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NickD

Travelling with a dual citizenship

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Can you actually travel to your home country using your home country passport, then return to the USA using your USA passport?
Not only CAN you do this, you generally HAVE to do this. America requires its citizens to enter on American passports. Most countries, and Russia is one of them, do not issue its citizens a visa to enter their country of citizenship and require you to enter on the "local" passport. So, a dual Russian/American citizen will not be able to get a visa to enter Russia for their American passport and they will have to enter on their Russian passport.

Doesn't the exit and entry stamps have to be on the same passport? How does this work?
This has nothing to do with anything. Not all countries, including America, have exit controls and there is no "exit" stamp when you leave the country. In the case of Russia, a person with an American passport will enter Russia with the Russian passport and get an entry stamp. They will leave Russia with the Russian passport and get an exit stamp. When you get to America, they don't care what other passports or passport stamps you have. You need to show your American passport if you are an American citizen, or a foreign passport with a U.S. visa (unless you're from a country in the VWP). They don't give a hoot about whatever entry or exit stamps you may or may not have in your passport.

Cheers!

AKDiver

Edited by akdiver

PEOPLE: READ THE APPLICATION FORM INSTRUCTIONS!!!! They have a lot of good information in them! Most of the questions I see on VJ are clearly addressed by the form instructions. Give them a read!! If you are unable to understand the form instructions, I highly recommend hiring someone who does to help you with the process. Our process, from K-1 to Citizenship and U.S. Passport is completed. Good luck with your process.

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AKDiver is correct--and I've actually done it (using non-US passport at destination, and US passport to reenter US). :thumbs:


2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

---------------------------------------------------------------------

As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

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This is going to vary from one home country to the next.

The one thing that's always true is that US citizens must always use a US passport when dealing with US officials, regardless of whether the US citizen happens to hold any other citizenship(s).

Speaking about Venezuela, since that's probably the country Nick is most interested in...

Lucy just went to visit family in Venezuela. She used the US passport the entire way, though she carried the Venezuela passport "just in case", but didn't show it.

Venezuela does stamp your passport on entry and exit, regardless of whether you're a Venezuelan citizen or a foreigner. While it seems logical that the stamps ought to match up, I haven't seen them check, and I don't believe they do. They seem to stamp on a random page each time. When I've entered, they never seemed to check that my previous exit was recorded, and when I left, they never seemed to check that my previous entry was stamped.

My undestanding of Venezuelan law is very limited, and I haven't found good reliable info on the Internet. But I believe Venezuelan law requires that Venezuelan citizens use a Venezuelan passport when dealing with Venezuelan officials. So that would argue that the way Lucy travelled was illegal, but...

I also believe, and I've read on the Internet, though I'm still not 100% sure, that taking an oath of naturalization as an adult causes a Venezuelan to lose Venezuelan citizenship. I don't believe they have procedures in place to check and verify when someone is naturalized in a foreign country, however. Anyway, if she's lost her Venezuelan citizenship, then presenting a Venezuelan passport would be illegal fraud.

Lucy's name is slightly different on her two passports. On her Venezuelan one, her married surname is noted in the Latino style, as "Garcia de Jones". On her US passport, her surname is simply "Jones", in the US style. (names changed to protect the innocent). Her airline ticket has the US style surname. Because the passport has to match the airline ticket, she has to present her US passport to the airline officials all the time.

I think she could have presented her Venezuelan passport to immigration officials at the Caracas airport, though if her naturalization had caused her to lose Venezuelan citizenship, using a Venezuelan passport might be seen as illegal and fraudulent. But when checking in for the return trip, she'd have to present her US passport to the airline officials in Caracas, because her Venezuelan passport wouldn't let her enter the US.

There's also the complicating issue of the departure tax. I can't remember the exact procedure, but I think the departure tax collection is done at the same station where they stamp the passport with the exit stamp. When the departure tax is included with the ticket (as American Airlines includes it), you get a voucher at the airline counter, which you then present to the immigration official on your way to the gates. To be sure the names match up perfectly the whole way, we want to present the same passport to the airline as we present to the immigration officials. The alternative is to present both passports to the airline counter, and explain that she wants the departure tax voucher in the "Garcia de Jones" style, but the passenger manifest recorded using only the "Jones" surname.

There may be different ways of handling all this, and one thing I've noticed about Venezuelan bureaucrats is that they tend to make up their own procedures, and if things are a little non-standard, they'll often tell you "no se puede", regardless of the laws. We decided that, as a practical matter, since the visit was short enough that a US Citizen wouldn't require any visa or other paperwork, it was simplest and least likely to cause complications just to consistently use only the US passport the entire way.


