Here is my current situation. I am currently a dual citizen of the US and a EU country. I am currently waiting for my US passport to arrive but it might not arrive in time as I am desperately planning to travel to EU in about a month or so for vacation.

I am to receive my EU passport sooner than my US one. Due to this, is it possible that I leave the US on my EU passport, then have the US passport shipped over to the EU and re-enter the United States with the US passport.

Please leave a comment if you have any past experience or knowledge on this situation.

  • Possible, yes. Recommended, no. Just because USA prefers you enter and exit with US passport however nobody is going to arrest you.
    – user57303
    May 16 '17 at 5:43
  • 2
    @Phantom but the US does not check passports of exiting travelers.
    – phoog
    May 16 '17 at 6:47
  • What about returning to the US? A “month of vacation” suggests you want to return soon and would not have time to secure the passport while abroad. Entering the US might be a bigger problem than leaving per se
    – Relaxed
    May 16 '17 at 7:40
  • @phoog I believe at travel exchange policy is to encourage obeying the law.
    – user57303
    May 16 '17 at 11:19
  • 2
    @phantom it is. But discussing the practicalities of failing to comply with a toothless law such as this one hardly seems unethical. For example, we frequently discuss the potential consequences of overstaying tourist visas, a violation which usually does carry a penalty.
    – phoog
    May 16 '17 at 15:10

I am also a dual citizen of the US and an EU country. I routinely depart the US, bound for the EU, without showing my US passport to anyone. Nobody has ever said anything about this.

US law requires US citizens to "bear" a valid US passport when leaving the US. So the difference between my experiences and your plan is that I was in compliance with the law because I had my US passport in my pocket. Had anyone asked, I would have been able to show it. Another thing to keep in mind is that the law provides no penalty (there used to be a penalty, but it was repealed in the 1970s). So even if you leave the US without your passport, you are very unlikely to have any serious problem.

Your experience may depend on the airline, however. When I flew to Africa about a year ago, Delta's check-in kiosk asked my traveling companion, a non-US citizen, to scan her visa. Since I was planning to use my US passport on the other end, and we didn't have a lot of extra time, I just checked in with my US passport. I've never flown on Delta to the EU, or at least not recently, but it does seem like you might encounter some resistance if you try your plan with them.

I don't know whether other US-based airlines will have procedures similar to Delta's. The airlines I have flown with showing my EU passport are mostly EU companies, though I did fly to Curaçao using my EU passport a few months ago, on JetBlue, and nobody asked about my immigration status in the US.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.