I'm hoping someone may able to answer my question...

I am a dual citizen of US and Canada. I was born in the states but grew up in Canada and like alot of other dual citizens, I hold both Canadian and US passports. I have never lived in the states so I dont have the social security number and other documentations beside my birth certificate and my passport. (The officials in US consulate in Toronto never says its a problem without another US documentations when they know I never live in US)

My US passport has expired in April and I have since tried to make an appointment with the US consulate in Toronto, but the earliest appointment available at the time of booking was June 4th. Here's the problem ... I'm flying to Vegas on Monday and I am now worried if I will be denied entry into the USA with an expired US passport... I know I have to present my US passport at point of entry and cannot use my Canadian passport (which I have used for my last month trip to Asia).

Will the custom deny my entry ? I'm planning to print out my appointment page and present to the officer as well and was planning to go renew my passport in Nevada if i have to... just wonder if someone has similar experience


1 Answer 1


As a citizen you can't be denied entry once you arrive on US soil. You will still have to prove you're a citizen, but the expired US passport will go a long way to do that.

It is, however, still "unlawful" for a US citizen to enter the US without holding a valid US passport, no matter whether you have a different valid passport -- see 8 U.S.C. 1185(b) -- but on the other hand the law does not authorize any punishment for doing so, so it would appear the worst they can do to you is give you a bad day.

Plan to spend a good handful of hours in immigration limbo after landing -- that way any surprise is most likely to be in a pleasant direction.

NOTE THAT if you're flying from a Canadian airport with preclearance, the cannot-deny-entry-to-a-citizen principle does not apply, since you're not actually on US soil yet at the point where you would be turned away.

In any case, you should be showing only the Canadian passport to the airline at checkin; nothing illegal about that.

  • Given that the Canadian passport will reflect a US place of birth, the border officer will have ample evidence to suspect that the traveler is a US citizen. However, presenting yourself with a Canadian passport can only cause you to lose your citizenship if you do so with the intent of losing your US citizenship, and the presumption is that such intent does not exist. The chance of losing US citizenship by doing that is therefore effectively zero.
    – phoog
    May 26, 2015 at 20:50
  • @phoog: Hmm, good points -- will remove the paragraphs in question. May 26, 2015 at 20:52

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