I used my Philippine passport to book an airline ticket, but I'm also an American citizen. Will this create problems with immigration?

  • 1
    You will likely need to show the USA passport to board your flight to America, otherwise the airline (and Philippine border control) will expect you to have a visa to go with your Philippines passport.
    – user16259
    Mar 15, 2018 at 12:14

2 Answers 2


You should use your US passport on your flight registration, and to check in. This will ensure that US Customs and Border Protection realizes that you are a US citizen and, of course, that no special authorization is required for your admission.

Other posters will state that as a US citizen, you have a right of entry, and of course, this is true, but if there is any doubt about your citizenship when you present yourself, you may endure delays while your citizenship is established. Also, the airline may refuse to carry you if it has any doubt of your US citizenship, so you may not have the opportunity to plead your case in the United States. A US passport categorically proves your US citizenship. (Note that a birth certificate by itself does not; some US citizens do give up their citizenship voluntarily, for example, to avoid having to continue making US tax filings after becoming expatriates.)

Get a US passport, if you don't already have one. If time precludes you from getting one, and you have a recently expired one, bring that as your evidence. But I strongly encourage you to use a current US passport to enter the US each and every time you do so. (A few other current valid methods can be used when crossing the land border, but they aren't relevant to this question.)

  • 2
    This is a great point that I overlooked in my answer. For any flight to the US, you should check in with your US passport, even if you gave the other passport details when you bought the ticket, made the reservation, or checked in for an earlier flight on the same ticket or reservation. In addition to the birth certificate not being definitive proof of US citizenship, it does not satisfy the statutory requirement that US citizens who enter and leave the US must "bear" a valid US passport. There are exceptions, but a birth certificate is not among them.
    – phoog
    Mar 15, 2018 at 13:25

Can I return to America if I used my Philippine passport although I am an American citizen?


Will this create problems with immigration?

Probably not.

The US Supreme Court had decided in 1967 that US citizens cannot be deprived of their US citizenship against their will. The case is Afroyim v. Rusk:

... the [14th] Amendment can most reasonably be read as defining a citizenship which a citizen keeps unless he voluntarily relinquishes it. Once acquired, this Fourteenth Amendment citizenship was not to be shifted, canceled, or diluted at the will of the Federal Government, the States, or any other governmental unit.

In addition, a central right of US citizenship is a right to return to the United States. If you are a US citizen, immigration officers cannot refuse entry.

However, I answered "probably not" because I have heard a few stories of people being challenged by US immigration officers on the basis of their dual citizenship. My sister, for example, was once told by a US immigration officer that it is "unconstitutional" for her to have a passport of another country.

I have also read online of people being told at the land border with Canada that they need to renounce their US citizenship if they hold another passport. Such officers are not acting according to government policy. If any officer of the US government says anything like this to you, you should refuse to comply.


Jim MacKenzie makes an excellent practical point in his answer regarding the practical aspects of traveling with two passports. For more information, see these questions on this site:

  • So you actually mean... yes? Mar 15, 2018 at 12:48
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    @SebastiaanvandenBroek hmm, good point. No, I actually meant no, but I meant to respond to the question at the end of the body, not the one in the title. I will edit to clarify.
    – phoog
    Mar 15, 2018 at 13:20

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