04 Apr, 2004: Got married

05 Apr, 2004: I-130 Sent to CSC

13 Apr, 2004: I-130 NOA 1

19 Apr, 2004: I-129F Sent to MSC

29 Apr, 2004: I-129F NOA 1

13 Aug, 2004: I-130 Approved by CSC

28 Dec, 2004: I-130 Case Complete at NVC

18 Jan, 2005: Got the visa approved in Caracas

22 Jan, 2005: Flew home together! CCS->MIA->SFO

25 May, 2005: I-129F finally approved! We won't pursue it.

8 June, 2006: Our baby girl is born!

24 Oct, 2006: Window for filing I-751 opens

25 Oct, 2006: I-751 mailed to CSC

18 Nov, 2006: I-751 NOA1 received from CSC

30 Nov, 2006: I-751 Biometrics taken

05 Apr, 2007: I-751 approved, card production ordered

23 Jan, 2008: N-400 sent to CSC via certified mail

19 Feb, 2008: N-400 Biometrics taken

27 Mar, 2008: Naturalization interview notice received (NOA2 for N-400)

30 May, 2008: Naturalization interview, passed the test!

17 June, 2008: Naturalization oath notice mailed

15 July, 2008: Naturalization oath ceremony!

16 July, 2008: Registered to vote and applied for US passport

26 July, 2008: US Passport arrived.

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This is going to vary from one home country to the next.

The one thing that's always true is that US citizens must always use a US passport when dealing with US officials, regardless of whether the US citizen happens to hold any other citizenship(s).

Speaking about Venezuela, since that's probably the country Nick is most interested in...

Lucy just went to visit family in Venezuela. She used the US passport the entire way, though she carried the Venezuela passport "just in case", but didn't show it.

Venezuela does stamp your passport on entry and exit, regardless of whether you're a Venezuelan citizen or a foreigner. While it seems logical that the stamps ought to match up, I haven't seen them check, and I don't believe they do. They seem to stamp on a random page each time. When I've entered, they never seemed to check that my previous exit was recorded, and when I left, they never seemed to check that my previous entry was stamped.

My undestanding of Venezuelan law is very limited, and I haven't found good reliable info on the Internet. But I believe Venezuelan law requires that Venezuelan citizens use a Venezuelan passport when dealing with Venezuelan officials. So that would argue that the way Lucy travelled was illegal, but...

I also believe, and I've read on the Internet, though I'm still not 100% sure, that taking an oath of naturalization as an adult causes a Venezuelan to lose Venezuelan citizenship. I don't believe they have procedures in place to check and verify when someone is naturalized in a foreign country, however. Anyway, if she's lost her Venezuelan citizenship, then presenting a Venezuelan passport would be illegal fraud.

Lucy's name is slightly different on her two passports. On her Venezuelan one, her married surname is noted in the Latino style, as "Garcia de Jones". On her US passport, her surname is simply "Jones", in the US style. (names changed to protect the innocent). Her airline ticket has the US style surname. Because the passport has to match the airline ticket, she has to present her US passport to the airline officials all the time.

I think she could have presented her Venezuelan passport to immigration officials at the Caracas airport, though if her naturalization had caused her to lose Venezuelan citizenship, using a Venezuelan passport might be seen as illegal and fraudulent. But when checking in for the return trip, she'd have to present her US passport to the airline officials in Caracas, because her Venezuelan passport wouldn't let her enter the US.

There's also the complicating issue of the departure tax. I can't remember the exact procedure, but I think the departure tax collection is done at the same station where they stamp the passport with the exit stamp. When the departure tax is included with the ticket (as American Airlines includes it), you get a voucher at the airline counter, which you then present to the immigration official on your way to the gates. To be sure the names match up perfectly the whole way, we want to present the same passport to the airline as we present to the immigration officials. The alternative is to present both passports to the airline counter, and explain that she wants the departure tax voucher in the "Garcia de Jones" style, but the passenger manifest recorded using only the "Jones" surname.

There may be different ways of handling all this, and one thing I've noticed about Venezuelan bureaucrats is that they tend to make up their own procedures, and if things are a little non-standard, they'll often tell you "no se puede", regardless of the laws. We decided that, as a practical matter, since the visit was short enough that a US Citizen wouldn't require any visa or other paperwork, it was simplest and least likely to cause complications just to consistently use only the US passport the entire way.

