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Travelling to Poland from the U.S. on a expired Passport


Maciek246 1 | 11
9 Apr 2011 #1
I'm planning a trip to Poland for the near future and just wanted to make sure that I was able to travel to my home land with an expired Polish passport. It has expired by 5 years or so. I am planning on renewing it once I get to Poland. Is this Possible? Help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
convex 20 | 3,928
9 Apr 2011 #2
You might get some flak at the border, but you're Polish. You have a right to be here.
eberhart 13 | 120
9 Apr 2011 #3
Most modern nations have "right to return" laws. As long as you can establish you are a citizen you cannot by law be denied entry. Can't say this is fact but it is generally the case. Wouldn't count on it in Angola or some other 3rd world nations but surely Poland has such a law.
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
9 Apr 2011 #4
Thank you for the quick replies. So I am good to go then I see. That's very good news. I was pretty sure I was able to go back but needed a little more assurance. Thanks
convex 20 | 3,928
9 Apr 2011 #5
Good to go is relative. The man at the border can make it difficult for you...but if you just explain the situation, it shouldn't be a problem.

Disclaimer, don't complain if you get locked up in a little room for a couple of hours.

They do have to let you in though, you're Polish :)
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
9 Apr 2011 #6
Haha.
After more research I went on the Polish consulate website and it does infact state that I would be able to return to Poland with an expired passport.

Thanks again.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,094
9 Apr 2011 #7
However, the vast majority of airlines will not let you travel on an expired document - it'll be a valid passport or nothing.

Incidentally, the right of entry to Poland applies to all EU citizens, not just Poles.
Vincent 9 | 886
9 Apr 2011 #8
However, the vast majority of airlines will not let you travel on an expired document

That's what I was wondering. Would an airline let him leave a Country without one?
convex 20 | 3,928
9 Apr 2011 #9
....guessing a dual citizen. Most countries require a current passport to maintain residency.
Vincent 9 | 886
9 Apr 2011 #10
Now I'm wondering why he couldn't just use his residency one , as it would just be for a trip? :)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,094
9 Apr 2011 #11
That's what I was wondering. Would an airline let him leave a Country without one?

Nope. No valid ID, no international flight - they simply won't take the risk that he'll be denied entry.

Now I'm wondering why he couldn't just use his residency one , as it would just be for a trip? :)

Only reason I can think of is that he's from a country which requires a visa for Schengen and so needs to use a Polish passport to gain entry.

edit : no, wait - I forgot - it's illegal for Polish citizens to identify themselves to Polish officials using non-Polish identity documents.
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
10 Apr 2011 #12
Well I'm guessing I would be able to use my green card as a form of ID for when boarding the plane , yes?
BBman - | 343
10 Apr 2011 #13
edit : no, wait - I forgot - it's illegal for Polish citizens to identify themselves to Polish officials using non-Polish identity documents.

It is illegal but Polish officials turn a blind eye to this law. I've presented my Canadian passport to Polish authorities many times. A couple of times they asked to see both of my passports!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,094
10 Apr 2011 #14
Well I'm guessing I would be able to use my green card as a form of ID for when boarding the plane , yes?

No. A green card wouldn't be accepted as valid identity by the vast majority of airlines.

It is illegal but Polish officials turn a blind eye to this law. I've presented my Canadian passport to Polish authorities many times. A couple of times they asked to see both of my passports!

Not worth the risk though - the USA is and was actively warning people about the "passport trap", although it's less of an issue now that Schengen is in place.
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
10 Apr 2011 #15
A Valid USA Green Card wouldn't be accepted as a valid form of ID? Why not?

How about a drivers license... or birth certificate
delphiandomine 88 | 18,094
10 Apr 2011 #16
A Valid USA Green Card wouldn't be accepted as a valid form of ID? Why not?

It's not valid for entry into the country to which you wish to travel - hence - they're not going to take the risk of transporting you.

Schengen imposes mandatory fines upon carriers which transport people who are then denied entry into the Schengen zone.

For that matter, is the Green Card even valid without a valid passport?

How about a drivers license... or birth certificate

Also unsuitable.

Schengen law makes it clear that the border may only be crossed upon presentation of a valid passport or identity card issued by an EU/EEA/CH member state. While Poland may accept an expired document, the carrier simply isn't going to take the risk with an expired document.

