Message for U.S. Citizens: Travel with Expired Passport

Message to U.S. Citizens:  U.S. Embassy Chisinau 

Location:  Moldova

Event:  U.S. citizens may directly return to the United States with certain expired U.S. passports.

If you are overseas and your normal validity passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021. Please note that this only applies to U.S. regulations.  Moldovan law may require you have 6 months validity on your U.S. passport to enter the country and require that you depart on a valid travel document.

You qualify for this exception if all the following are true:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • You are currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
  • You are flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or have only short-term transit (“connecting flights”) through a foreign country on your direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
  • Your expired passport was originally valid for 10 years.  Or, if you were 15 years of age or younger when the passport was issued, your expired passport was valid for 5 years.
  • Your expired passport is undamaged.
  • Your expired passport is unaltered.
  • Your expired passport is in your possession.

You do not qualify for this exception if:

  • You wish to depart from the United States to an international destination.
  • You are currently abroad seeking to travel to a foreign country for any length of stay longer than an airport connection en route to the United States or to a United States territory.
  • Your expired passport was limited in validity.
  • Your expired passport is a special issuance passport (such as a diplomatic, official, service, or no-fee regular passport).
  • Your expired passport is damaged.
  • Your expired passport is altered.
  • Your expired passport is not in your possession.

Please be advised that currently, routine passport processing in the United States can take 10-12 weeks.  If you need a passport in less than 10-12 weeks due to international travel plans, you can pay an additional $60 fee to expedite your passport, which will shorten the processing time to 4-6 weeks.

Applying for a Passport at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau:  Although you might be able to return to the United States on an expired passport, the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau has available passport appointments and we encourage you to renew your passport here.  Once a complete passport application is submitted, we usually receive the passport from the United States within two weeks.  The Consular Section also maintains the ability to make Emergency Passports that are valid for one year and can be exchanged for a normal validity passport.

For more information about getting your passport at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau or if your U.S. passport expired on or before December 31, 2019, please see our website for information on how to renew your passport before traveling:

Actions to Take: 


  • U.S. Embassy Chisinau, Moldova

+373 2240 8300

  • State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444