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U.S. Passport: Don’t Leave Home Without It!
July 31, 2023

The American Citizen Services unit reminds U.S. citizens not to travel outside the United States without a valid U.S. passport.  While dual citizens may be able to travel abroad on an Austrian or other foreign passport, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to re-enter the United States. Consulate Vienna has recently assisted many dual citizens who were denied boarding while attempting to return to the United States with only a foreign passport and/or a recently issued U.S. Certificate of Naturalization – resulting in trip delays and unexpected costs until they could obtain an emergency U.S. passport.

Per Section 215 of the U.S. Immigration and National Act (8 U.S.C. 1185), it is illegal for a U.S. citizen to enter the United States on anything other than a U.S. travel document. This applies to all dual citizens, including babies and children. U.S. citizens are prohibited from using the ESTA Visa Waiver Program or traveling on a U.S. visa in lieu of a carrying a valid U.S. Passport.  Likewise, a dual U.S. citizen who is also a citizen of a European Union member nation must enter the EU on their EU passport.

Always ensure your U.S. passport is valid, and always carry your U.S. passport when traveling to/from the United States. The State Department recommends all U.S. citizens renew their passports at least NINE MONTHS before the expiration date, as many countries now require six months’ validity to enter.

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