This is a bit of a complicated case. I am a dual citizen of UK and US, though am a resident of the US. I left the USA with my British passport (the exit stamp is in my British passport). Since then I have been travelling exclusively with my British passport through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. All the stamps are in my British Passport. Now, I want to go to Cuba. If I use my British passport then I will end up, even if I avoid the entry stamp to Cuba, with two entry stamps to Mexico in a short period of time, a telltale sign of someone who has travelled to Cuba. Then when I return to the US, I may have to explain. My other option, as I see it, is ironically enough using my American passport. I wont get an entry stamp to Cuba, I'll just end up with an entry stamp to Mexico. However, when I arrive back in the US, I will present my British passport with no evidence of my trip to Cuba. I suppose the downside is that my US passport will always have that odd entry stamp.

Any suggestions? Is there any way to avoid getting the extra entry stamp into Mexico? Should I pay the immigrations officer off?

  • 8
    Why would you show your UK passport on return to the US? Surely you'll just show your US one, since that's what you must use to enter the US as a US citizen?
    – Gagravarr
    Feb 23, 2014 at 0:22
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    More importantly, why did he have to show his UK passport on leaving the US? And how is there an exit stamp? I've never heard of that in the US ...
    – Ansari
    Feb 23, 2014 at 4:47
  • 2
    Ansari is right. The U.S. does not have exit checks. You cannot get an exit stamp.
    – user102008
    Feb 24, 2014 at 4:40
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    It is required that you use your US passport to enter the US, if you are a US citizen. Any stamp that was put in your British passport will be for purposes of establishing the time you were in the US, for visa waiver purposes - which is irrelevant if you are actually a US citizen. So use your British passport for the Cuba visit, and your US passport when you return to the US. Feb 25, 2014 at 15:16
  • 5
    It would be remiss of us not to remind you that it is illegal (for practical purposes) for US citizens to visit Cuba, even if they are also citizens of another country. Feb 25, 2014 at 15:17

1 Answer 1

  1. As several commenters have said US citizens must enter and exit the US on their US passport no matter how many other passports that they hold. So there is no reason for the US border people to be looking at any other passport you might have to start with. Relax!
  2. If you are concerned that somehow they will look for two stamps from Mexico in your UK passport then just leave Cuba for a different country such as a Caribbean island. Then return to Mexico from there. Without any Cuban stamps it will appear you left Mexico and arrived in said island.
  3. If you are super paranoid that they will examine the dates of the stamps then arrive in Cuba in the early morning and depart in the late evening for a day trip. All the dates will line up ok.
  4. If you are still worried maybe you should not be vising Cuba to start with. It is illegal for US citizens to visit Cuba, though the law is not often applied.

You need to decide if it is more important to you personally whether to follow a law that many people consider to be silly and not often prosecuted or have an interesting travel. Given the hundreds of thousands of laws currently in the US it has been estimated that all citizens break some law every day. The government just doesn't go after them unless it has a personal grudge against them. Relax. Happy Travels!

  • It's not illegal for US citizens to visit Cuba... They just can't spend any money there, buy things, or take things there... Exceptions for students, scientists, and some other exceptions. See this link for more Sep 11, 2015 at 21:22

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