"one thing I've noticed about Venezuelan bureaucrats is that they tend to make up their own procedures"

LOL, a couple of American bucks can handle that and no doubt about the confusion. As of this moment, my wife is a LPR and if she wants to see her family, requires a Venezuelan passport. We went to the Venezuelan Consulate in Chicago for that, they weren't please that she is a LPR of the USA, we showed proof of property she owns and taxes paid for it. They did issue her a passport, be sure to bring plenty of US cash with you and her current passport is in her maiden name. We had to register our marriage in Venezuela that required our US marriage certificate with an apostille that we had to get from our secretary of state. They did put a stamp on the 3rd page that she is married to me and her address is our home address. Her Venezuelan ID card is also in her maiden name. I did buy airline tickets in her married name, but did bring along a copy of our marriage certificate with the apostille stapled to it, so no problems boarding the airlines, plus she had her WI driver's license and green card for identification.

We are planning a trip after the November elections, but almost would like to suggest in January when it's darn cold up here and she was wondering which passport to use, we will more than likely bring both. She does the talking in Venezuela, I do the talking coming back to the USA.

Bet my wife would like to talk to your wife, will ask her. Our daughter just returned last Tuesday after a two month stay, she had no problems coming back, DHS was nice to her.

Was kind of expecting the oath letter today, they did say they would send it, but can use a printed out e-mail *.jpg of it to get in, something about letters do get lost in the mails. Ha, wish they would lose all that junk mail and bills. That never gets lost.

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This is going to vary from one home country to the next.

The one thing that's always true is that US citizens must always use a US passport when dealing with US officials, regardless of whether the US citizen happens to hold any other citizenship(s).

Speaking about Venezuela, since that's probably the country Nick is most interested in...

Lucy just went to visit family in Venezuela. She used the US passport the entire way, though she carried the Venezuela passport "just in case", but didn't show it.

Venezuela does stamp your passport on entry and exit, regardless of whether you're a Venezuelan citizen or a foreigner. While it seems logical that the stamps ought to match up, I haven't seen them check, and I don't believe they do. They seem to stamp on a random page each time. When I've entered, they never seemed to check that my previous exit was recorded, and when I left, they never seemed to check that my previous entry was stamped.

My undestanding of Venezuelan law is very limited, and I haven't found good reliable info on the Internet. But I believe Venezuelan law requires that Venezuelan citizens use a Venezuelan passport when dealing with Venezuelan officials. So that would argue that the way Lucy travelled was illegal, but...

I also believe, and I've read on the Internet, though I'm still not 100% sure, that taking an oath of naturalization as an adult causes a Venezuelan to lose Venezuelan citizenship. I don't believe they have procedures in place to check and verify when someone is naturalized in a foreign country, however. Anyway, if she's lost her Venezuelan citizenship, then presenting a Venezuelan passport would be illegal fraud.

Lucy's name is slightly different on her two passports. On her Venezuelan one, her married surname is noted in the Latino style, as "Garcia de Jones". On her US passport, her surname is simply "Jones", in the US style. (names changed to protect the innocent). Her airline ticket has the US style surname. Because the passport has to match the airline ticket, she has to present her US passport to the airline officials all the time.

I think she could have presented her Venezuelan passport to immigration officials at the Caracas airport, though if her naturalization had caused her to lose Venezuelan citizenship, using a Venezuelan passport might be seen as illegal and fraudulent. But when checking in for the return trip, she'd have to present her US passport to the airline officials in Caracas, because her Venezuelan passport wouldn't let her enter the US.

There's also the complicating issue of the departure tax. I can't remember the exact procedure, but I think the departure tax collection is done at the same station where they stamp the passport with the exit stamp. When the departure tax is included with the ticket (as American Airlines includes it), you get a voucher at the airline counter, which you then present to the immigration official on your way to the gates. To be sure the names match up perfectly the whole way, we want to present the same passport to the airline as we present to the immigration officials. The alternative is to present both passports to the airline counter, and explain that she wants the departure tax voucher in the "Garcia de Jones" style, but the passenger manifest recorded using only the "Jones" surname.

There may be different ways of handling all this, and one thing I've noticed about Venezuelan bureaucrats is that they tend to make up their own procedures, and if things are a little non-standard, they'll often tell you "no se puede", regardless of the laws. We decided that, as a practical matter, since the visit was short enough that a US Citizen wouldn't require any visa or other paperwork, it was simplest and least likely to cause complications just to consistently use only the US passport the entire way.

My wife's name is in the "Garcia de Jones" style, yet all airline tickets are simply "Jones." Never had a problem boarding flights from Bolivia to France to Switzerland to UK to US....

Might be something to think about if you want to avoid departure taxes in her home country...and also avoid flashing a US passport to Venezuelan officials. I'm surprised Venezuela is still so open with its borders. Evo has closed off Bolivia to foreign plundering. I have to pay 100 for a tourist visa, which is why I am applying for Bolivian citizenship...yet another massively un-fun immigration journey.


