I am an American/Australian citizen. I have had two American passports as a kid and teen, but have lived in Australia most of my life, and in America as a teen for three years.

I did not have my passport in time to return to America, so entered with my Australian passport under the Visa Waiver Program.

Now I want to stay in USA. I am in process of getting USA passport, but will I be able to change immigration status? Will this automatically change as I am an American citizen with a passport or what? Just curious as to what I do next. I don’t want to have to leave then come back again.

  • 1
    Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/85389/…
    – user79658
    Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 22:45
  • 10
    The good thing for you is that as a US citizen they can’t throw you out, so basically if DHS comes knocking on your door you can just show your passport. But to be able to enter the US under the VWP and get an ESTA, you must have lied on your application, as the form asks for your other nationalities, and US citizenship would have been a cause for automatic denial. Not sure if there are any penalties for that in your situation, but DHS really doesn’t like that. Note that there is no such thing as “too late for a passport”, US embassies can issue emergency passports.
    – jcaron
    Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 22:54
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    Did you disclose your US citizenship in your ESTA application?
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 4:40
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    Everyone, please, I didn’t lie on the esta site at all,since all this can be checked anyway, I simply clicked,yes, I’m a dual citizen and yes I had an American passport before when asked..nothing happened,it was approved..I’ve lived in Australia most of my life, but now need to stay due to my family who are here,and their health. Thankyou all
    – Becky
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 7:37
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    So you didn't lie on the ESTA application, and you didn't lie to the border officer. I am very curious to know what stamp the officer placed in your Australian passport, if any. Or rather, what notation the officer wrote under "class." Does it say "WT," "USC," or something else?
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


There really is no status to change. The reality and fact that you are a USA citizen supersedes any lie you told (if you indeed told any lie) to enter on your foreign passport. Your status has been and will always be that of a USA citizen until you officially and formally renounce your US Citizenship. Lying to immigration (unlike for visitors and permanent residents) has no effect on your underlying citizenship.

Just go about your life normally and apply for the passport normally. They will have records confirming your citizenship. On your next trip to the USA just use your USA passport.

  • Correct. There's absolutely nothing to do.
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 6:49
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    I actually DELETED my own answer, because this whole QA is just wildly overblown and over-examined. As HWC says there is no issue now for the OP. Nada.
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 19:52
  • @Fattie there's no reason to delete your answer. My point was that getting a US passport does not make the issues go away because they already don't exist. A US citizen could enter the US on an Australian passport and never get a US passport and still stay indefinitely.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 20:24

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