My child is entitled to US citizenship but we have been unable to register her birth abroad as due to covid we cannot get an embassy appointment. She has a valid UK passport. We need to travel to the US, will she be able to enter the US on her UK passport? She would be travelling with me (UK passport holder), my husband (US passport holder) and our other child (US passport holder).

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    In theory, no. In practice, maybe, but do you want the stress? There are already so,e similar questions here, but I couldn't find one that was so close I'd call it a duplicate.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 4:44
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    The main issue is that to even be allowed to board, she will need an ESTA, and the ESTA form asks for other nationalities, where you should state she is also a US citizen. This should prevent the ESTA from being authorised, but there have been reports that people have successfully been granted an ESTA in this situation. The jury is still out on this one. The other (minor) issue is that most non-US citizens are not allowed to travel to the US from the UK at this time due to COVID. You will need to prove that she is the child of a US citizen (like you need to prove you are the spouse of one).
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 7:53
  • @jcaron both issues can be bypassed by flying via Mexico and crossing the border overland. Luckily the Mexican air border is wide open.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 10:09
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    'My child is entitled to US citizenship' : is your child only "entitled" or does it actually HAS US citizenship ?
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 12:05
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    @Hilmar we have not been able to do her consular report of a birth abroad so she doesn’t have her citizenship certificate yet or US passport. I say “entitled” because the language on the embassy website refers to children in her situation having an “entitlement” to US citizenship but despite that wording my understanding is that she is automatically a US citizen from birth by virtue of her Dad (who is a US citizen who satisfies the residency requirements to pass on citizenship) Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


Your best shot is to try for an ESTA.

The ESTA application will ask you specifically if you have other citizenships and you need to answer truthfully. The rules about ESTA for US citizens are unclear and there have been cases where an ESTA was issued without problems. As with many things CBP, the rules are vague and there is an unfortunate amount of "officer discretion".

If there is a field for comments in the application, add that you couldn't get a passport due to Covid. There are currently Covid exceptions for expired passports so maybe their is one for non-issued passports as well.

If that gets denied, you can consider a land border through Mexico or Canada. These are currently restricted due to Covid, so you need to read up on the exact details of the current conditions. The current restrictions are in place until June 21, but what happens after this is anyone's guess. See https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-land-border-restrictions-extended-with-canada-mexico-2021-05-20/#:~:text=United%20States%20land%20borders%20with,extended%20in%2030%2Dday%20increments.

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    What happens at June 21 is they will almost certainly extend the restrictions for another month. They've been doing it month by month since March 2020 and there's no indication that there will be any change this month.
    – Midavalo
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 14:57
  • The US land border is open for spouses and children of US citizens so it won’t be a problem, unless the rules become more strict in the future.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 17:03
  • @JonathanReez *shouldn't be a problem, but probably will be
    – Midavalo
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 17:07
  • “ but I know people who have had a very stressful time crossing” - were they denied after all or were they allowed to enter? I’m sure it won’t be a 1 minute border crossing but the border guards don’t really have a reason to reject you.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 17:09
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    @JonathanReez I don't have the time nor the space in comments, to describe all the difficulties I have heard of, but "won't be a problem" is very unlikely. I know of people who have been questioned for hours before being allowed in, I know of people (but don't know them) who have said their family members were denied entry despite being spouse and/or children of US citizens (but traveling without US passport or other US issued ID). I know US citizens (traveling with US passport etc.) who have had problems, been overly questioned (and more), regarding crossing for non-essential reasons...
    – Midavalo
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 17:14

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