Dual Citizen Lawyers
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What Is a Dual Citizen?
Possession of multiple passports is technically legal. Sometimes though, when you travel and you have multiple passports there is a possibility you might generate some confusion at the check-in desk no matter what you do.
What Kind of Confusion Can Multiple Passports Generate?
When you leave the U.S. by air, the airline officials will want to see your passport or other proof of citizenship when you check in. To ensure that you will be admitted to the next country on your trip (and they won't be fined for failing to verify this if you turn out to be inadmissible), they'll also want to see any relevant visas that you'll need. No matter which passport you use there will be confusion in these situations:
- If you show them your U.S. passport, you will be asked for the visa to enter the other country, which you don't need since you are a citizen of that country. To prove this, you'll have to show them your other passport.
- If you start by showing them your other passport, you'll then be asked to hand in your I-94 (this is the U.S. temporary visa record that airlines are supposed to collect from aliens leaving the U.S.) or to show your resident alien ID ("green card"). In this situation you'll have to show your U.S. passport in order to show why you don't need or have a green card or an I-94.
Note that there was a time however when showing a non-U.S. passport to an airline official in the U.S. could be interpreted as evidence of intent to give up one's U.S. citizenship. This is no longer a cause for concern according to current State Department policy.
So What Passport Should I Show?
If your travel destination is your other country of citizenship, it's probably best to start showing the airline people the same travel documents that you intend to show the immigration officials at your next stop and then your U.S. passport. U.S. law requires U.S. citizens to be in possession of a U.S. passport or other proof of citizenship when leaving the country.
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Last Modified: 03-04-2015 11:25 AM PST
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