I'm a Dual Citizen, France and recently the USA. I applied for my first passport in the US, before flying immediately to Europe. In Europe I could see the Passport wouldn't be processed in time for me to fly back and was lucky to be awarded an Emergency US Passport, valid for One Year.

My questions are hard to find answers for and are.

  1. What happens to my pending Passport application and my original certificate of naturalization. Will this be made void by my emergency passport? And will they return my certificate? If I do get a passport from this process, how will I know if its valid?

  2. Is using this passport for a few months deemed acceptable? it appears as if it's valid for multiple entries but this seems against the spirit of the document's intention. I can see I can't use it to enter some countries, but could use my French passport for entry abroad and US passport to Leave and enter USA.

Thanks in advance.

( Reason for these questions is that I travel for work for a living, in the next 3 months am due to work in Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina and getting a "normal" US passport processed in this time will be very hard)

2 Answers 2


Your naturalization certificate should be returned to you regardless of the outcome. However I've heard of cases (including knowing people personally) where it wasn't. Whether it was due to mail being lost or it falling between the cracks in the passport office, or someone's negligence or theft - I don't know. So keep that eventuality in mind, but you have an emergency passport as the proof of your citizenship right now.

Just FYI - you can get a passport within 24 hours (a full one, not emergency), if you go to any of the passport offices in person with the documentation showing an imminent trip (within 14 days, or even 72 hours in specific cases). I know people who've done it (camping since 5AM in front of the passport office in San Francisco...). See here for details and instructions, you have to make an appointment.

I know someone made a claim in the comments before that if you apply for an emergency passport, your regular application will be canceled. I found no evidence of that to be true, based on the information on the Department of State website. I believe your application will continue being processed.

You can check the status of your current passport application here, or call the DoS:

The National Passport Information Center is available to answer your passport questions. 

  • Call us: 1-877-487-2778
    • Customer service representatives are available Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time (closed on federal holidays)
    • Automated passport information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Using your current passport is acceptable as long as it shows that it is valid. I know many countries require visas for emergency passports even if they don't require them for regular passports, but since you have the French passport as well you should be good for most travels (I don't know if there are cases where French need visa but Americans don't, but even if there are - you won't be worse off).


The other answer mentions a "claim in the comments before that if you apply for an emergency passport, your regular application will be canceled." I don't see such a claim, but I did speculate in my answer to your other question that an emergency passport application "might cause your pending passport application to be abandoned."

This is because second passports are available "in limited circumstances," with validity of no more than four years, and with "a special endorsement code to indicate [the bearer has] a limited-validity, second passport book" (source: travel.state.gov/.../second-passport-book.html).

There are a few possibilities for reconciling these conditions with the present circumstances.

One is that the usual option to replace the emergency passport free of charge with a full passport might be unavailable. Another is that the first passport would be cancelled only if you make use of that option. Another is, as I speculated, that the emergency passport application would cause the prior application to be cancelled automatically.

In all of these cases, you ought to end up with a single ten-year passport, having paid for two applications.

Another possibility, of course, is that the government somehow misses the duplication and allows you to replace your emergency passport free of charge even after issuing a full passport from the first application, in which case you would end up with two ten-year passports. Now I suspect that there are controls in place to prevent this, but it's not entirely inconceivable that the controls don't take into account the possibility of a US citizen leaving the US with a passport application under consideration. Still, if the passport office does send you a passport from the first application, you might want to try to confirm that it is valid. If it is not, or if the application is not successful because of the subsequent emergency passport, then you will certainly want to make use of the replacement option mentioned above.

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