Even US citizens who are newly naturalised might get anxious when they are travelling overseas.
There are very important things to note for both US citizens and green card holders when travelling.
As a new US citizen, meaning you recently took your oath and got your US passport, you will travel with your US passport. Even if you have a passport for another country, because you have dual nationality, you will need the US passport to get back into the US.
While abroad, even if it is your country of birth, it’s very important to make sure that you check in with the US Embassy in the country.
This is doubly true if you are going to a new destination. Find the time to go to the nearest US Embassy in that country and register as a US citizen. If there is a disaster or you meet in an emergency situation, you will be able to get their assistance.
Importantly too, as a US citizen, if you go back to your country of birth/other country where you have citizenship, there is no time frame within which you have to return to the US because you’re also a citizen of that country.
In most instances, you can stay there as long as you want as well, as long as you have your documentation to prove that you are, indeed, a citizen of both countries.
Make sure your US passport will not expire while you are abroad. Also, if your passport from another country expires while you are there, it is a good idea to renew it while in that country.
Unlike green card holders, US citizens can remain out of the US for as long as they wish. There is no rule that requires them to be in the USA for any specific period of time.
For green card holders make sure you have your green card with you when travelling. If it is expired and you have applied for a new card, or applied to remove conditions, it is likely that you will only get a receipt notice that says the life of the expired green card is extended and that the combination of the receipt notice and the expired green card is sufficient for travel.
Travel with that receipt notice, the expired green card and any necessary stamps in your passport.
*This article does not constitute legal advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
Nadine C Atkinson-Flowers is admitted to practice in the USA and Jamaica. Her US practice is in the area of immigration, while her Jamaican practice areas include immigration and general legal consultancy. She has been an attorney for over 15 years in Jamaica and has written articles for several legal publications. She is passionate about access to justice issues and volunteers with several legal, business, children and community service organisations in Jamaica and the US. She can be contacted at [email protected]