Passport expired 2 months ago. I am a permanent USA resident but New Zealand citizen - I only have 1 passport. My departure date is Nov. 1. Can I leave USA on an expired NZ passport and have it renewed in New Zealand - I'll be there with family for several weeks before returning to the states?


2 Answers 2


Timatic (courtesy KLM) says not:

  • Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to nationals of New Zealand must be valid on arrival.
  • I think the US also has a requirement that departing travelers have valid passports. This would be enforced by the airline, though. I wonder whether they'd allow someone to fly to the UK with an expired UK passport.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 20:40
  • I know that, but my question is about the US requirement for travelers to have a valid passport on departure. That's why I asked about an expired British passport: if an airline denied boarding, it would have to be because of the US rule (or failure to believe Timatic).
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 20:47
  • it doesn't matter what the penalty is; the airline simply won't let you board.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 6:58


There are actually two different questions here

  1. Can New Zealand deny entry to a citizen?
  2. Can you get there without valid papers?

The answer to the first is "probably not" although the immigration officers can (and probably will) make the process pretty miserable for you. It's legally somewhat murky and hence immigration offices try to avoid the situation in the first place. Hence they often hoist the enforcement onto the airlines.

Which brings us to question 2: No airline will allow you to board without a valid passport or visa. That's clearly spelled out in the contract of carriage: each passenger is responsible for having proper papers and the airline has every right to deny you boarding if that's not the case. The airlines are highly motivated to enforce this since they can be fined heavily by the immigration office.

So the more nuanced answer is: if you manage to get to an entry point you would probably be able to get in, although perhaps with delays and potential fines. However, it will be almost impossible to get there in the first place.

The obvious right course of action would be to contact a New Zealand consulate in the US and have your passport renewed.

  • 1
    @pnuts it's about risk. HMG has decided that it will absolve airlines from the risks of letting people claiming to be UK citizens fly from the US with expired passports; if it turns out, when they arrive at the border, that for some reason they're not allowed to enter (eg, later renounced citizenship), HMG won't fine the airline. HMG having said so publicly, Timatic reflects this. The NZ government has made no such statement, and may have stated the contrary, and so Timatic reflects that. I don't see a problem in Hilmar's answer.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 6:54
  • 2
    hi pnuts. your comment is confusing dude. "unless airlines have different contracts of carriage for Brits and Kiwis" yes, OF COURSE they do, obviously dude. this question is about travel to NZ. why do you mention travel to some other country? when you're traveling on an airline to country X, certain requirements apply for that country X. (they're all totally different.) it's a common question on here that someone asks, regarding country X, Y or Z (depending on traveller nationality, residence, blah blah blah), what the airline requirements are. this is such a question!
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 13:57

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