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I am a dual citizen of Malaysia and Canada. Malaysia does not allow dual citizenship.

If I apply for a US tourist visa in Malaysia using its passport while declaring that I am a Canadian dual citizen and provide its passport number on the visa application, will the US embassy object to it?

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    I don't know the answer to your question as asked, but as a Canadian citizen you can basically show up at the US border at any time and they will effectively just let you in (for tourism), subject to the usual brief interview. Canadians don't even need to get an ESTA, even if arriving by air. Of course you would need to present your Canadian passport. May 7, 2023 at 23:30
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    Yep, that sounds like an annoying problem. Yes, you should be able to apply for a tourism visa (anybody can apply), but the process is long, invasive, expensive, inconvenient, and annoying - especially since you don't need one. An alternative is to fly through (or from) a third country such as Singapore or other country where Malaysians don't need a visa, and use your Canadian passport for the second flight. This involves booking two flights separately. May 7, 2023 at 23:39
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    The US does not care about Malaysian dual citizenship concerns.
    – Jon Custer
    May 8, 2023 at 2:07
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    Not sure about the enforcement in Malaysia, but in most cases you just need to give your Canadian passport details to the airline and present your Malaysian passport at exit control. Of course if they check for a visa for your destination they will find out about your other citizenship, but that only happens in countries which actually enforce the dual citizenship restriction, no idea if this is the case of Malaysia.
    – jcaron
    May 8, 2023 at 7:03
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    Book a flight with a lay over. Possibly not as a connecting flight (just have a longer layover). Preferably somewhere where Malaysians don't need a visa. Or book your flight from the US from a neighbouring country. Exit Malaysia going to your first stop on your Malaysian passport. Use Canada for the rest, and the reverse on the return. File it under "price to pay for a spare citizenship". May 8, 2023 at 14:08

2 Answers 2

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This is tricky situation. You are doing something that isn't permitted so there is no documented process around it.

As a Malaysian citizen, you would need a US visa, requiring you to fill out all 83 glorious pages of a DS-160 form. The form specifically asks about other other citizenships. Lying on the form is definitely not a good idea: if you get caught doing this you will be banned from US entry for a long time.

Chances are your visa application will be handled at some point by the US embassy or consulate in Malaysia. They will know that Malaysia doesn't recognize dual citizenship, but whether they would notify the Malaysian government is anyone's guess.

They may quite likely decline your visa anyway, simply because you don't need one. You have a Canadian passport: just use that. "I like to keep lying about my dual citizenship" isn't a exactly convincing reason for them to issue a visa.

You MAY be able to fly directly without a visa. You can use your Canadian passport to check in for your flight with the airline and use your Malaysian passport at immigration exit control. Whether this may result in you being found out depends a bit on what information the airlines and the government share. This isn't documented anywhere, so you would be taking a risk. I don't have any data to assess the size of that risk. This being said: using different passports for exit at the departure location and entry at the destination is perfectly normal and standard procedure.

The safest option is obviously to fly through a 3rd visa free country and switch passports there.

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    And it is not difficult to get from Malaysia to Singapore overland.
    – Jon Custer
    May 8, 2023 at 12:44
  • Re using different passports: The US probably won't stamp your Malaysian passport on entry (they will stamp the Canadian passport instead), and it definitely won't stamp you on exit (there are no exit controls), so you will present your passport to the Malaysian authorities with no stamps at all for the intervening time. They may notice the lack of stamps and ask where you were, so I would recommend the "third country" option - to my understanding, Singapore is the typical choice here.
    – Kevin
    May 8, 2023 at 23:45
  • "You are doing something that isn't permitted" What exactly that they're doing isn't permitted? Not permitted by whom?
    – user102008
    May 10, 2023 at 0:52
  • @user102008: OP wants to maintain dual citizenship which is not permitted by Malaysia. That's the premise of the whole question : how can they travel the US without Malaysia finding out. If they were to drop one citizenship, there would be no problem.
    – Hilmar
    May 11, 2023 at 14:49
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    @Hilmar: China is not Malaysia; the text of the laws are different. From reading the relevant section of the Malaysian constitution, I do not see anything "not permitted" about the OP's situation. I thought that if you claim that something is "not permitted", you would at least define what exactly that means and cite the text of the relevant law to support it.
    – user102008
    May 11, 2023 at 17:10
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The only safe answer in this convoluted situation is to go to the U.S. consulate in Malaysia and get an answer from them in writing that you can show to anyone along the way who might give you trouble, except for immigration control when you get back home to Malaysia; they would only get to see your Malaysian passport.

All the ideas about stopping on the way depend on the fact that you stopped not being discovered. There are many ways an immigration official might discover that you stopped on the way. This is one of the things that could, depending on their mood, cause them to "smell" that you're trying to get around the rules. Which you are. This fact will make you more likely to be discovered. As soon as an immigration official finds out there is anything you're hoping they wouldn't find, they will go into "full investigation" mode. You probably don't want this: even if they decide you're OK at the end, it would probably ruin the first day or two of your trip, which you might spend locked up in the airport until they complete their investigation.

Getting an opinion, in writing, from the U.S. consulate should eliminate this problem, since rather than doing something you hope they won't notice, you'd be playing with the rules. The consulate should be willing to help you, as it should be pretty obvious to them that this is a bureaucratic nightmare situation, which is pretty much exactly why they are there. Chances are, they will tell you that all you need is your Canadian passport. You will need to request a letter from them stating that, but hopefully they will realize that it's a sensible request and costs them little, and comply.

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    If the consulate issues OP a visa, why do they need to get anything in writing? If OP honestly states they have a Canadian passport on the application, there's nothing wrong with doing what they propose.
    – JonathanReez
    May 8, 2023 at 18:51

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