I traveled into the U.S on my Irish passport, even though i have an U.S passport because it was out of date and i didn't have time to renew it. I had to get a visa waiver and lie that i had not been to America or hold any other passport. What is the penalty for this is all I want to know, please. I have three days before the deadline to renew my U.S. passport. Really appreciate some helpful information. I am aware it is illegal i simply want to know if anyone knows the penalty. Thanks

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    I don't think that's a perfect duplicate. The key to this question isn't the dual passports, it's the misrepresentation about citizenship, which was required to get an ESTA to which the traveler wasn't entitled as a US citizen. Apr 5, 2018 at 14:57
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    I suspect that lying on your visa waiver form could count as fraud and could carry a strong penalty. Apr 5, 2018 at 14:58
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    I would have expected that the way to go here is to carry your expired US passport as proof of US citizenship. If you can persuade the airline to let you on the flight with that, everything else should be smooth. Apr 5, 2018 at 17:32
  • The linked duplicate discusses the maximum penalty, but it's unlikely actually to be imposed. In any case, it should not prevent you from applying for and receiving a new US passport.
    – phoog
    Apr 6, 2018 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


While I am not a lawyer of any kind, I don't think what you did is likely to attract much penalty, although the theoretical maximum penalty is quite high. While it is technically lying on an immigration form, you didn't actually gain any benefit from it. The the thing you achieved, entry to the US, was something you were entitled to anyway.

If this is now all in the past, I would let sleeping dogs lie. Never use the ESTA again. If you can cancel it without explaining why that might be a good idea.

  • Why would it be relevant whether the traveler received any benefit from the lie? Also, I doubt that an airline would board someone for a flight to the US with an expired US passport. The relevant statute actually specifies that it is "unlawful for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport."
    – phoog
    Apr 6, 2018 at 16:13
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    Punishment for things like this is usually proportionate to the seriousness of the offence. If you don't stand to gain anything it's not very serious. Apr 6, 2018 at 16:14
  • I'd be interested to know what Timatic says about using an expired passport to board a flight. Apr 6, 2018 at 16:18
  • It appears to say that the passport must expire on or after the date of arrival in the US: "Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to nationals of USA must be valid on arrival."
    – phoog
    Apr 6, 2018 at 16:23
  • Edited to remove my speculation. I'll let someone more knowledgeable than me address that. Apr 6, 2018 at 16:51

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