Dual Citizenship and Traveling with Two Valid Passports

Dual citizenship, as its name suggests, is holding citizenship in both the US and in another country at the same time. This can occur in a number of different ways depending on the situation. The first is by birth. If a child of a US citizen is born in another country, the child holds citizenship in both countries. Marriage is another way that this can occur. Most countries automatically extend citizenship to people from the US who marry a person from that country. The third is by going through the naturalization process. This is where a US citizen will become a naturalized citizen. When this happens, the person does not lose their previous status as a citizen of their home.

If you hold dual citizenship and are traveling with two valid passports, there are a number of important things to keep in mind.

Hold Dual Citizenship and Traveling with Two Valid Passports

The most important thing to know is that even if you are a dual citizen who is traveling with two completely valid passports, you will always need to travel with your United States passport at all times. You must use your US passport when you attempt to re-enter the US. The other passport is for the country where your dual citizenship and wants to enter that country.

Which passport you should present when entering a country often comes down to which passport you used when booking your airfare or other travel accommodations. If you hold dual citizenship in France and the US, for example, you may book your first flight with your French passport. Then, book your return trip with your US passport. In that event, you would present your French passport when you reach your destination. Hence, you’re US passport when you return home to the US. As a general rule of thumb, it is always recommended that you use the passport number for the country you  plan on visiting when booking any round trip ticket.

Issuing and Renewing Passports

If you hold dual citizenship and you plan on renewing or applying for a US passport, your second passport is not part of the application process. It can, however, be used as proof of your identity. Renewing your foreign passport while living in the US will require that you contact the embassy for your specific country. Many will require you to send your current passport back to complete the renewal process.