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Old Sep 3, 09, 9:29 pm   #1
 
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HELP!! Leaving For Spain Tomorrow But My USA Passport Has Expired!!!

I'm in trouble.........I'm a US Citizen but my parents live in Spain. Earlier this week my Dad had a heart-attack so, naturally, I booked the first flight I could and leave tomorrow. However.....

.....I grabbed my US passport out of the drawer only to find it expired a few weeks back [I had no intent on traveling overseas for 6-12 months so I didn't renew it]. Now, I have a UK passport being a dual citizen so I plan to leave on the UK passport, enter spain on the UK passport and then fly back to the USA on the expired USA passport.

Can I do this? Am I ....ed?

Cheers,
Smethwickman
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Old Sep 3, 09, 11:30 pm   #2
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Can you renew it while in spain?
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Old Sep 4, 09, 12:12 am   #3
 
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While in Spain, visit the American embassy and renew your passport.
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Old Sep 4, 09, 5:09 am   #4
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You are fine on the outbound - but the airline will check your passport on check-in on the return, and may not let you fly on an expired passport (they are liable for ensuring that all pax meet entry requirements, and may be fined if they try and bring in someone who doesn't). Now you could get around this by showing the UK passport - but if they know you are a US citizen, then they know you have to enter the US on that passport.

Going for the renewal in Spain seems to be the best way forward.

I hope your dad is ok!
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Old Sep 4, 09, 5:57 am   #5
 
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Thanks for the responses.

Quick question - when entering the USA on an EU passport, when checking-in must you also have proof that you'll be going home, such as a return ticket?

Renewing my passport over there won't work. My dad is in Alicante and the embassy is in Madrid - miles and miles away. Plus the fact, I'm off to see my dad in ICU, not scurry around a country the size of Texas.

I dug up all forms of official ID, including my US Naturalization Cert, expired passport, tax returns, Sam's Club Card ;-) the whole lot. On Tuesday [can't do it Monday as it's Labor Day] I'll drive the 2 hrs to Valencia to a Consular office [which doesn't do passports] and see if they'll be able to help. I'll also call the American Citizens Services when over there and see what they can do also.

Wish me luck!!!!!!
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Old Sep 4, 09, 6:30 am   #6
 
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As a US citizen you have an absolute right to be in the US, so as long as you can prove you are an American citizen then you don't need to present a non-US passport.

In fact doing so can be counter-productive as you'd then have to fill in the ESTA & VW and then have to worry about some immigration Johnny smashing your door down when you "overstay".

I also wouldn't present the UK passport by itself when leaving the US as otherwise the lack of an entry stamp may raise a few eyebrows
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Old Sep 4, 09, 8:42 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smethwickman View Post
Renewing my passport over there won't work. My dad is in Alicante and the embassy is in Madrid - miles and miles away.
Is there a Consulate somewhere else that might be able to do it? I was refused renewal at the Embassy in Wellington NZ and told I had to go to the consulate in Auckland. Maybe there's a similar situation in Spain? I see you did post about one office that you says does not do passports. Are there others?
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Old Sep 4, 09, 8:53 am   #8
 
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Hi alan,

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanR View Post
As a US citizen you have an absolute right to be in the US, so as long as you can prove you are an American citizen then you don't need to present a non-US passport.
Isn't it actually illegal for a US citizen to enter the US on another country's passport?

Quote:
I also wouldn't present the UK passport by itself when leaving the US as otherwise the lack of an entry stamp may raise a few eyebrows
And the airline will want proof of your legal visit to the US, typically through the stub of your I-94. Not having that will raise all kinds of questions.

Cheers,

GenevaFlyer
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Old Sep 4, 09, 9:36 am   #9
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And the airline will want proof of your legal visit to the US, typically through the stub of your I-94. Not having that will raise all kinds of questions.
Completely disagree. The airline will make a half-hearted effort to look for an I-94, but they encounter people with dual citizenship all the time. It's perfectly normal for someone to enter the US on a US passport and leave on an EU passport. That's a 5 second explanation to the ticket agent. They don't care in the slightest about legal visits to the US when you are leaving the US, only when arriving - because they have the risk of paying to deport you.

That's the result that will actually work. What's the alternative, use the expired US passport? There is zero chance the airline will let you leave the US on an expired US passport. Or any expired passport for that matter.

Use the EU passport to leave the US, which will cause no issues at all, and then deal with the situation in Spain while having all of the necessary documentation to prove US citizenship, etc.
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Old Sep 4, 09, 9:59 am   #10
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
That's the result that will actually work. What's the alternative, use the expired US passport? There is zero chance the airline will let you leave the US on an expired US passport. Or any expired passport for that matter.

Use the EU passport to leave the US, which will cause no issues at all, and then deal with the situation in Spain while having all of the necessary documentation to prove US citizenship, etc.
You will actually get hassled if you try to leave the US on a passport which is within 3 months of expiration.
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Old Sep 4, 09, 10:00 am   #11
 
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As others have said, getting to Spain on your UK passport should present no problems whatsoever.

The only problem I can see with your return journey is that you will have to deal with an airline AND the US authorities, and you will have to satisfy both of them that you are legally entitled to enter the USA.

Most countries let their own citizens back in on an expired passport, so your expired passport will probably be fine for getting past Immigration on your return - but you need to get on a flight first, and the check-in agent may well decide that an expired passport is not good enough.

You could get past the check-in agent by using your British passport for check-in, but to do that you would need to travel as a British citizen and apply for travel authorisation...

I am sure it can all be worked out, and talking to your consulate is probably exactly the right thing to do.

Best of luck.... and very best wishes to your father.
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Old Sep 4, 09, 2:43 pm   #12
 
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1a. Use your EU passport at the ticket counter in the US.
1b. Then, use your EU passport at wherever you land in Europe

2a1. Use your expired US passport at the ticket counter in Spain.
2a2. If you catch guff from the ticket counter in Spain about your expired US passport, then use your UK passport.
2b. Use your expired US passport at Immigration in the US.

Now, when are you leaving, and where do you live? You can get a passport in a few hours if you can get to a US Passport Office. You can also get a renewal very fast at a US embassy/consulate, so it's not like you have to take a day to get it done once in Europe.
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Old Sep 5, 09, 3:00 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Is there a Consulate somewhere else that might be able to do it? I was refused renewal at the Embassy in Wellington NZ and told I had to go to the consulate in Auckland. Maybe there's a similar situation in Spain? I see you did post about one office that you says does not do passports. Are there others?

Not in Spain. According to this DOS website...

"There are six consular agencies in Spain, which provide limited services to American citizens, but are not authorized to issue passports."
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Old Sep 5, 09, 9:51 pm   #14
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Isn't it that US citizens -- even if US dual-/multi-nationals -- are required by the US government to use a US passport or other US government-issued travel document when entering and/or exiting the US by scheduled commercial airlines?

In these kind of medical emergency circumstances, many people would just use the non-US passport to leave anyway and then apply overseas for a renewal US passport or other travel document.
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Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 5, 09 at 9:56 pm.
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Old Sep 5, 09, 10:24 pm   #15
 
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The OP would be using the expired US passport to enter the US, so no problem there. Potentially using the UK passport at the airport in Spain is just to get a boarding pass.
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