My daughter is still waiting for her US passport and we both have dual citizenship (French / American). Travelling this Friday to Europe she will have to use her French passport. Delta on the phone said it's OK but on some websites I see that they may ask for both passports at check in and perhaps at customs leaving JFK?


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I've never done it with Delta, but I do it all the time with European airlines. There is no routine customs or immigration inspection of departing passengers. There is an extremely remote possibility that CBP will do a spot check at the gate. I have never encountered one.

  • Thank you so much! We will try then! I have her birth certificate that shows she was born here so it should nt be a worry if there is a custom officer i believe? Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 9:36
  • @JenniferMazigh if there is a customs officer, you should hope that the customs officer does not notice that your daughter is a US citizen because in that case she may be prevented from boarding. (There is a law that requires US citizens to be in possession of a US passport to leave the US, but there is no penalty for violating that law.) You will need her US passport to return to the US.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 10:42
  • By the way, the CBP “spot check” on exit is not mandatory. Tell them that your lawyer instructed you not to speak to law-enforcement personnel without her present and walk past them. Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 19:27
  • Thank you all for your comments! I talked to many and even a custom agent at jfk on phone and he said ‘we dont pay attention much to what passport when you leave’ and many of my dual citizenships friends have been traveling with european passports as well with no problems! Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 23:35
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    @Malvolio that's highly unlikely to be effective. These are customs inspections conducted as a control on export violations (for example, amounts of cash greater than USD 10,000 in value). Therefore, they are not "optional," and the border search exception applies. If she doesn't cooperate, the officer can prevent her from boarding the plane.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 0:00

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