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I have Irish, British and American citizenship and currently hold valid Irish and British passports and an American passport issued when I was a child that has been expired for over 10 years. I currently live in the UK. I have a job in the US I will be working for 12 weeks this summer beginning the first week of June, with a flight booked for June 1st.

I have been checking the US embassy in London's website, earlier this year they had no routine appointments available for passport applications and said to apply for an emergency passport 4 weeks before the date of travel. Now they are only accepting applications for emergency appointments 5 days before the date of travel. If I wait until 5 days before my flight how likely is it that I will be able to get both an appointment and receive my emergency passport in those 5 days?

If it is unlikely I was wondering if it would be possible to apply for an ESTA and enter the US using my Irish passport, then renew my American passport when I arrive to then be employed as a US national and leave the country on my American passport?

I cannot apply for any work visas as the company made explicit I was only being hired as a US national and they cannot assist with visa applications.

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  • I don't know whether the embassies and consulates in the UK are limited by geography, but (if they do passports and exist) are all the consulates under the same restriction? What about in Dublin? – Azor Ahai -him- Apr 6 at 3:08
  • Ne careful to to,state any obviously wrong things like what’s your intention of the trip. If you want to stay and work, don’t confirm otherwise in your visa waiver applicant. – eckes Apr 6 at 3:18
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    This is answered in detail at: Will U.S Embassy give a B1/B2 visa to a dual citizen even one of his nationality is USA? while that question is about B1/B2, the law is crystal clear: " A national of the United States shall not be issued a visa or other documentation as an alien for entry into the United States." – chx Apr 6 at 6:07
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    Technically it is unlawful to enter the US as an US citizin without a US passport. (although there doesnt seem to be a penalty: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/85389/…) – lalala Apr 6 at 9:19
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    @chx yet ESTA appears not to fall under that law, since we have many reports of US citizens receiving ESTA authorization using a foreign passport even after disclosing US nationality on the ESTA application. – phoog Apr 6 at 13:14
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If I wait until 5 days before my flight how likely is it that I will be able to get both an appointment and receive my emergency passport in those 5 days?

Very likely. The embassy wouldn't be imposing this restriction if it meant that substantial numbers of citizens were unable to fulfill their need for an emergency passport.

it would be possible to apply for an ESTA and enter the US using my Irish passport, then renew my American passport when I arrive to then be employed as a US national and leave the country on my American passport?

You can certainly apply. Your application may be refused. Even if it is not refused, the airline may notice that you are a US citizen and refuse to allow you to board the plane. If you are flying through a preclearance airport (from Ireland or Canada to the US, for example), the US immigration inspector may prevent you from boarding the plane. In short, there's a good chance that this wouldn't work.

If you can get into the US using your Irish passport, that doesn't change your employability. You would nonetheless be a US citizen and therefore allowed to work even if you don't have a US passport (though you will need to fulfill the requirements of the I-9 form, and the simplest way to do that is probably with the US passport).

I cannot apply for any work visas as the company made explicit I was only being hired as a US national and they cannot assist with visa applications.

Anyway, the US (like every country I'm aware of) does not grant visas to its own citizens, so you would never get a work visa. This brings up another point: if you do manage to board the plane with your Irish passport and associated ESTA, you still ought to present yourself at the border as a US citizen who doesn't have a passport. You'll get a talking to, perhaps, and then you'll be admitted as a US citizen.

But again, even if somehow you enter on the visa waiver program, without mentioning your US citizenship, with a stamp in your passport saying "WT" ("waiver, tourist"), that doesn't change the fact that you are legally a US citizen, entitled to work, and entitled to remain in the US indefinitely.

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    This is correct during ordinary times, but people who have recently been physically present in the UK, Ireland, or Europe are generally forbidden from entering the US due to the covid-19 pandemic. One of the exceptions is US citizens, but if you do not have a US passport (or an ability to demonstrate that you meet one of the other exemptions), it is extremely unlikely that an airline will let you on the plane. – mlc Apr 5 at 23:31
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    I have read the following multiple times ` the airline may notice that you are a US citizen and refuse to allow you to board the plane. If you are flying through a preclearance airport (from Ireland or Canada to the US, for example), the US immigration inspector may prevent you from boarding the plane`, but can't understand why. The OP is a US citizen, so they should be always allowed to "return home". Counterexample: I have an EU passport. Suppose I lose it on the airplane's ramp. I can still enter any Schengen country if I can prove my nationality e.g. using a national ID – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Apr 6 at 11:53
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    "you will need to fulfill the requirements of the I-9 form, and the simplest way to do that is probably with the US passport": While at one time this could be done with an expired passport, the I-9 now requires an unexpired passport. – Lee C. Apr 6 at 12:18
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    @usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ presumably because of 8 USC 1185(b), which in general requires US citizens to have a valid US passport when leaving or entering the US. For an anecdote describing one incident, see travel.stackexchange.com/a/66152/19400. US citizens who lose their US passports after boarding will normally be admitted. – phoog Apr 6 at 12:47
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    @usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ furthermore, the national ID is explicitly a document for international travel under EU free movement law. The most closely analogous US document, the passport card, is explicitly not to be used for international air travel, and very few people have one. The most common identification document in the US by far is the driver's license, which does not establish nationality. – phoog Apr 6 at 13:10

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