fossterer.github.io

Can you travel to your home country with an expired passport?

Hypothesis

Being a citizen of a country, one should be allowed to enter the country from outside regardless of the currentess (or currency) of travel documents

Data Collection

  1. The following chat with representative of Emirates Airlines, a well-known international carrier provided direct links to existing body of knowledge. The chat transcript is edited for brevity:

    Note: In this case, the home country under investigation is India

    Shashank: I have a question related to traveling with expired passport.

    Can I travel to my home country even if my passport expired earlier to the expected date of entry?

    Agent: I’ve checked on this

    Your passport should be valid on arrival.

    You must travel before your passport expiry as per instruction by local authorities in India

    You can use this link to help you as well

    Shashank: Thanks [Agent] for the website. I’ll check it.

    When you said “…as per instruction by local authorities in India “, did you mean I won’t be allowed to India in the case I described?

    Agent: Yes, in that case, you won’t be able to board the flight

    Is there anything else I may help you with?

    Shashank: Cool. That’s exactly what I needed to know today. Thank you very much for the information [Agent].

    Agent: You’re welcome, Shashank. Stay safe! Thank you for contacting Emirates, Have a nice day. Take care!

  2. As reported by official portal of IATA, Passports issued to nationals of India must be valid on arrivalPassports issued to nationals of India must be valid on arrival
  3. As noted by an unofficial responder here, Polish constitution and Passport Acts appear to have provisions to allow entry in such cases
  4. A broad observation that more than the home country, a carrier to the country itself can object to allowing travel in such cases is being drawn from unofficial responses to the question in point 2 above as well as from the chat transcript mentioned in point 1 above

Observations

  1. Each country has its own rules for allowing entry to even known citizens. At best, one can start with IATA’s system
  2. Before making any travel plans one can seek assistance from a reputed flight carrier or directly the embassy/passport control of home country
  3. Timatic as indicated response in Point 2 of Data Collection, is a database containing documentation requirements for passengers traveling internationally via air, e.g. passport and visa requirements
  4. The burden of handling a passenger whose entry at a destination is denied by immigration authorities appears to be on the carrier as per notes in Wikipedia page of Timatic

Conclusion

The hypothesis turns out to be false for the case of India and true for the case of Poland

Suggestions for Future Work

A process similar to the one outlined in the Data Collection section above can be carried out to determine conditions affecting re-entry into countries other than India and Poland