Are you an American with dual citizenship? Having more than one citizenship isn’t uncommon. But when you travel, it can be both a blessing and a curse.
Read on to learn about dual citizenship passport requirements, dual citizenship passport applications and dual citizenship passport renewals, and the answers to common questions about traveling with two passports.
How to Become a Dual Citizen
US law doesn’t recognize dual citizenship, but it also doesn’t require you to renounce other countries’ citizenships if you qualify. Here are some common ways people end up with dual citizenship:
- You were born on US soil and can also claim citizenship in another country based on your parents’ citizenship.
- You were born to US parents abroad and can claim citizenship in both countries.
- You’re a naturalized US citizen originally from a country that allows dual citizenship.
- You can claim citizenship in another country based on marriage, ancestry or because you invested large sums of money there.
Dual Citizenship Passport Requirements: How to Travel With Two Passports
Can a US citizen use another country’s passport for travel?
At RushMyPassport, we get this question a lot. And the answer is no. Not even if your US passport is lost, stolen or expired and you already have travel plans.
As a US citizen, you need a valid US passport to enter and exit the country. You may also need a valid passport from the other country whose citizenship you claim.
To quote the Department of State,
“Most U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country.”
How to Book Plane Tickets As a Dual Passport Holder
If you have more than one passport, which passport number do you use for booking tickets?
Generally speaking, you should book your tickets and check your bags with the passport you plan to use to enter your destination country.
And that will depend on where you’re traveling to and where else you hold citizenship.
For example, if you’re a dual US/EU citizen and you’re traveling to Germany, it only makes sense to flash your European passport when you arrive. There’s no need to worry about visas and you can stay as long as you like.
So, you’d book your tickets to Germany using your EU passport.
But regardless, you will still need a valid US passport to leave the US. And you’ll still need a valid US passport to return.
How to Get a Passport As a Dual Citizen
Don’t have a US passport yet? Here’s how to get one!
How to Get a New Passport
Has your US passport been lost or stolen? Or maybe you just never had one before? Do you have a US passport, but you’re not eligible to renew by mail as described below? Follow these instructions to get a new passport.
Apply in Person
To get a new passport, or to replace a passport that’s been lost, stolen or damaged, you must apply in person at a passport acceptance office. Most people go to the post office, but you may be able to go to a local library, county court clerk or municipal building instead. Find the most convenient option for you here.
Bring the following items:
Proof of Identity for Dual Citizens
You need one primary photo ID to show the passport office when you apply. This could be any one of the following:
- A driver’s license (must be in-state and more than 6 months old)
- An expired US passport (as long as the photo is still recognizable)
- A Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship (again, as long as the photo looks like you)
- A government or military ID
- A currently valid foreign passport
- A Mexican consular ID or a Green Card (if you’re a parent applying for a US citizen child)
You may need more than one ID if your driver’s license was issued by a different state than the one you’re applying in, or if your primary ID is less than six months old.
Proof of Citizenship for Dual Citizens
If you were born in the US, you’ll use your birth certificate. If you were born abroad, you’ll use one of the following:
- A certificate of naturalization
- Certificate of citizenship
- Previous US passport
- Consular report of birth abroad or Certification of Birth
- If you got your citizenship through the naturalization of your parents, you’ll need: your foreign birth certificate, an official translation if the original birth certificate isn’t in English, proof you were admitted to the US as permanent resident, your parents’ naturalization certificates AND proof of marriage for your parents or proof that you were in the custody of your US citizen parent.
- Born abroad to a US citizen parent, but don’t have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth? You’ll need your foreign birth certificate (translated if necessary), proof of citizenship for your parent(s), your parents’ marriage certificate (if applicable) and an affidavit showing all of the places your US citizen parent lived before you were born, both in the US and abroad, and how long he or she lived in each place.
- If you were adopted by US citizen parents after 02/28/1983, you’ll need evidence of permanent residence status, full and final adoption decree, and proof your US citizen parent(s) had legal and physical custody of you.
Dual Citizenship Passport Requirements: Other Items
You’ll also need:
- One passport photo.
- Form DS-11.
- Passport Fees: $110 application fee and a $25 execution fee.
Passport Renewals for Dual Citizens
Dual citizens can renew their passports by mail, as long as all they meet all of the following conditions:
- You have your US passport in your possession and it’s not lost, stolen or damaged.
- Your most recent US passport is less than 15 years old, and you got it after you turned 16.
- The passport was valid for 10 years after the date it was issued AND it was issued in your current name or you have legal documents to support a name change request.
If all of those statements apply to you, congratulations! you can skip the line at the post office. Use passport form DS-82 and follow the instructions here: How to Renew Your Passport.
Otherwise, see the instructions for applying for a new passport above.
How to Get a Passport in a Hurry
Whether you apply in person or by mail, you should expect to wait 6-8 weeks for your passport to arrive if you request routine service.
If you request expedited service for an extra $60 at the post office, you’ll still probably have to wait 2-3 weeks.
Need it sooner? You have two options:
- Make an appointment at the nearest Regional Passport Agency. Here’s how to find the closest one to you.
- Use a private expediting service like RushMyPassport.
Have a travel emergency? Even if you have a valid passport from another country, you still need a valid US passport. As a US citizen, you can’t travel without one.
Need a US passport fast? Don’t want to deal with making an appointment and traveling to a passport agency? We’re here to help! For quick, professional, convenient service, contact us today!