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Old 21-05-2014, 11:06   #1
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Dual passports

I am a US citizen, but born in the UK and eligible for a British passport. My boat is a US documented vessel, but I also have it registered in Washington state. It has been suggested to me that having a UK passport would allow me greater freedom in cruising the South Pacific, particularly French Polynesia. Is this true? On the other hand, would having two passports in my possession cause difficulties? Would I have to be careful about checking into/out of one country on one passport, then into/out of another on the other passport?
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Old 21-05-2014, 11:24   #2
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Re: Dual passports

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I am a US citizen, but born in the UK and eligible for a British passport. My boat is a US documented vessel, but I also have it registered in Washington state. It has been suggested to me that having a UK passport would allow me greater freedom in cruising the South Pacific, particularly French Polynesia. Is this true? On the other hand, would having two passports in my possession cause difficulties? Would I have to be careful about checking into/out of one country on one passport, then into/out of another on the other passport?
Foreign nationals holding ordinary passports exempt from visa requirements - France-Diplomatie - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development should have all the details you need - basically a UK passport should mean you are exempt from all visa requirements, on a US passport you are only exempt from visa requirements for stays shorter than 90 days. The UK passport would also allow you to carry out paid work, it appears.

So far as having two passports causing difficulties, provided you always enter and leave a country on the same passport, and use your US and UK passports when entering those countries you'll be fine. My wife (US citizen) is in the process of getting her British passport at the moment, and UK passport control never blinked an eye at her coming in on a US passport with a UK certificate of naturalisation.
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Old 21-05-2014, 12:02   #3
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Re: Dual passports

I do have dual passport, Swiss and Ecuadorian and a US flagged boat. You can wherever you go say, you have a dual passport and take advantage of the British, if your country of origin allows dual citizen ship.
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Old 21-05-2014, 12:52   #4
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Re: Dual passports

If you have a US passport you are legally obliged to present it at US border control. If you have a UK passport you must present it at UK Border control. In both cases it is regarded as an offense to obfuscate your nationality when entering a country if you are actually a citizen of that country.

The US pledge (when going through naturalization proceedings) requires you to denounce any allegiance to a foreign power, government, principality etc. The UK government doesn't really mind what you say to a foreign official - you still have to physically apply to have your status as a citizen removed. Both of our sons hold UK and US passports by virtue of their parents nationalities even though one of the children was born in Norway. They also have Consular birth certificates from both countries.


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Old 21-05-2014, 13:08   #5
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Re: Dual passports

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If you have a US passport you are legally obliged to present it at US border control. If you have a UK passport you must present it at UK Border control. In both cases it is regarded as an offense to obfuscate your nationality when entering a country if you are actually a citizen of that country.

The US pledge (when going through naturalization proceedings) requires you to denounce any allegiance to a foreign power, government, principality etc. The UK government doesn't really mind what you say to a foreign official - you still have to physically apply to have your status as a citizen removed. Both of our sons hold UK and US passports by virtue of their parents nationalities even though one of the children was born in Norway. They also have Consular birth certificates from both countries.


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The bit about denouncing other citizenships when taking a US citizenship only applies to naturalized citizens. If you were born an American but only now getting the passport (a situation I was in some time ago), there is no such requirement.

The US doesn't enforce this requirement, anyways.
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Old 21-05-2014, 13:40   #6
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Re: Dual passports

that requirement was a big deal back when there was a draft for the Viet Nam war. I was in high school in Mexico and knew quite a few people who had dual nationality. But at age 18 if you were male you had to pick - either be US and get drafted or be Mexican and do your Mexican military reserve duty. The US automatically regards serving in a foreign military as "swearing allegiance to another country" and doing it could cost you your US citizenship. Not an easy choice back in the day. Women didnt have this problem and it is moot nowadays since we have a volunteer army. The Mexicans were far more relaxed about it.
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Old 21-05-2014, 13:46   #7
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Re: Dual passports

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The bit about denouncing other citizenships when taking a US citizenship only applies to naturalized citizens. If you were born an American but only now getting the passport (a situation I was in some time ago), there is no such requirement.

The US doesn't enforce this requirement, anyways.

The fact that you " denounce" such citizenship is not a legal requirement , merely a pledge. The US has dual citizenship agreements with many countries round the world. For those that it does not. You cannot hold two passports if one is US.

