4

I am trying to apply for an ESTA to enter the US, and I realized that there is a question came up on the ESTA application:

Have you ever been issued a passport or national identity card for travel by any other country?

I am really confused since I am a Italian who has a Italian passport. Also, I currently have permanent residency in Panama, so I have Panamanian Cédula, which is the national identity card in Panama. However, I don't think I can ever use this Panamanian ID for travel to any other country. So should I answer Yes or No for this question? (the question states that "national identity card FOR TRAVEL by any other country")

  • 4
    If you don't need to add the Panamanian document, but do it anyway, no harm will come of it. If you do need to add the document, but fail to do so, there could be trouble. The safer course of action, therefore, is to add the document. That said, I'm fairly certain you don't need to add it, but I can't find any official source to back up my opinion. – phoog Jun 26 '18 at 19:50
  • you mean if I have the national identity card ID and check "No" and there will be some bad affect in the long run? – dcb1 Jul 1 '18 at 9:33
  • 1
    My previous comment analyzes the situation from the point of view of someone who does not know whether there will be a bad effect, because I do not know whether the US government considers the cédula to be a national ID card. I suspect that they do not. But if they do, and you fail to disclose it, then yes of course there could be a bad effect, because that would be seen as dishonest. – phoog Jul 1 '18 at 12:38
5

I suspect that the other answer is correct, but if it isn't, and you follow its advice, you could be found permanently inadmissible to the US for misrepresentation. The chance of that happening is perhaps small, but the severity of the consequence could be very significant.

Therefore, unless you can establish definitively that the cédula for a non citizen is indeed beyond the scope of the question, you may want to play it safe. To elaborate on the analysis in my comment, there are four possible circumstances deriving from these two questions:

  1. Is the cédula within the scope of the question?
  2. Did you disclose the cédula in response to the question?

The four circumstances are:

  1. The US doesn't care about the cédula and you don't disclose it. Here, there is no problem.

  2. The US doesn't care about the cédula and you do disclose it. Here, there is also no problem.

  3. The US does care about the cédula and you do disclose it. Here, there is still no problem.

  4. The US does care about the cédula, but you don't disclose it. Here, there could be a problem.

You have no control over the first question, but you have complete control of the second. So it is entirely within your power either to rule out options 2 and 3 or to rule out options 1 and 4. Since the only negative option is 4, you want to rule out options 1 and 4, and you do that by disclosing the cédula on your application.

This analysis could change if there were a possible negative consequence of disclosing the cédula, but nothing you have said gives any reason to think that is the case.

1

Although it doesn't say, they're interested in national ID cards for travel issued by your country of citizenship, not alien residency cards.

So you aren't supposed to fill the details in of the one you have.

  • 1
    I suppose this has been downvoted because of its speculative nature or its lack of sources. The conclusion is probably correct, but the consequences of being wrong could be severe: a lifetime ban from the US for misrepresentation under 8 USC (a)(6)(c). – phoog Jul 1 '18 at 12:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.