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I am leaving soon to visit my country for emergency purposes and I have sent my US passport application in, but for routine service only and then all of a sudden we decided to go back to our country sooner than expected as soon as we booked the flight, I have called in to expedite it but they have the right to say no, they said. I am also not sure if it will come before my flight. Can I leave with my Canadian passport and let my mother bring my U.S passport to me once it finishes processing and enter with it when I come back to the U.S? and also will the immigration know that my US passport is still processing when I present my Canadian passport when I leave? (that is if I don't receive my passport by the time of my flight) hoping to get answers on this..

marked as duplicate by CMaster, Gagravarr, JoErNanO, CGCampbell, Kate Gregory Nov 20 '15 at 18:06

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    That should work, Canada doesn't have exit immigration. Note that you're required to enter the US with your US passport, you're very likely to pass US immigration in Canada – blackbird Nov 19 '15 at 22:30
  • I live in the U.S and still waiting for my US passport, but I would have to leave with my Canadian passport when I don't get my US passport before my flight, so would they have any problems when they see my US Passport entering back with no stamp? – Stephanie Nov 19 '15 at 22:54
  • Most likely you'll use the automated kiosk and there won't be a stamp, you have a perfectly valid explanation in any case – blackbird Nov 19 '15 at 22:58
  • since there is no exit immigration in the US, I don't have to worry about them knowing that my US passport is still processing? and not have a problem and leave with my Canadian and comeback with the US? – Stephanie Nov 19 '15 at 23:01
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    @Stephanie there's no reason for them to stop processing your application. So what if you aren't in the country right now. You are still a US citizen, therefore entitled to a passport. You've submitted all the relevant paperwork, so now you ar ejust waiting for processing. It's a bit like worrying Amazon would stop fulfilling your order if you went on holiday... – CMaster Nov 20 '15 at 7:59
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To answer your questions:

Can I leave with my Canadian passport

US law says you must leave the US "bearing" a US passport, but there is no consequence for breaking this rule. The US doesn't have exit checks, so there is no practical difference what you "leave with".

and let my mother bring my U.S passport to me once it finishes processing and enter with it when I come back to the U.S?

Yes

and also will the immigration know that my US passport is still processing when I present my Canadian passport when I leave? (that is if I don't receive my passport by the time of my flight) hoping to get answers on this..

As mentioned above, the US has no exit checks. So you do not "present" anything to "immigration" when you leave the US.

  • But they will scan my Canadian passport somewhere wont they? Do you think they will find out that I am applying for a US passport for the first time? Wouldn't that affect my passport application when I leave without the US passport? @user102008 – Stephanie Nov 20 '15 at 2:07
  • I am not sure if the CBP officers' systems are connected to passport applications or not, that's why I am wondering if they will find out or not.. @user102008 – Stephanie Nov 20 '15 at 2:16
  • @Stephanie: "But they will scan my Canadian passport somewhere wont they?" You do not interact with US immigration when you leave the US. Your airline will pass passport information for passengers (APIS) to the US government after the fact. This is often just the passport information for entering the destination country (in this case Canada), though there is sometimes space for a second passport that can be used by US citizens to report their US passport when leaving if it's different from the passport they use to enter the other country. – user102008 Nov 20 '15 at 3:29
  • @Stephanie: "Do you think they will find out that I am applying for a US passport for the first time? Wouldn't that affect my passport application when I leave without the US passport?" Maybe they could "find out", may be they won't. But why does that matter? Why do you think that will affect your passport application. I don't think they can deny a passport application for this reason. – user102008 Nov 20 '15 at 3:30
  • yeah you may be right, idk i'm just too paranoid coming up with all the possibilities that could possibly happen specially i'm a first time applicant. do you think I should contact CBP a week before my flight if I still don't get approved for the expedite request? or just leave with my Canadian and let my mom bring the US passport to me and come back with the US passport? – Stephanie Nov 20 '15 at 5:12
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Are you asking whether you can leave the US on one passport and enter it on another? Yes, you can.

The US doesn't have exit immigration, so there is no passport you leave on. Since you want to enter the US on a US passport, you'll have no issues since US citizens have a right to enter the US.

  • oh that's great then, but my US passport is still processing, so technically I wont be traveling with with my US I wont have it on hand, my mother would have to bring it to me once she receives it.. – Stephanie Nov 19 '15 at 22:49
  • since there is no exit immigration in the US, I don't have to worry about them knowing that my US passport is still processing? and not have a problem and leave with my Canadian and comeback with the US? – Stephanie Nov 19 '15 at 22:58
  • Check here and here, seems we're both wrong. A US passport is needed both to leave and enter – blackbird Nov 20 '15 at 0:59
  • @blackbird57 the law requires that US citizens "bear" a US passport, but it is not enforced, and there is no penalty for violating the law. Nobody leaving the US actually shows a passport to any government official. They do show them to the airlines, but that doesn't really matter -- the airline presumably reports that someone left with a foreign passport, but when there's no matching entry record, nothing happens. There was formerly a penalty, but it was repealed in the 1970s. – phoog Nov 20 '15 at 17:11
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According the US Immigration and Nationality Act, you're required to leave and enter on nothing but a US passport. While it's true there is no exit check, but you'll be doing so at your own risk.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by the President and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may authorize and prescribe, it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport.

Having confirmed flight tickets with a close date should entitle you to the fastest expedited service at the passport agency which is five business days at the moment.

  • While it's "unlawful", there is no penalty in the law for doing so. See travel.stackexchange.com/questions/30280/… – jpatokal Nov 20 '15 at 1:11
  • @jpatokal right, so as always the final say is with CBP. Still seems risky though – blackbird Nov 20 '15 at 1:15
  • @blackbird57 oh my goodness no :( I am just worried that they might not issue me my us passport when I leave... (If ever I don't get it before my flight.) I have read some comments on other questions that they were able to go throught with it but that was way back in 2008 they said. – Stephanie Nov 20 '15 at 1:21
  • When's your flight ? I suggest calling CBP or getting something in writing from them about your options in this case, I'm sure they'll find an exception or a provision. Especially since as @jpatokal mentioned there doesn't seem to be a penalty for this law – blackbird Nov 20 '15 at 1:23
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    @Stephanie the passport center will neither know nor care that you have left the country while your passport application is in process. – phoog Nov 20 '15 at 18:28

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