I am a dual citizen with CA and the US. I currently reside in CA and have done so for the last 15 yrs (I am 22). I travel on my CA passport. This fall I will be traveling in the states for 89 days for what is considered a "non-academic institution". Do I need a student visa? I have not renewed my American passport in years.

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    As a US citizen, you are not eligible for a US visa.
    – phoog
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 17:57
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    @Harper that should be a separate question Commented May 18, 2017 at 9:01
  • @Harper no. US and Canadian citizens are still subject to customs inspection.
    – phoog
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 14:10
  • As you're a US citizen, you need a US passport or passport card or enhanced driving licence/state ID. To enter the US by air, you need a US passport
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 15:24
  • @LassiUosukainen thanks, asked. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/93526/… Commented May 18, 2017 at 18:27

3 Answers 3


If you are a US citizen, regardless of what other citizenships you might have, you can enter the US and do whatever you want, for as long as you want, without any kind of visa. Just renew your US passport and use it to enter the US.

(If you've previously traveled to the US on your Canadian passport, technically that was illegal. It doesn't have any practical consequences, as far as anyone seems to know, but the US does want you to use your US passport.)

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    Assume X is a nation in good standing regarding citizen and human rights, probably also a UN member in good standing: If you are a X citizen, regardless of other citizenships you have, you have the right to enter, stay, do whatever is lawfully allowed and leave X without any kind of visa. article 13 Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:56
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    @Necreaux high profile cases of US nationality renunciation of which I'm aware, including that of Boris Johnson, are motivated by tax considerations, not passport requirements.
    – phoog
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 17:44
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    @1006a: Only for non-US citizens arriving in Canada by air. So the requirement to use a Canadian passport to enter Canada applies to most Canadian dual citizens, but not to the OP. See Dual Canadian citizens need a valid Canadian passport for more information. Commented May 17, 2017 at 19:20
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    Technically, you don't even need your US passport, or any other, to enter the US if you are a US citizen. It is highly recommended, though, to quickly prove your citizenship. In practice, a US driver's license will probably work fine, especially if paired with a US birth certificate, expired passport, and/or other supporting documents. CBP cannot legally refuse entry to US citizens, no matter how few documents you have (or people whose passports get stolen would be trapped outside the country). But they can hold you indefinitely until they can determine that you're really a citizen. Commented May 17, 2017 at 20:33
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    @SpehroPefhany: for a non-US-national establishing tax residency in the US makes a difference, but a US citizen -- even a dual citizen and even one residing abroad -- is already subjected to US income tax and to FBAR and FATCA (asset) reporting which can be even more of a problem; AFAIK US is unique in doing this. If OP doesn't already know about this they should learn; it's probably offtopic for travel.SX but I have seen several good Qs (and As) on it in money.SX. Commented May 18, 2017 at 20:18

You do not need a visa. Furthermore, you cannot get a visa, except perhaps in a situation where your US citizenship may be in doubt and you need to travel urgently. Because you have an expired US passport, that exception does not apply to you.

From the Foreign Affairs Manual of the US State Department, emphasis added:


a. Processing Visa Applications for Aliens Who May Have a Claim to U.S. Citizenship:

(1) Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants: You may not issue a visa to an individual who has been determined to be a U.S. citizen. However, if a nonimmigrant visa applicant with a possible claim to U.S. citizenship is unable or unwilling to delay travel until he or she has been able to obtain documents to establish that status, as determined by the posts citizenship and passport officer, you may presume that the applicant is an alien pursuing a nonimmigrant visa application. If you find the presumed alien eligible to receive the visa then you may issue the visa.


As a general rule everywhere in the world:

  • States are mainly interested in your citizenship in the sense of whether you are their citizen or not.
  • Their main stand about your other citizenship is "none of our business".
  • If you are a citizen of a state, you can enter or leave it any time.

There are many, many, many exceptions, but in practice you can face them rarely.

For the U.S., what matters is whether you are a U.S. citizen or not. If you are not, then it could matter whether you have some other citizenship which makes your case easier. But being a U.S. citizen, it doesn't matter what other citizenships you have.

  • I'm not sure how true it is that most countries don't care if you have other citizenships. But, in any case, this doens't seem particularly relevant to the question, even if we generalize it to "I have dual citizenship of countries X and Y; do I need a visa to visit X?" Commented May 18, 2017 at 9:30
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    @DavidRicherby The essence of the question is that he wants to travel to the US, as a dual US & CA citizen. And the answer is that having US citizenship, his CA citizenship is irrelevant.
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 10:28
  • @DavidRicherby First, generally a country has access to and operates its databases, registries, and applies its laws on it. In general, its systems don't have access to the systems of other countries, and there is no guarantee about their incompatibility. For example, in Iran, stepping through the border as the wife of an Iranian citizen, also you are counted automatically as an Iranian citizen. A similar automatical citizenship granting is unimaginable in the western countries. The differences between the US & CA aren't so high, but this is the reason of the general case I described here.
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 10:42
  • @MorningStar a similar automatic granting of citizenship to wives was formerly common in western countries. I don't think it's "unthinkable" at all.
    – phoog
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 14:14

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