How to travel without a valid passport

Dec 13th, 2014, 02:40 PM
  #1  
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How to travel without a valid passport

This is meant for fun but no doubt will bend a few people's nose out of joint.

It is entirely possible to travel in Europe and to/from Europe or to other countries without having a valid passport. That is because there are countries where an expired passport is legally considered as valid proof of citizenship.

Two of those for example are the UK and Canada. A UK citizen therefore can fly into the UK on an expired passport and a Canadian citizen can fly into Canada on an expired Canadian passport. I can assure you this is a fact as the last time I personally did it (couple of years ago) was on a passport that was expired by about 12 years and the only comment Immigration made when seeing it was, 'do you know your passport is expired?' To which I answered, 'yes' and that was the end of the conversation.

Now take those same 2 passports and imagine travelling from N. America to Europe using them again and again. Assuming you have both (many people have dual or more nationalities), you could travel indefinitely without ever buying a new passport. Since the advent of the EU, that means you could travel throughout most of Europe as well.

I sometimes feel a tiny bit sorry for those people who only have access to one passport and one from a country that doesn't even accept an expired one as legal proof of citizenship.

This ability to travel on expried passports puts a real kink the airline's habit of trying to insist on return tickets as well. Airlines will tell you that you must have 'proof of onward travel' for those same two countries I have given as examples above. In fact NEITHER of those two countries require proof of onward travel for entry into the country. It is the Airlines who insist on that, pure and simple.

Now imagine the airline saying to a UK citizen buying a one way ticket to the UK and presenting an expired UK passport, 'you can't do that'. Hilarious. Have you ever seen that line on a UK passport that says, "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."

Refusing to board a UK citizen based on 'incorrect' or 'insufficient' documentation in such a case would in fact amount to an international incident. Can't you just see the headlines now, 'United Airlines refuses boarding to UK citizen. Queen demands that heads roll.'

The South Korean who got upset over how nuts were served, wouldn't hold a candle to the Queen's rage. LOL
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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I have just renewed my UK passport.
It has an expiry date in it. It expires so I renew it, just as I do my drivers licence. I need a valid passport to remain legal in the Netherlands and for visiting many countries, including the US.
I am not prepared to try travelling on an expired passport.

Indeed the last time I visited the UK the UKBA pointed out I only had a short time left on the passport, and suggested getting the renewal in fast due to the delays at the passport office. Living abroad I could have had a one year extension to the passport, but as it happens the renewal was fast and painless, though ridiculously expensive.

I can't have dual citizenship. The Dutch don't allow it. Welsh citizenship isn't an option (yet).

The Queen couldn't give a rat's about me being refused boarding.
hetismij2 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 05:22 PM
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Very bad advice.

FD, former consular officer
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Dec 13th, 2014, 05:26 PM
  #4  
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Actually, you can have dual nationality with the Netherlands hetismij2. You just have to know the ins and outs of the law if you want to do so.

http://www.government.nl/issues/nati...al-nationality

They don't make it easy but it does exist.
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 06:05 PM
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I think the airlines want pax to have a return ticketso that' if entry is denied at the end of the outwards leg, there is a valid ticket to fly the pax home.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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As an EU/EEA citizen you can travel within the EU/EEA on passport or national ID cards which are expired - but not longer expired than ONE year.
So even if you had dual citizenship and could travel to the UK no matter how long your passport was expired, you would not see much more of the rest of Europe than what you could see from the Dover cliffs.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 06:22 PM
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UK citizen like myself always gets their passport checked when travelling to other EU countries (except Ireland) and Schengen states. So presenting an expired passport is likely to result in refused entry.
Alec is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 06:35 PM
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sj/dulciusexasperis: another useless post??!
janisj is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 06:41 PM
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And those with inadequate travel documentation are simply refused boarding a flight from UK airport, meaning I won't be going anywhere.
Alec is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 06:42 PM
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I do not understand why anyone would choose to travel without a valid, current passport. Airlines ( well, Emirates anyway) request passport number and expiry date at the time of making a booking.

Don't know what happens if the expiry date is in the past.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 10:06 PM
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It's OK, Sojourntraveller, you can keep traveling with your expired passport. Enjoy. I will take care to renew mine and my family's and so will the rest of us here. And the world.
mamamia2 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 11:48 PM
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Just because the border officials might allow you to have an expired passport does not mean the airline will allow it, and I doubt they will in most cases.
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 04:27 AM
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I think the airlines want pax to have a return ticketso that' if entry is denied at the end of the outwards leg, there is a valid ticket to fly the pax home.>>

The airlines daren't let you travel as they are heavily fined if it turns out that they have let someone onto a flight illegally. That, as much as anything, has led to the increase in checks when you want to take an international flight.

