Certain American citizens living or traveling abroad will be able to return to the United States if their passports have expired.
The US State Department issued a memo December 28 that said citizens who fall under specific criteria will be able to return to their home country before March 31, 2022, on expired passports.
However, there are many conditions that apply.
For one, not every expired US passport will be acceptable as a return document. This exemption applies to American citizens who are currently abroad and returning to the United States (not leaving the country and going elsewhere) whose passports expired after January 1, 2020.
In addition, only certain kinds of passports are relevant. The expired document in question must have been an original 10-year passport, with exceptions for people who were younger than 15 when the passport was issued, because those are five-year passports.
These passports must be unaltered and in the owner’s possession.
Americans who fall under this criteria can come back to the the United States or a US territory until the end of March 2022. Short layovers are permitted, as some destinations do not have direct return flights to the United States.