View Full Version : off topic US Passport

08-10-2014, 06:22 AM
I was born in California and am an Australian citizen, was just checking out the US consulates website, apparently I have to enter and leave the US on a US passport?
I have been there a few times already and no one has mentioned this? However myself and my wife and son are going to be there for New Years, my mother was one of ten!
i have a few Aunts and Uncles and Cousins to meet around New Jersey!
Anyway I dont want to do the wrong thing but it is a bit confusing- does anyone know the requirements?

08-10-2014, 07:58 AM
Hi Will,
Being born in the U.S. would make you an American citizen. At what point in your life did you renounce that citizenship to gain Australian citizenship or did you apply for dual citizenship? You should have some documentation from your parents as to where you stand. If you are still legally a U.S. citizen then an American passport would be in order.

michigan doug
08-10-2014, 08:12 AM
Things have changed over the years. I'm a us citizen. My wife is canadian (and now a dual citizen). In the old days (maybe it changed in the late 80's or early 90's) a kid with one US parent and one foreign parent was, of necessity, a dualy until the age of 18. At that point they had to choose one or the other nationality and give up one passport/citizenship. You were forbidden to be a dual citizen (by the US).

It wasn't evenly enforced, so even then, there were folks who kept their second passport and didn't officially renounce/give up their other citizenship. But when they crossed the border, they always avoided the issue about having two passports and just pretended to be US only.

After it changed, you can now openly and legally be a citizen of more than one county and openly carry both passports.

So, to the op, you may have lost your US status at some point, or maybe you didn't.

If you are a US citizen still, you will likely need a passport for easy border crossings. Call the consulate and have a discussion about your status as a US citizen. Emphasize that you are traveling soon (yeah, to them January is soon.)

We did it the legal way and it took 2 years and a ton of hassle and money to get her properly papered up. But her case is different than yours in the sense that she wasn't born here and was never a citizen of the US prior to her application. You may have been a citizen and might still be a citizen.

God bless immigration and naturalization.


08-10-2014, 08:53 AM
I'm an Australian citizen living in the US with an Australian passport, you should not need anything to travel to the US except a passport, a 90 day visa is issued to you on the plane. Its called the visa waiver program which is extended to the citizens of those countries that participate in the program.


Hope this helps.


08-10-2014, 09:13 AM
Exactly as rythmnbis says - no need to do anything -just travel on your Australian passport. You might want to pretend that you are NOT a US citizen because of tax returns.

loose nut
08-10-2014, 09:23 AM
My wife is a US citizen and now also Canadian, we live in Canada. We looked into her giving up her US status, she has to file tax forms every year even though she has no income (they are considerable more difficult and expensive if you live out side the US), but it is quite involved and expensive to do (they want to make sure you don't have any money they can suck out of you before you go). She crosses the boarder on her Canadian passport without any trouble, but is required to keep a US passport as long as she lives out side the US. Once she is to old or infirm or just doesn't want to go to the US anymore, which isn't very often now, then she will quite filing US taxes, holding a US passport and the US govmint can go pound salt.

08-10-2014, 09:28 AM
Apparently you don't need one to cross our southern boarder.
As long as you have a diseased child in tow.

08-10-2014, 12:52 PM
While in theory the US now recognizes dual citizenship, in practice the border agents don't want to hear about it. It just confuses and upsets them. Show them the same passport going and coming. Otherwise they may get snippity.

My dual-citizen wife and I went to Europe years ago, left from Canada, tried to return to the US, and the nearly wouldn't let us on the plane in France. Her Canadian passport was up to date, but she had not renewed the US one. After a prolonged, emotional, and heated discussion ("mais je suis *NE* dans Les Etats Unis!!") they finally did, but on arrival in the US we got a lecture, placed briefly in the detention room with a poor fellow from Korea who had no visa or some such, and they wanted us to pay a $100.00 fine.

Born in the US you should now be a US citizen in perpetuity, until and unless you pay big bucks and file paperwork to renounce. This also means that you are eligible for a US passport if you don't already have one, but as mentioned, the US is perhaps the only country that taxes its citizens on world wide income. There is a generous exemption for money earned outside of the US, but the paperwork is horrid and I'm told there are now penalties if you don't file, despite the fact that you don't owe, and couldn't possibly owe tax.

