Message to U.S. Citizens: Return to the United States on Expired Passports

May 26, 2021

Location:  Saudi Arabia

Event:  U.S. citizens may directly return to the United States with certain expired U.S. passports; no other travel permitted on expired passports.

If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport only for direct return to the United States until December 31, 2021.

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.

While this option is available to you in Saudi Arabia, we urge you to renew your passports before departing the Kingdom to avoid any delays or problems at the airport or with administrative processes with local authorities.  Currently, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran are processing passports within normal time frames.  Most passports are processed and returned to the applicant within two weeks or less from the interview or application when you apply here in Saudi Arabia. We also continue to provide emergency appointments for urgent travel situations. You can request emergency appointments for imminent travel by contacting the U.S. Embassy or consulate closest to you. See below contact information for assistance.


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.


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:

– All U.S. citizens should enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive Alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.

– Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Saudi Arabia.

– Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens:  News, Alerts, and Security Messages

– Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.

– For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.

– Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on for the latest information.

– Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.

– Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.



U.S. Embassy Riyadh

Abdullah Ibn Hudhafah As Sahmi Street Roundabout no. 9, Diplomatic Quarter Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Telephone: (966) (11) 488-3800

Fax: (966) (11) 488-7670


U.S. Consulate General Jeddah

Al Safa Street, Al Muhammadiyah District, near the new American School building

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Telephone: (966) (12) 220-5000

Fax: (966) (12) 220-5093


U.S. Consulate General Dhahran

Between KFUPM and King Abdulaziz Airbase, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Telephone: (966) (13) 330-3200

Fax: (966) (13) 330-6816


State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Saudi Arabia Country Information

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