I entered the US in May on my US passport and have been travelling for almost 3 months. A couple of weeks ago my US passport was stolen, and so I reported it, but due to me not having a permanent address I have not been able to reorder a new passport.

I have a UK passport however and was wondering if it would be impossible to leave on that one?

  • 2
    It will be possible to leave on that one but not legal. The USA requires citizens to use their USA citizenship for entry and exit. Maybe you can get temporary papers or have the passport send to your last address (hotel?) in the USA.
    – Willeke
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:13
  • I am leaving in 2 weeks and expedited passport services are around the $200 mark not including US gov fees for the actual passport which are another $170. I will get a new US passport as soon as I am home but can really not afford to get expedited services here in US before I leave you know?
    – Laura J
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:18
  • By "home" do you mean that you live in the UK? Aug 17, 2016 at 21:21
  • You should also find out if your travel insurance includes cover for replacing lost/stolen passports. It might pay for part or all of the cost. Aug 17, 2016 at 21:24
  • Home is new zealand. Thank goodness my nz visa is in my UK passport. Already checked about the insurance thing.
    – Laura J
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


You may leave without an American passport. The United States does not have a government exit procedure, so at airport check-in, you would be showing whichever passport would be more convenient for your country of destination. If you were returning to the UK, for example, your UK passport would be better (although since US citizens do not need advance visa for UK, not that much better). Supposing you were a dual USA-Ruritania citizen and Ruritania requires advance visas for Americans, the advantage of the Ruritanian passport would be obvious.

You must, however, use your replacement USA passport when you next come into the United States.

  • Please note, however, that there is a paper departure form required of American citizens (including emergency contact information), and you should fill that out. Aug 17, 2016 at 21:26
  • The USA does ask citizens to check-in showing their USA passport, although you can additionally show a non USA passport if that solves visa items. It is not likely you will get into problems for not showing your USA passport.
    – Willeke
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:26
  • Back in the days of paper I-94Ws (not sure if those still exist for some countries?), check-in agents would ask questions if you exited with a non-US passport without the green stub in the passport (as they were supposed to return it to the authorities. There might be a similar procedure for the electronic equivalent nowadays? I don't remember being asked about it any time I did so (but I had my US passport available if needed, so it would not have been an issue and would probably not even remember it if it was the case).
    – jcaron
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:48
  • 2
    Leaving without a valid passport is technically unlawful, as is returning without one. I have a colleague who is married with three children and each of the 5 has a different passport-by-birth. Airport checkin must be a circus. Aug 17, 2016 at 21:53
  • 1
    "technically unlawful": there is no penalty for violating the law; the penalty was repealed in the 70s. The administrative penalty for entering without a passport is an admonition that you need to get a passport, and there is none for leaving without one.
    – phoog
    Aug 18, 2016 at 3:34

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