Personally I don't mind if you spend 6 months in an airport lounge, SJ, but I'd prefer not to be there with you.
annhig is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 05:10 AM
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Everyone here appears to be considering only air travel. Many countries also have land or sea borders and friendly relations with their neighbours.

If U.S. citizens tried to cross the border from Canada with reasonable proof of identity but an out of date passport, presumably they have a good chance of being allowed in. It would be the same with arrivals by sea.
chartley is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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"they have a good chance of being allowed in."

That sounds remarkably optimistic to me. I crossed into the US by train a couple of years back, and the border officials were ruder and grumpier than any others I've encounterd. Looked to me that they would positively enjoy denying entry (although they were polite to me, whether because of my white hair or (valid) US passport, I'm not sure).
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 06:37 AM
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"If U.S. citizens tried to cross the border from Canada with reasonable proof of identity but an out of date passport, presumably they have a good chance of being allowed in."

There's a huge difference between an immigration official allowing entry to a citizen without a valid passport (which is what the OP's on about) and that same official allowing entry to a foreigner without one (a Canadian trying to get into the US, for example) or an airline - or some cross-border trains, like Eurostar - allowing anyone at all to board an international flight or train without one.

I suspect no civilised country will refuse admission at a border to a citizen - though they may force that citizen to wait in great discomfort while they check his credentials. Getting to that border without a passport is, for most international travel, impossible.
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 07:17 AM
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janis..is this really Mr/Ms. Ferguson again?
jane1144 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 08:19 AM
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"Getting to that border without a passport is, for most international travel, impossible."

If you live in the UK, maybe, but there are many, many borders where you can drive or take a bus and walk across.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 08:49 AM
  #19  
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I knew it would put some people's nose out of joint as I said in the beginning.

Those who do all their travelling in a pre-planned manner and with return dates already known, are hardly likely to put this little known piece of information to the test. However, not every traveller in the world is a 2 week tourist.

Say for example you are travelling for a year or two and one or more of your passports expire. It is not convenient at all to renew a passport while on the road. So you switch and travel on a still unexpired passport, no problem.

Eventually, you end up going to a country for which you happen to have an expired passport. Let's say the UK as an example. On arrival, rather than getting in the line with non-UK citizens, you get in the UK line with your expired passport. You cannot be denied entry. It's that simple.

I happen to have been in a situation where I had no valid passport at one point. The airline boarded me on a one way ticket since a supervisor (I never said it didn't take some discussion) recognized the logic of it being impossible for me to be refused entry and therefore that there was no liability on the part of the airline. As said, once you arrive, Immigration cannot refuse you entry.

Once I had entered, it took 24 hours to get a new passport issued. In fact, that was the only reason I went to that country at that time, I needed at least one valid passport to contiue travelling.

With another expired passport, I entered several times for short visits and did not renew the passport as I did not need another valid passport to travel elsewhere. I used that expired passport only to enter that country at will.

Some people need to get out more and realize that there are various circumstances under which someone who knows they can, might wish to use an expired passport to enter a country and that not everyone is limited to one passport.

Chartley, you will no longer get across the US/Canada border in either direction without a valid passport I'm sorry to say. Time was when you drove up, stated your citizenship and drove through, often with NO documentation looked at whatsoever. Those days are gone since the USA got all paranoid over 9/11.

Re airlines and 'proof of onward travel', this is an issue that comes up regularly in forums where you find people who are travelling for extended periods of time with no fixed plans. Young people on a Gap Year or retirees who don't need to return to a job for example.

Suppose you have the funds and the time and decide to travel for more than a year. You have no fixed plan and try to buy a one way ticket to A. The airline insists you must have 'proof on onward travel' or they will refuse to board you. They are concerned about the liability they incur as annhig says. If you are refused entry to a country and do not have 'proof of onward travel' the airline gets fined and must return you to your start point. So they have a blanket policy that says you must buy a return ticket or show proof of onward travel. They apply this blanket policy even when the country you are going to does not have this requirement for entry. As I said above, the UK and Canada for example do not require a tourist to have proof of onward travel to be allowed to enter the country.

So the long term traveller is not being stopped by the entry requirements but by the airline. Most people who encouter this issue believe it is an entry requirement because the airline tells them it is. In fact, the airline's lie about it, simple as that.

This is really a separate topic but is also impacted when you can argue that you cannot be denied entry to the country you are trying to fly to. Knowing that, means you can escalate it with the airline until you get to someone who has the authority to over-ride that blanket policy.

This post is really just about letting people know that an expired passport still has its uses.

The fun part is considering travelling back and forth between two countries for which you have expired passports and not needing to re-new either one. Like I said, I entered once on a passport that was expired by 12 years and no one blinked an eye really.
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 09:09 AM
  #20  
 
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Those who do all their travelling in a pre-planned manner and with return dates already known, are hardly likely to put this little known piece of information to the test. However, not every traveller in the world is a 2 week tourist.>>

where have i read that before?
annhig is offline  

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