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I lost my US passport in Croatia over the summer. I was given a temporary one by the US embassy in Croatia. And I have not been able to renew it yet and get the full passport with a chip.

I have a flight to Canada in 2 days and I was wondering since my Temp passport document does not expire until July of 2023 if I will have any issues using it. I also have a Croatian passport but I do know that you cannot leave and come back to the US without anything but a US passport. Will I have an issue flying because of this?

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  • Are you asking about issues using your temporary passport to travel to Canada? Or in general?
    – Traveller
    Sep 27, 2022 at 23:03
  • So the temp passport looks just like a regular one, only with four pages and it shows expiration in January. It does not have any info about restrictions on traveling with it. But basically it does not have a chip so I am wondering if they will allow me to travel to Canada with this document? Sep 27, 2022 at 23:38
  • You should be able to use your Croatian passport to enter Canada, assuming you get an eTA and don't plan to stay for more than 6 months. Canada does not require US citizens to enter with a US passport. Sep 28, 2022 at 0:20
  • If i try to use the temp passport and they say no is that an option, as I would then need to use that same passport to come back to US. Which I have read is not suggested. But my temp passport is still valid Sep 28, 2022 at 0:36
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    You can use your Croatian passport to enter Canada, and then use your US temporary passport to enter the US. There is no reason you need to use the same passport for both. Sep 28, 2022 at 1:25

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Canada doesn't seem to say anything much about US passports. I can't even find something that says whether a visitor's passport -- of any nationality -- must be valid for a certain period of time when the visitor arrives in Canada.

If you look at the information for international visitors, there is a link to a page purporting to give entry requirements by country. This isn't particularly helpful for you, however, because for US citizens it simply says

U.S. citizens must carry proper identification such as a valid U.S. passport.

The words "carry proper identification" are a hyperlink back to the first page.

Now in the past, Canada used to be fairly explicit that US citizens could enter as long as they can prove both their identity and their US citizenship, and that this could be done using multiple documents, such as a driver's license and a birth certificate. This was even true for some years after the US began introducing stricter documentary requirements at the border.

Over time, Canada became increasingly vague, recommending that you use a passport but making it difficult to determine what the absolute minimum requirements are. The lack of clearly stated requirements concerning passports suggests that any passport will do.

An eTA application can take up to 72 hours, though they are usually granted within a few minutes. Some peace of mind is probably reason enough to spend CAD 7 on an eTA application with your Croatian passport, but it looks like you would probably be fine with your temporary passport. At this point, it's all about your risk tolerance.

If your temporary passport works, it will be a bit simpler to use it for travel in both directions, but it's not particularly complicated to travel to Canada with the Croatian passport and back with the US passport, and it's certainly not illegal. There is no penalty for violating the US law on the use of US passports by US citizens, and furthermore you would not be violating it: It does not require you to "use" a US passport when you leave the US, only to "bear" it.

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  • Hmm okay! Thank you! So only question I have is do I need to do the eTA beforehand just in case or can this be done at the airport? Other thing is that when I was looking online yesterday to do an eTA It said US citizens don’t need it so I just stopped there. Sep 29, 2022 at 0:34
  • @MonikaMarkovic US citizens don't need eTA, that is correct. You need it if you plan to use your Croatian passport. I think you can do it at the airport but the longer you wait to do it the more likely that it wouldn't be approved in time.
    – phoog
    Sep 29, 2022 at 0:53
  • I just did the eTA and got an email for approval not even 5 mins later. I did put my BiH/ Croatian/ US citizenship on there 🤷‍♀️ Sep 29, 2022 at 3:40
  • @MonikaMarkovic sretan put!
    – phoog
    Sep 29, 2022 at 4:59
  • Awww thank you!! Update for you guys. I’m in Canada and didn’t have to resort to using my Croatian passport 😂. I feel like the TSA at Newark doesn’t care I guess they have bigger fish to fry. But when I got to Canada the guy was like what brings you to Canada? I’m like “ visiting friends”. Then he was like “and who are these friends” lol. Like idk people I grew up with and then he’s like ok. Haha. I think there was a pause in when my temp passport was scanned by the TSA but 🤷‍♀️ they didn’t seem to care. Sep 30, 2022 at 6:09

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