This has become a bit of a big deal for some people in Canada, since the Canadian Gov. recently decided to make Banks hand over to the US gov. the financial info of US citizens.

See HERE (http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/) for some grim details etc.

(I am not a lawyer - these are just my experiences and observations, not a legal opinion!)

08-10-2014, 01:26 PM
Have your birth certificate and visit the American consulate and ask for their help. They will know how to handle your problem. Any other documents you have will help solve the issue.

08-10-2014, 01:59 PM
Have your birth certificate and visit the American consulate and ask for their help. They will know how to handle your problem. Any other documents you have will help solve the issue.

I would suggest that you want to understand the tax consequences and decide what outcome you want before you enlist the services of the US consulate. I live in Canada and have no US ties but I have several friends in similar situations to yours that are finding the tax issues discussed above a nightmare. My broker has endless stories about clients that are tied up an many knots.

I am not sure if Australia has a similar tax treaty to Canada but if it does they cooperate with the US IRS. In Canada the treaty was amended to include disclosure to avoid Canadians with registered investments (retirement savings) from having to pay US taxes on any US holdings (ie a mutual fund that holds US stocks).


08-30-2014, 05:17 AM
Ok got the passport took nine days! In answer to some of the posts I didn't renounce citizenship! I was four when my Dutch father became an Aussie, so I did too! My Canadian born US citizen mother is a permanent resident here. As far as US law goes if you are a US citizen, you must enter and leave on a US passport that is the law.
The only issue I have now is that I have to sign the passport- the passport asks for my signature, the brochure with it says to sign my full name, so does anyone know which one it is?

08-30-2014, 06:33 AM
If your father didnt renounce the dutch nationality when becoming an aussi you have three nationalities!!

michigan doug
08-30-2014, 10:02 AM
As you have noted, the instructions are a little vague. The general concensus is to sign your normal signature, just like you would on a check.

Here is some supporting documentation from people who solve passport emergencies for a living:


08-30-2014, 12:09 PM
I signed mine with my middle name as well, thats what theyve told me at the post office in two states to do so I did.

JMO, but I'd have played dumb about the whole thing to avoid possible problems. I cant speak to taxes tho I'd hate to have multiple countries coming after me for them (I already pay ~30% of my income to the SOBs) but did work border security for awhile in the military a decade ago. Getting caught with multiple passports meant sitting in a tiny interrogation room until it was sorted out, which usually was a few hours.

loose nut
08-30-2014, 05:12 PM
If your father didnt renounce the dutch nationality when becoming an aussi you have three nationalities!!

If your mother is Canadian and you come to Canada you can probably claim Canadian citizenship too. Go for 4.

If you have been in Australia since you were 4 and have a good Aussie accent, travel on a Aussie passport then the US border people wouldn't even know or probably be able to find out very easily that you where born in the states as long as you don't give them a reason to look.

08-30-2014, 07:34 PM
Apparently you don't need one to cross our southern boarder.
As long as you have a diseased child in tow.
No child left behind strikes again !

The Artful Bodger
08-30-2014, 08:29 PM
Use your US passport for entering the US at LAX, it will save your up to two hours in the queue.

08-31-2014, 06:32 AM
Use your US passport for entering the US at LAX, it will save your up to two hours in the queue.

Just hoping my wife and son can come with me, they have Aussie passports

Black Forest
08-31-2014, 08:04 AM
The US tax system is crazy as is the German system. They try to tax me on income earned no matter where it is earned. I am in a constant fight with both countries over taxes.

08-31-2014, 09:03 AM
Your wife and son should join you in the US passport line because you are travelling together.

Also, because of another comment, passports do list the place of birth.

Being born in the US does not make you a US citizen - it entitles you to US citizenship.

I think you have made a mistake to claim your US citizen ship when you did not need it, now you will have to file US tax returns and if you do not pay a lot of tax where you live you will also now be paying tax to the US even though you do not live here.