Would the United States really allow re-entry on just the Green Card as well?
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
10 Apr 2011 #17
I guess I'll have to make a few phone calls to the appropriate airline then. As I'm sure I've heard people say they were allowed to travel internationally with an expired passport .

Why wouldn't the green card be valid without a valid passport?
I am a citizen of Poland only. I have a USA green card. My Polish passport is expired, I plan on renewing it in Poland.
convex 20 | 3,928
10 Apr 2011 #18
How about a drivers license... or birth certificate

For an international flight, they need a passport US or Polish. You might be able to get away with an expired one, but that depends on the person working the counter.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,094
10 Apr 2011 #19
I guess I'll have to make a few phone calls to the appropriate airline then. As I'm sure I've heard people say they were allowed to travel internationally with an expired passport .

Don't count on it. The rules have changed recently in regards to the US - I'm sure that a valid passport is now needed to re-enter. Apparently the Green Card is enough too - but then you've still got the problem of needing valid identification to enter Poland with in the eyes of the airline.

My Polish passport is expired, I plan on renewing it in Poland.

Bad news for you in this respect too - you'll have to wait at least 3 weeks, if not more to renew it here.
convex 20 | 3,928
10 Apr 2011 #20
Don't count on it. The rules have changed recently in regards to the US - I'm sure that a valid passport is now needed to re-enter.

greencard only is needed, it's considered valid ID if you've got a second form of ID, like a drivers license.
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
10 Apr 2011 #21
Lots of mixed answers here.

So from the looks of it and the following research, It is my legal right to return to Poland, with a Polish passport ( weather EXPIRED OR NOT )

But for my to fly internationally from the USA to Poland with that expired polish passport, there might be some trouble but I should be able to do it. I have other forms of id as I stated and the USA green card,( which is valid and not expired) .

As far as waiting 3 weeks in Poland, that is ok, I know it will take some time, as I plan to stay in Poland for about 2 months.

All the fear mongering aside, I should be able to make this trip, yes? Thank you
convex 20 | 3,928
10 Apr 2011 #22
Don't worry about it*

*you'll be able to leave, but you need a valid passport to come back.
rybnik 18 | 1,453
10 Apr 2011 #23
I am a citizen of Poland only. I have a USA green card. My Polish passport is expired, I plan on renewing it in Poland.

why didn't you renew the passport in the States? cheaper in Poland?
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
10 Apr 2011 #24
Much cheaper in Poland and less time consuming and less stressful

and Convex, good to know. I am ready to go on my trip.
BBman - | 343
10 Apr 2011 #25
The passport trap is no longer an issue. No one with a PL passport has been charged with presenting polish authorities with foreinger IDs and i don't see that happening anytime soon. No politician cares about it.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,094
10 Apr 2011 #26
So from the looks of it and the following research, It is my legal right to return to Poland, with a Polish passport ( weather EXPIRED OR NOT )

In theory.

In practice, expect questioning and possible secondary inspection.

But for my to fly internationally from the USA to Poland with that expired polish passport, there might be some trouble but I should be able to do it. I have other forms of id as I stated and the USA green card,( which is valid and not expired) .

There's no guarantee that the airline will accept it.

All the fear mongering aside, I should be able to make this trip, yes? Thank you

If you want to risk being turned away at the airport, then yes, you might be able to make the trip. You won't know until you actually get to the airport as to what they'll do.
OP Maciek246 1 | 11
10 Apr 2011 #27
Well i'll be sure to call the airline in advance to see how this would all pan out. Thanks everyone for the quick replies.
convex 20 | 3,928
10 Apr 2011 #28
let us know how it works out....and good luck
beckski 12 | 1,612
10 Apr 2011 #29
Would the United States really allow re-entry on just the Green Card as well?

I'm a citizen of the United States. I had gone to Mexico for a one-day visit. By accident, I had forgotten to bring my passport along with me. At the border, I had shown a border agent a couple alternate forms of identification. He also verified that I had a valid passport by looking online. He smiled and told me be more careful next time. The whole process took approximately 5 minutes. I guess being a female had worked to my advantage!
Zman
10 Apr 2011 #30
Maciek! Can you be more lazy? How about extending your passport in the consulate/embassy? Will your next post be about not having a tram/subway ticket in PL? :-)


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