Can you travel to New Zealand on an expired NZ passport and renew it while in in NZ? Can this be done when there are exceptional circumstances, e.g., a parent has passed away and a son/daughter needs to go home? They would provide documentation confirming the reason for travel with a doctor's letter or death certificate. I have heard that there are agreements with some airlines to accommodated this.

  • Have you contacted the nearest NZ Embassy about an expedited renewal or emergency travel document?
    – user13044
    Dec 3, 2016 at 3:22
  • 1
    basically "No". just go to the NZ embassy and ask for a rush passport.
    – Fattie
    Dec 3, 2016 at 3:45

1 Answer 1


Most countries do not permit travel on expired passports, and even if you can talk your way past the country's immigration control (which you usually can) you won't be able to board the airplane to begin with.

National governments provide their immigration and visitor rules to the IATA, who publish them in Timatic, a system which airlines use to verify passenger documents prior to boarding. Timatic tells us that NZ passports must be valid on the day you arrive in New Zealand. If you present an expired passport, you will be denied boarding.

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

If you are outside New Zealand and have an urgent need to travel, your options are to apply for an urgent passport or to contact your nearest embassy or consulate for an emergency travel document.

Urgent passport

If you don’t have a current passport and need to travel in a hurry you can apply for an urgent passport online.

Allow for up to 3 working days, plus delivery time. The passport is valid for 10 years for an adult and 5 years for a child.

Sometimes it’s better to apply for an urgent passport online than an emergency travel document. Often getting an urgent passport is quicker, depending on where you are in the world. It’s also less expensive, lasts much longer and accepted by more countries.

Emergency travel document when outside of New Zealand

If you’re overseas and don’t have a current passport and need to travel in a hurry you can apply for an emergency travel document. But it may be better to apply for an urgent passport online, as this is often quicker, depending on where you are in the world. It's also less expensive and lasts much longer.

Not accepted everywhere

An emergency travel document is not accepted by all countries e.g. USA, and this includes being transit.

Emergency travel document fee

An emergency travel document costs a flat fee of NZD$500.00 and you need to contact a New Zealand High Commission or embassy. You can’t get one in New Zealand.

Valid for one year

An emergency document is only valid for a year. Before it expires you need to send it to us, so we can give you a standard passport. If you apply for an urgent passport online, you get a standard passport straight away and you won't need to do this.

In future, you should renew your passport before it expires. This is much less expensive and stressful than ignoring it and having to get an urgent passport renewal or an emergency travel document when you have to travel unexpectedly. You can also do this anywhere in the world.

  • You haven't said where you are, so I can't say which of these would be better for you in general. But if you must transit the USA to return to NZ, you cannot use the emergency travel document. The USA will not accept it under the visa waiver program. In this case you'll need to apply for the passport. Dec 3, 2016 at 3:59
  • Travelling from australia to nz
    – user54399
    Dec 4, 2016 at 2:09

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