I am Mexican and only have a Mexican passport, but I am also an American citizen. I was wondering if I needed to have an American passport to travel from Austin to Guadalajara (roundtrip) or is ok with my Mexican passport?

  • I was pretty sure that Americans only needed a valid US ID to be allowed back over the border from Mexico. But my info could very well not be up to date. If this is still true I would assume you could leave the US on any ID and enter Mexico on your Mexican passport. Aug 11 '16 at 15:34
  • 1
    You can go, but you'll have trouble coming back. What happened to your US passport? Aug 11 '16 at 15:46
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    @hippietrail perhaps you have not heard of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). This has been in place for nearly a decade. IDs other than those accepted under the WHTI are not typically held except by people who have made specific preparations for international travel (and don't typically serve as evidence of nationality).
    – phoog
    Aug 11 '16 at 16:11
  • Thanks @phoog - it has been over a decade since I was in the US or crossed the US-Mexico border. Aug 12 '16 at 6:44

By law, American citizens are restricted from using other nationality documents to enter the US.

Therefore, you cannot - as a US citizen, enter the US with your Mexican passport.

Here are the list of documents accepted for entry from US citizens by the CBP as listed on their website. If you are carrying any of these, then you can use them to enter the US.

Air Travel: All U.S. citizens departing from or entering the United States from within the Western Hemisphere by air are required to present a valid passport or NEXUS card (if utilizing a NEXUS kiosk when departing from a designated Canadian airport). Merchant Mariner Document (for U.S. citizens on official maritime business.) U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders; Note that children are also required to present their own passport when traveling by air.

Land or Sea Travel: U.S. citizens entering the United States by land or sea are required to present a valid WHTI-compliant document, which include:

  • U.S. Passports
  • U.S. Passport Cards
  • Enhanced Driver's Licenses
  • Trusted Traveler Cards (Global Entry*, NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
  • Military Identification Cards (for members of the U.S. armed forces on official orders)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document (for U.S. citizens on official maritime business)
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    Once you prove you are a citizen, you must be admitted, even without prescribed documentation. But that could take a long, long time (even with something like Certificate of Naturalization that you can use when you apply for passport), and is not recommended. Aug 15 '16 at 20:46
  • My wife and I were detained a long time because we did not have proof the two toddlers were our children. And this was before the 9-11 panic.
    – WGroleau
    Jul 5 '17 at 18:49

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