Invalid due to the country dissolving. I couldn't find a perfect historical example but maybe people in Palestine or certain regions in today's China went through the same thing

Flight would be from the dissolved country or a 3rd country

  • 7
    I think there is no blanket answer for this, it will depend on the combination of countries involved. The country which gave out the passport, the country where you hold a visa or residence permit and likely also the country where you leave from. To get a useful answer you may need to supply all those details.
    – Willeke
    Sep 11, 2022 at 13:57
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    You can see the movie "Terminal". Tom Hanks pretty much summarized what happens exactly in that case. :) Sep 11, 2022 at 14:05
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    A country splitting or joining another one usually does not make passports of that country invalid, and most probably not overnight. But the details are probably very specific to each situation, so I feel the question is too broad. Can you target a specific case?
    – jcaron
    Sep 11, 2022 at 14:13
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    People in Palestine never had a country dissolving. The British Mandate over Palestine ended in an organized manner, and the residents received either Israeli or Jordanian passports (with the exception of people living in Gaza, which ended up being occupied by Egypt but not annexed and they were left stateless).
    – littleadv
    Sep 11, 2022 at 19:26
  • With country specific details, this would be better placed at Law Stack Exchange, since treaty conditions and nationaliy laws often play an important roll (sample: Germany after WWI). Sep 12, 2022 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


Depends on where you travel, and what those countries think. The good example would be some occupied countries during WWII, which had exile governments (often in London) that were accepted by the Allies. Otherwise, a stateless person can:

  • Try to get an identity document from another nation, which confirms identity without granting citizenship.
  • Try to get a refugee travel document from another nation, which also confirms identity without granting citizenship.
  • Try to get a travel document for resident aliens from the (new) host nation, which is issued in some cases and which confirms not just the identity but also the residence status. (One example is the German Reiseausweis für Ausländer, but few Ausländer qualify for one.)
  • The question is not whether you can get an ID that works but whether you can travel to a country where you have a long term visa or residence permit. Please consider that situation.
    – Willeke
    Sep 11, 2022 at 14:42
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    Nobody in modern times has become stateless because their country disappeared, they all gained citizenship somewhere else in the process. (As always, there are weird bureaucratic edge cases, but these tend to involve paperwork fuckups.) Sep 11, 2022 at 15:04
  • @Willeke, I believe Germany still issues the "Reiseausweis für Ausländer" for people who are abroad and want to reach Germany. But that is one specific case.
    – o.m.
    Sep 11, 2022 at 15:10
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    @lambshaanxy You are wrong. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union (just some 30 years ago), the nationality laws in the new republics were so different, that it was not uncommon that people ended up stateless since they had no right to a citizenship in any of the new republics. For example, currently 200.000 people in Latvia, that is more than 10% of the population, are stateless because of this. Sep 11, 2022 at 21:01
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Latvia claims its "Latvian non-citizens" are not stateless, and most are eligible for Latvian and/or CIS (mostly Russian) citizenship if they choose to jump through some admittedly complicated hoops to claim it. Sep 11, 2022 at 23:35

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