Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria (May 25, 2021)
Event: U.S. citizens may directly return to the United States with certain expired U.S. passports.
If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly 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.
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: https://bg.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/
Actions to take:
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Consult the CDC website for the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Bulgaria.
- U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria
+359-2-937-5100 (business hours)
+359-2-937-5101 (after hours—emergencies only—arrest, death, or danger to the safety and security of U.S. citizens)
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Bulgaria Country Information
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