DCF London

2007-08-09 Married

2008-02-15 (Day 1) Filed I-130 for CR-1

2008-02-20 (Day 6) Received RFE

2008-02-21 (Day 7) Returned RFE

2008-02-26 (Day 12) Credit card charged $355

2008-05-15 (Day 92) Received RFE

2008-05-16 (Day 93) Returned RFE

2008-06-11 (Day 119) Received RFE in the form of face-to-face interview on 17 June.

2008-06-17 (Day 125) RFE interview

2008-06-23 (Day 131) Received Packet 3

2008-06-24 (Day 132) Returned Checklist, DS-230

2008-07-03 (Day 141) Received Packet 4

2008-07-09 (Day 147) Medical (approved)

2008-07-18 (Day 158) Interview (approved)

2008-07-22 (Day 162) Passport and visa in hand

2008-07-25 (Day 165) POE - Atlanta, GA

ROC

2010-05-25 (Day 1) Mailed off I-751, check, and evidence to VSC

2010-06-07 (Day 15) Received NOA1, dated 2010-05-27

2010-07-30 (Day 66) Received Bio Appt letter, scheduled for 2010-08-16; will be out of town

2010-07-30 (Day 66) Mailed off request for new appointment date

2011-05-23 (Day 363) Biometrics appointment

2011-07-11 (Day 412) Conditions Removed

N-400

2012-10-23 (Day 1) Mailed N-400 Application (PHX)

2012-12-06 (Day 44) Biometrics appointment (PHX)

2013-01-29 (Day 98) Interview (approved)

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I have a related question. When you leave your home country with your home passport (South African in my case), don't they ask you for proof that you will be let into the US? So at that point, won't you have to show your US passport to show that you can legally enter the US? I'm wondering if this presents a problem, walking around with 2 passports...

Thanks!


N-400 Timeline

-----------------

04/12/2008: N-400 Application mailed (CSC)

04/14/2008: Priority date

04/18/2008: Check cashed

04/29/2008: NOA1 Notice Date -- interview notification within 365 days

05/01/2008: Biometrics Notice Date

05/14/2008: Biometrics done

06/09/2008: Interview Letter Date

07/31/2008: Interview PASSED!

I-751 Timeline

----------------

03-31-07: I-751 application mailed

04-04-07: Check cashed

No NOA1 ever received...

09-19-07: NOA2 received

10-17-07: Biometrics appointment

11-15-07: Approval email

11-23-07: 10-year Green Card received

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I have a related question. When you leave your home country with your home passport (South African in my case), don't they ask you for proof that you will be let into the US? So at that point, won't you have to show your US passport to show that you can legally enter the US? I'm wondering if this presents a problem, walking around with 2 passports...

Yes, you DO need to show the airlines that you will be allowed into the US. They will normally insist upon it because they would risk having to pay for your return flight if they let you board the aircraft without proper documentation.

Depending on the exact procedures your home country has for exit controls, it may be that you could present a different passport to immigration officials at the exit control than you presented to the airline agent when you checked in.

But yes, sometimes there may be no choice but to explain the situation and present both passports.

In most country's laws, there's nothing illegal about having two passports, provided both were legally issued and you're not trying to commit fraud. But a few countries may prohibit holding two passports; usually those are the countries that prohibit dual citizenship. And even if a country allows you to hold both passports, that doesn't always mean the particular bureaucrat you deal with will be aware of the law and won't hassle you about it.

The Dual Citizenship FAQ goes over most of these issues. It should be required reading for anyone contemplating naturalization.


04 Apr, 2004: Got married

05 Apr, 2004: I-130 Sent to CSC

13 Apr, 2004: I-130 NOA 1

19 Apr, 2004: I-129F Sent to MSC

29 Apr, 2004: I-129F NOA 1

13 Aug, 2004: I-130 Approved by CSC

28 Dec, 2004: I-130 Case Complete at NVC

18 Jan, 2005: Got the visa approved in Caracas

22 Jan, 2005: Flew home together! CCS->MIA->SFO

25 May, 2005: I-129F finally approved! We won't pursue it.

8 June, 2006: Our baby girl is born!

24 Oct, 2006: Window for filing I-751 opens

25 Oct, 2006: I-751 mailed to CSC

18 Nov, 2006: I-751 NOA1 received from CSC

30 Nov, 2006: I-751 Biometrics taken

05 Apr, 2007: I-751 approved, card production ordered

23 Jan, 2008: N-400 sent to CSC via certified mail

19 Feb, 2008: N-400 Biometrics taken

27 Mar, 2008: Naturalization interview notice received (NOA2 for N-400)

30 May, 2008: Naturalization interview, passed the test!

17 June, 2008: Naturalization oath notice mailed

15 July, 2008: Naturalization oath ceremony!

16 July, 2008: Registered to vote and applied for US passport

26 July, 2008: US Passport arrived.

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