I have dual citizenship, USA & a Caribbean island. If I enter the USA with only my Caribbean island passport, will they know I am a USA citizen?

  • 3
    It is a good way to spend more time with the customs :)
    – Amine
    May 8, 2014 at 19:33
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    Not quite an answer but wouldn't you be asked for a visa with your other passport? Also, airlines transmit data on their passengers to US authorities. I don't know how these data are used but if you presented your US passport to the airline, it could be a way for CBP to notice you. Finally, as an alien, you would typically be asked about the purpose of the trip, etc. You might have to lie or reveal information that betrays your citizenship or at least raises suspicion.
    – Relaxed
    May 8, 2014 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


As a US citizen, you must enter the USA under your American passport, not using any other, it's illegal to do otherwise.

I am an American citizen, but also have a foreign passport. Can I use my foreign passport to travel to the United States?

No. Under U.S. law, U.S. citizens must be in possession of a valid U.S. passport to enter or leave the United States. This is true even if you hold a passport from another country. If your U.S. passport has been lost or stolen, or if it has expired, you must apply to replace it before traveling to the United States.

Source (US embassy in the UK)

U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States.

Source (State Department)

As for if they would know, that depends (there are ways that suggest it, including but not only place of birth, along with some databases), but Travel.SE policy is not to aid people in breaking the law so alas all we can say is you need to enter on your US passport...

  • 4
    That's not the question, though... will they know the OP is a US citizen?
    – Flimzy
    May 8, 2014 at 18:13
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    (Although I think it's worth pointing out the legal issue, but the question should still be answered. The fact that they are asking the question probably implies they already understand the legal implications).
    – Flimzy
    May 8, 2014 at 18:14
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    @Gagravarr: 1) The policy you quote is not nearly that hard-lined. 2) It's not necessary that the OP is trying to do something illegal. 3) There are times on this site when advice to do something possibly "illegal" has stood--in fact in a situation nearly identical to this one.
    – Flimzy
    May 8, 2014 at 20:34
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    @Gagravarr: So as not to get hung up on the technicality, pretend the question is "I know it's illegal, but out of curiosity, would they know?"
    – Flimzy
    May 8, 2014 at 20:38
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    Depends. I know at least one person (wife of a good friend) who was identified as a US citizen at immigration despite travelling on their European passport, so it can happen
    – Gagravarr
    May 8, 2014 at 20:39

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