My mother is Canadian, I was born in the U.K. My plan is to apply for Canadian citizenship and then for Canadian passport to prevent me needing an ESTA to travel to the US.

Is this possible and will there be any problems?

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    What exactly is your question? Dec 25, 2016 at 22:30
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    There are plenty of good reasons to apply for a Canadian passport if you're eligible for it, but the slight inconvenience of the ESTA process alone doesn't seem like a great one. I'd go for it if you have another reason (which could include coming to the US for six months as a Canadian) or simply want the passport, but if it's just about avoiding the ESTA, you'll wind up spending far more money and trouble on the Canadian paperwork than the couple of minutes and the few dollars for the ESTA approval. Dec 25, 2016 at 23:04
  • @ZachLipton, I don't believe one should collect citizenships as one collects different credit cards. Becoming a citizen should be a genuine commitment to the nation, to exercise the right to vote responsibly, etc.
    – o.m.
    Dec 26, 2016 at 9:57
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    @o.m. I agree, though in this case it seems the OP may already be a Canadian citizen by birth, so it's more a mattter of exercising a citizenship they already have than acquiring a new one, still not something to take lightly. That said, Canada is now starting to require that its citizens, including dual citizens, only enter Canada with Canadian passports, so applying for the passport may be an official requirement if one also wishes to visit Canada and you're already a dual citizen. Dec 26, 2016 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


Is this possible

Afaict assuming you are "first generation abroad" (that is your mother was born in Canad) then yes it should be possible. If your mother was born outside of Canada then things get more complicated.

and will there be any problems?

I don't belive there should be any "problems" per-se, Neither the UK or Canada forbids dual citizenship.

However if your only reason for doing this is to make occasional short tourist/buisness visits to the USA by air and you have not done something that makes you ineligable for the VWP then it's IMO a lot of hassle for virtually no gain. There will likely be far more paperwork and expense involved in Excercising your canadian citizenship than in getting an ESTA.

OTOH if you have become ineligable for the VWP, you want to make longer visits to the USA than the ESTA allows or you want to cross the land borders of the USA frequently* then the Canadian citizenship route may make more sense.

* My understanding is that at land borders Canadians generally get waved through in their cars with minimal checks while VWP travellers have to park up, go into the immigration office and wait in a long queue.


Yes, this is possible. Once you are a Canadian citizen, with a Canadian passport, you will not need an ESTA to enter the US.

However, this is a LOT of cost and effort to go to if your only real purpose is to save $14 every 2 years on obtaining an ESTA. If you are obtaining Canadian citizenship for other reason, then yes, using your Canadian passport to enter the US would make sense. But doing it just to avoid obtaining an ESTA does not.

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