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Old 21-05-2014, 13:52   #8
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Re: Dual passports

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that requirement was a big deal back when there was a draft for the Viet Nam war. I was in high school in Mexico and knew quite a few people who had dual nationality. But at age 18 if you were male you had to pick - either be US and get drafted or be Mexican and do your Mexican military reserve duty. The US automatically regards serving in a foreign military as "swearing allegiance to another country" and doing it could cost you your US citizenship. Not an easy choice back in the day. Women didnt have this problem and it is moot nowadays since we have a volunteer army. The Mexicans were far more relaxed about it.
I had a good friend at University who travelled to see his grandmother in France while he was doing his PhD (he was a UK passport holder but had a French consular birth certificate). He didn't come back for 2 months. It turned out that he'd be receiving (to the wrong address) notices regarding national service which, by default, he'd been ignoring. When he stepped foot back in France he ended up staring desertion proceedings in the face!
This was pre-1996 so this was a big deal. I think the University's legal department managed to get him out of it in the end.
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Old 21-05-2014, 13:56   #9
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Re: Dual passports

Of course and stated by lawyers, there is always a law to observe but no, USA does not pursue anymore citizens with dual citizenship, if the citizenship was not acquired. Even in the case of acquired citizenship, I know a lot of countries who return their citizens the citizenship after becoming US citizens as a courtesy.
I do have 2 nationalities, my niece has 4, other nieces have 3, nephews have also 3 and all, different ones.
If holding a nationality of South America, Europe, USA or Asia, you would nīt give up since today world allows you to jump from one commercial block to another without visas....
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Old 21-05-2014, 13:59   #10
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Re: Dual passports

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If holding a nationality of South America, Europe, USA or Asia, you would nīt give up since today world allows you to jump from one commercial block to another without visas....
This is why we went through the paperwork exercise of ensuring that our children were dual nationals.. options options options!
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Old 21-05-2014, 14:22   #11
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Re: Dual passports

G'day, Mates. Dual U.S./N.Z. citizen down here. Imported the yacht to N.Z. while maintaining the U.S. documentation. This maintains the advantage of not having to acquire and maintain N.Z.'s Category 1 offshore requirements when clearing customs to head off to the islands. At the present time, N.Z. allows it's dual citizens to enter and clear immigration procedures on the either passport. Cheers
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Old 21-05-2014, 14:38   #12
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Re: Dual passports

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This is why we went through the paperwork exercise of ensuring that our children were dual nationals.. options options options!
Unfortunately, in the case of US dual citizenship, the options come with burdens. The US is one of only a couple countries in the world who tax their citizens, regardless of residency. That can be a huge deal. You also have to report all bank accounts that you have signing authority on (if they add up to more than $10k).

There are tax breaks, but you still need to report, and you need to be considering the tax implications of investing, capital gains, etc. of two countries when making decisions.

Example 1: Canadians have available to them a great tax free investing vehicle called a TFSA. Because I hold a US passport, I can't use this because it is heavily taxed in the US as some sort of foreign trust. As a result, I need to pay more taxes in Canada because I can't shelter these gains.

Example 2: If I buy and sell a house in Canada and make no money on it at all, I can still end up owing considerable US taxes on the capital gains if the Canadian dollar decreases in value during that time. I live in Canada and get no benefit from such fluctuations, but my US taxes are all calculated in US dollars, so the IRA thinks I made money, even though I didn't.
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Old 21-05-2014, 14:41   #13
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Re: Dual passports

Abaft, if you have Swiss and Ecuadorian citizenships (presumably, since you have those passports) then how can you have a US documented vessel? That's reserved for US citizens only. If it is "your" boat...what's wrong with that picture?
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Old 21-05-2014, 15:26   #14
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Re: Dual passports

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Abaft, if you have Swiss and Ecuadorian citizenships (presumably, since you have those passports) then how can you have a US documented vessel? That's reserved for US citizens only. If it is "your" boat...what's wrong with that picture?
Hellosailor, there is no law in the USA that does not allow an alien to have a boat. There is a law that says "you cannot have a USCG Certification" as alien. But you can own a boat, you can sail that vessel and you can enter and go out of the USA with the proper Visa.

I donīt know where you guys get this picture "reserved for US Citizens only"? There is nothing wrong with that picture not unless, you are smarter than the US Authorities?
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Old 21-05-2014, 15:53   #15
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Re: Dual passports

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Hellosailor, there is no law in the USA that does not allow an alien to have a boat. There is a law that says "you cannot have a USCG Certification" as alien. But you can own a boat, you can sail that vessel and you can enter and go out of the USA with the proper Visa.

I donīt know where you guys get this picture "reserved for US Citizens only"? There is nothing wrong with that picture not unless, you are smarter than the US Authorities?
An alien can own a state-registered vessel (or title) and adorn it with a US flag.
In addition, a resident alien (US Person) can obtain a USCG OUPV (6-pack).
You have to be a US citizen to own (or be part owner) in a USCG documented vessel, and citizenship is a requirement for USCG Master's ticket.

The issue with have State-registration only, is that your vessel is not strictly classed as a "US flagged" vessel. You will not have a right to receive consular services etc (it's actually the boat which gets the consular services), and some countries do not recognize state-registration documents as legal title when clearing into their country. There are benefits to USCG documentation for a vessel, but all owners definitely need to be US Citizens (or US entities with US ownership structure).
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