I'm a New Zealander by birth.

I'm a full citizen, resident and anything else you can put a label to, but my passport has expired. I also happen to have a UK passport.
I may soon travel overseas and my UK passport will be accepted where I am going, but when I come back to NZ I expect that trying to enter without a ticket to leave again will cause problems if I only show my UK passport.

Would my (expired) NZ passport, that shows I was born here etc, be any use to get me back in? It seems strange that since I am clearly the person in the passport and my rights have not expired, that they could refuse me.

  • 2
    Here is what Immigration New Zealand writes -- apparently you can have your UK passport "endorsed" with the fact that you're a NZ citizen. It is not clear how much faster and/or cheaper than renewing your NZ passport that would be, though. Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 11:09
  • 3
    You are a NZ citizen, you cannot be refused in your home country. Take whatever can prove your identity, so you can be cross referenced with their database. I expect this to be no different than any other country. See travel.stackexchange.com/q/22427/36405 for Australia.
    – Belle
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 13:19
  • 1
    @J.Constantine The OP could be detained for many hours while this matter was investigated. The official advice clearly states that the passport must be valid on arrival (which is different to some other countries who allow their citizens to enter with expired documents). He may also have difficulty leaving the country through exit controls with an expired document or alternatively a UK document that does not bear an entry stamp.
    – Calchas
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 11:41
  • @Calchas that is true as well. But OP is a resident who is mostly concerned with coming back it seems. The general advice is to get a passport if possible.
    – Belle
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 12:04
  • @J.Constantine He hasn't even left yet!
    – Calchas
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


The official advice is no, you cannot enter New Zealand using an expired New Zealand passport.

In the case of NZ and Australian passport holders or NZ residents/Australian permanent residents (with current travel conditions), your passport must be valid for enough time to allow you to travel to New Zealand (ie, it must be valid on the date you are entering/leaving NZ).


[I can see that you might claim that you are a permanent resident and therefore your British passport should suffice as it is valid on arrival. Usually, however the meaning of "permanent resident" is restricted to a non-citizen resident whose foreign passport contains a residency visa.]

TIMATIC, the information used by the airlines, also states this restriction clearly (full text given at the end of my answer).

- Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to
nationals of Australia and New Zealand must be valid on

However, it does say that you can enter New Zealand by using a "Certificate of Identity issued by New Zealand". Whether you would be entitled to leave New Zealand on such a document is not specified.

Passport Exemptions:
- Passengers with a Certificate of Identity issued by New

Some commentators have suggested that you will ultimately be admitted because the immigration authorities have no right to deny their own citizens entry. This may be true (I have not investigated the relevant New Zealand law), but it is inadvisable, in my own opinion, for several reasons.

The first is that, without an onward ticket out of New Zealand, your air carrier may refuse to fly you back to New Zealand on either a British passport or an expired NZ passport. The second reason is that, on arrival, you may be detained for some time in discomfort while your credentials are investigated. The third reason is that you have not yet begun your trip, and to exit the country you will need to present a passport. Either it is your expired passport, which should not be accepted, or your lack of recent entry stamps in your UK passport might raise eyebrows.

Of course it is quite possible that no one will notice that your passport is expired and your trip will be smooth. But I think it is wise to update the document if you can.

Full information from TIMATIC.

Passport Information

Information as of  26APR16 / 1142 UTC
New Zealand (NZ)

Passport required.

Passport Exemptions:
- Passengers with a Seaman Book.
- Passengers with a Certificate of Identity issued by New
- Passengers with an identity card issued to stateless persons
and refugees if approved by foreign representations of New
Zealand at time of visa issuance.
- Passengers with a Laissez-Passer issued by the United
- Passengers with a Macao (SAR China) Travel Permit.
- Nationals of Timor-Leste with a Temporary Travel Document
issued by Timor-Leste.
- Passengers with an International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) Travel Document.

Document Validity:
- Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be
valid for a minimum of 3 months beyond the period of
intended stay.
- Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to
nationals of Australia and New Zealand must be valid on
- Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to
nationals of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China
(People's Rep.), Colombia, Cuba, Fiji, France, Germany,
Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland (Rep.), Italy,
Japan, Korea (Rep.), Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands,
Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Russian
Fed., Samoa, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland,
Thailand, Turkey, Tuvalu, USA, United Kingdom, Vanuatu,
Vatican City (Holy See) and Viet Nam must be valid for a
minimum of 1 month beyond the period of intended stay.
- Passports issued to permanent alien residents of Australia
must be valid on arrival.
- Passports issued to residents of New Zealand must be valid
on arrival.

Admission and Transit Restrictions:
- Chinese Taipei (on the cover: Republic of China Taiwan)
diplomatic or official passports are not recognized for
- Admission and transit refused to holders of Travel documents
issued by Somalia.
- Admission and transit refused to holders of Iraqi "S" series

Crew Members:
- Operating Crew: passport and Crew Identity Card required. A
crew declaration form must be completed.
Positioning/Deadheading Crew: Passport required and an
arrival a form must be completed.

- Passport is not required, provided travelling on duty and
holding a Military ID Card (with a photo) issued by the
government of the country whose Armed Forces they belong to.
The ID Card must be accompanied by the movement order.
Note: a member of the armed forces of any country is exempt
from certain requirements if they are in New Zealand at the
request of, or by agreement of, the New Zealand Government
as part of their duty or employment.

- Minors entering New Zealand may be included in the passport
of the parent, who is travelling with them.

- The official three letter country code in passports issued
by Zimbabwe in ZWE. However, for a limited period, passports
were issued with the three letter code of ZIM. These
passports are still in circulation and will remain valid
until their expiry date.

  • 1
    Article 13 un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html
    – Belle
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 12:25
  • @J.Constantine Doesn't say that the State has no right to regulate the documents required by its citizens to enter or exit. ;) In any respect, it is an academic point; the NZ regulations are clear on what is expected of arriving passengers. I think we are here to give practical advice.
    – Calchas
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 12:40
  • I fully agree in that having your documents in order is a very good idea here and much more practical than trying to enter on an expired passport or something like that. I do think your answer tries to express that, but (to me) you also make it seem like it is impossible to enter the country without a passport, which I tried pointing out is not true. New Zealand can ask what they want, the declaration of human rights goes before that. Again, you are right in that it will most likely not be a fun experience and OP will be much better off getting their passport renewed.
    – Belle
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 16:03

"British passport holders can enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months on arrival without a visa, provided you can satisfy an Immigration Officer that you meet the requirements of the immigration rules. Visitors must have an onward ticket."


  • How does this answer the question?
    – Willeke
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 17:31
  • @Willeke"Visitors must have an onward ticket" answers it. I specifically asked for the situation of not having a ticket to leave, since I am coming home to NZ.
    – Craig
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 21:56

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