you don't use it in the self-check in kiosk. If you do, it will reject the passport because it is expired.

If i use my other passport to exit the US, will the Kiosks detect that i entered the US with my US passport and am not allowed to exit it with another passport?

No. If you flew in with the same airline, they might notice that you checked in for the incoming flight with an expired US passport, but there is no rule against using a different passport to leave.

What are the risks?

It is "unlawful" for a US citizen to leave the US without a valid US passport. There is no penalty for doing so, however.

I have fairly extensive experience leaving the US on European airlines with an EU passport after having entered with a US passport. Nobody ever mentioned that I hadn't used the EU passport to enter. Nobody asked about my immigration status (though it's a VWP-eligible passport).

There is an extremely small chance that you might encounter a CBP officer screening departing passengers. Such an officer might determine that you are a US citizen who is leaving without a valid passport and prevent you from boarding the plane. (I've never encountered such a screening myself. They are uncommon in general, but I have read that they are fairly common for flights to certain destinations.)

More likely, a US airline might be more interested in the immigration status of departing foreigners than are European airlines. I've read a comment on this site from someone with dual nationality who was challenged when checking in for a flight leaving the US using a passport other than his US one; this was, however, with a US airline, so that is likely why his experience was different from mine. Also, an automated kiosk once required my wife to scan her US visa when checking in for a Delta flight leaving the US. (Her passport was not from a VWP-eligible country; I was using my US passport so I don't know what would have happened had I tried to use my other one.) The airline might have a policy of requiring US citizens who check in with a non-US passport to have a valid US passport on departure. I have never encountered such a policy, however.

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    My return flight is with the same airline as my incoming flight. Although its an a non-US airline, but there is a domestic flight prior to leaving to the final destination, the internal flight is operated by American Airlines, which is alarming me. The issue is that both my US passport and license ID are expired (i have lived more than 10 years of the states). So, what are your thoughts? Should i still give them my other passport hoping for them to Not ask me for my immigration status ? Or what else you think? Thanks for replying quickly!
    – user128030
    May 2 at 0:28
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    @user128030 American is not going to prevent you from boarding a domestic flight with a valid foreign passport. Showing your expired US passport is likely to make things more complicated. I would keep that up my sleeve as a last resort -- i.e., I would avoid showing it unless asked directly some question that I could not answer otherwise, unless they said something indicating that they knew I had it, or unless I were about to be denied boarding. Your driver's license is irrelevant; the only potential problem is with leaving the US.
    – phoog
    May 2 at 0:46
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    Nobody checks passports on domestic flights. Maybe if they were going to Guam, Palau or something. Of course they want ID, and a passport is one option, but all they're after is to match a face to a name to your security dossier, so the expiry rules may not be the same. May 2 at 1:29
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    @Harper-ReinstateUkraine someone checking in for a domestic flight with a connection to an international departure, however, has to have their passport checked before receiving a boarding pass for the second flight. This could happen at the initial check-in.
    – phoog
    May 2 at 12:35
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    @user128030 for a purely domestic flight, you can use your foreign passport for ID. Since all your US documents are expired, that would be the best option. In this case, you're changing to an international departure, so all the more reason to use your valid foreign passport to check in. Don't even mention your US citizenship unless you want to complicate your check-in. If they complicate the check-in by asking for your visa or what have you, then mention your US citizenship by way of explanation. Even then, I would avoid showing the passport unless they asked me to prove it.
    – phoog
    May 2 at 12:39
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When you leave the US, the airlines is primarily concerned about you being allowed into your target country. If you have a valid passport to enter that country, you are good. If you have a round-trip out-and-back-to-the-US (which you don't), they are a bit concerned about how you will get back; they don't want you stranded somewhere and it's possibly considered their fault.

I have been flying many many times to Europe with an European passport, and nobody cared about seeing my US passport (how would they even know I have one?). There is nothing to be concerned about.

Your only concern is that some day or later you need to get a new US passport. Work with the US embassy in your European country, or submit your paperwork while in the US and have it mailed to a trusted friend.

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  • Lets hope that’s the case, thats what i am planning to do…. Thank you!
    – user128030
    May 2 at 16:42
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Let's clarify the process a little bit.

In most cases, each international flight involves TWO transactions: departing country A and entering country B. You do NOT need to use the same passport for each transaction. Let's look at US Germany round trip, that I did last week.

  1. US Exit: US has no exit controls, so nothing happens here. In the unlikely event someone actually asks, I would have to use my US passport.
  2. Germany Entry: German passport. Tip: Always check in with your "entry" passport, not the "exit" passport
  3. Germany Exit: German passport. Tip: Always use the same passport for exit that you used at entry.
  4. US Entry: US passport. That's also the passport used for check-in since the US is my "entry" country.

So on the return flight to the US I went through passport control twice used both passports: The German one to exit Germany and the US one to enter the US.

(i know about the exemptions to enter the US with an expired passport)

Are you sure about this? The state department website says the exemption expired on Mar 31, 2022. See https://www.state.gov/extension-of-temporary-measure-allowing-return-travel-to-the-united-states-on-expired-u-s-passport/#:~:text=U.S.%20citizens%20currently%20abroad%20whose,States%20until%20March%2031%2C%202022.

When exiting the US should i give the airline my other passport (knowing that i am flying back to my other country of citizenship) or should i give them my US passport ?

No passport needed to exit the US. During check in you give them the European passport, but that's only for entry into Europe not or exiting the US.

Will the self-check in Kiosks detect that my US passport has expired ?

Quite likely. You need to pre-clear travel with an expired passport with the airlines. I would STRONGLY recommend to confirm with them that they will let you board with an expired passport.

If i use my other passport to exit the US, will the Kiosks detect that i entered the US with my US passport and am not allowed to exit it with another passport ?

That's a non issue. See process description above.

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  • That is exactly what i have been doing over the past 10 years or so. Sometimes, the airline will ask me about the visa to enter the country am visiting and i just show them my US passport. My 2nd passport is not EU, so when i go to EU i have to use my US passport to exit EU since i have entered the EU with my US passport. But this is the first time i counter this problem, and the unique case of the US in not having exit control makes the situation unclear, at least to me. And people experiences differed, but i read most people suggesting to use my other passport.
    – user128030
    May 2 at 15:05
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    Yes it has been extended to June 2022. state.gov/…
    – user128030
    May 2 at 15:06
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Make sure you give the airlines both passports when departing from your other country of origin. This way the airline won't ask for your US passport when you leave the US.

I was able to enter the US with my expired passport, I was stopped for some time and was asked general questions.

I hope this helps.

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