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Crossing Borders March 12, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Canada, Citizenship, NEXUS Card, Passports, USA.
Tags: , , , , ,

When crossing borders as a dual citizen, remember that the USA sees you as an American, and Canada sees you as Canadian, so it seems wisest to present your passports as such.

US Department of State has this to say about entering and leaving the USA:

Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada says:

The Canadian government strongly encourages you to use your Canadian passport when travelling abroad, especially when entering the country of your second citizenship.   … Using your Canadian passport may provide the basis under which Canada can provide you with consular assistance if you run into difficulties. You should also obtain a visa, if that is required for entry by Canadian citizens, and always present yourself as a Canadian when dealing with local authorities.

As far as ease of travel goes, it’s most definitely easier to present your US passport to US officials and Canadian passport to Canadian officials… Less confusion that way. (Of course, the NEXUS card alleviates all the hassle, since you declare both citizenships in the NEXUS application)

In regards to showing customs officials both passports, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada says this:

Travel: If you travel with two passports, you could be subject to increased scrutiny by immigration and security officials. You could be questioned about missing entry or exit stamps, as well as your reason for having two travel documents.

Personally, having used my passport, I’ve found that at least by entering and exiting via airlines, the stamping of entry and exit dates are rarely consistent, and between 3 round trips, I have all of 2 stamps, instead of the suggested 6, so I surmise that Canada/US relations rely more on (shared?) databases than on passport stamps.



1. http://yahoo.com - February 11, 2013

I really blog as well and I am creating a thing comparable
to this particular article, “Crossing Borders Dual Citizenship”.
Would you care in cases where I actuallyapply some of your tips?
Thanks ,Bernice

Matthew - February 11, 2013

Go for it! 🙂

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