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Dual US-EU Citizen Baby with only French Passport - Flying to Mexico this week? HELP!

Dual US-EU Citizen Baby with only French Passport - Flying to Mexico this week? HELP!

Old Mar 10, 18, 11:00 pm
  #1  
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Dual US-EU Citizen Baby with only French Passport - Flying to Mexico this week? HELP!

This is a silly situation I've gotten myself into:

My 4-month-old baby has dual US-French citizenship, as does her father. She was born in the US, I am a US citizen, and we have been in the US since she was born. We were able to get her French passport right away, but the US birth certificate takes 3 months to get, and we don't have a US passport for her yet. (Nor had we started that process.)

We just booked a spontaneous last-minute vacation to Mexico. I assumed it would be fine for her to travel with her French passport, but I have just discovered (we are supposed to leave tomorrow!!) that the law says all US citizens must travel in and out of the country with their US passport.

Even so, I applied for an ESTA waiver for her online, and it was approved...

Do we have to cancel/postpone our trip? Or can we get an emergency passport for her at the consulate in Mexico if she's never had a passport before (which would take up a day of our vacation, yuck)? Or will they let her in with a French passport plus ESTA plus US birth certificate?
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Old Mar 11, 18, 1:03 am
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Originally Posted by petitemarmotte View Post
This is a silly situation I've gotten myself into:

My 4-month-old baby has dual US-French citizenship, as does her father. She was born in the US, I am a US citizen, and we have been in the US since she was born. We were able to get her French passport right away, but the US birth certificate takes 3 months to get, and we don't have a US passport for her yet. (Nor had we started that process.)

We just booked a spontaneous last-minute vacation to Mexico. I assumed it would be fine for her to travel with her French passport, but I have just discovered (we are supposed to leave tomorrow!!) that the law says all US citizens must travel in and out of the country with their US passport.

Even so, I applied for an ESTA waiver for her online, and it was approved...

Do we have to cancel/postpone our trip? Or can we get an emergency passport for her at the consulate in Mexico if she's never had a passport before (which would take up a day of our vacation, yuck)? Or will they let her in with a French passport plus ESTA plus US birth certificate?
French consular officials in the US issued a French passport to a US-born child without any US birth documentation for a named child? If not, what US birth documentation did you provide the French authorities in the US to get the French passport? Was the child born in a US hospital?

If you, your spouse and child are only resident in the US, leaving the US without any history of having had US proof of birth for the child is best avoided, no less so for non-essential travel. The US consular officials in Mexico may be in a pickle of a situation under such circumstances and there is a high chance it won’t be good for you and will make the vacation a hassle due to US consular service needs being inconvient, slow or otherwise worry-inducing in such a way as to wreck the vacation.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 4:52 am
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We provided an official letter from the US hospital where she was born to the French consulate. US Birth certificate takes 3 months to process, but French declaration of paternity must be made within 30 days of birth. From there, we went ahead and applied for the passport.

We now have a US birth certificate and social security card for the baby, which we can travel with...

So is this whole thing a terrible idea?
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Old Mar 11, 18, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by petitemarmotte View Post
We now have a US birth certificate and social security card for the baby, which we can travel with...
Make an appointment at your nearest passport agency. You may qualify for a same day passport service.

Edited to add:

You may find useful information in this thread:
Dual National Entering USA on Non-American Passport

Last edited by TWA884; Mar 11, 18 at 9:58 am
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Old Mar 11, 18, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
Make an appointment at your nearest passport agency. You may qualify for a same day passport service.
I agree. If the OP lives anywhere near a USA passport agency, go there ASAP with your documentation, including copies of plane ticket receipts, hotel reservation confirmations as well as proof that the kid is a USA citizen; you'll probably need both parents. The passport agencies are great at processing passports in a day or less, although my experience is only with renewals.

It's best to make an appointment but I've observed "no appointment" lines/windows that do indeed process those without appointments even though the official information says that appointments are required. Going without an appointment just means that you're likely to wait longer.

OP will need to get a USA passport for the baby anyway, and hoping the expedited route through a USA passport agency is the most efficient way to do this, so rather than cancelling the trip, view it as a convenient apportunity to process the kid's passport quickly and efficiently.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I agree. If the OP lives anywhere near a USA passport agency, go there ASAP with your documentation, including copies of plane ticket receipts, hotel reservation confirmations as well as proof that the kid is a USA citizen; you'll probably need both parents. The passport agencies are great at processing passports in a day or less, although my experience is only with renewals.

It's best to make an appointment but I've observed "no appointment" lines/windows that do indeed process those without appointments even though the official information says that appointments are required. Going without an appointment just means that you're likely to wait longer.

OP will need to get a USA passport for the baby anyway, and hoping the expedited route through a USA passport agency is the most efficient way to do this, so rather than cancelling the trip, view it as a convenient apportunity to process the kid's passport quickly and efficiently.




WIth a US state birth certificate, both parents present along with their own passports, the child, and a properly completed passport application with appropriate photos and proof of imminent travel, a same-day passport is possible at various US passport agency offices on Monday. But today they are usually closed. For most of the agency offices, I would just show up with or without an appointment.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 12:56 pm
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We got onboard! Will keep updating in case anyone is following... thanks everyone for the advice!
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Old Mar 11, 18, 2:19 pm
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Too late for OP, but rather than creating a potential mess for himself on return, the advice to simply obtain a passport for the baby was wise. A link of passport agencies which can issue a same day passport, e.g. a few hours, is at the link at the end of this post. OP has had the birth certificate for roughly a month and could have saved himself a great deal of grief.

The issue on return will be enhanced human trafficking concerns. Won't mean that the baby is denied entry because she can't be as a USN, but doesn't change the potential unpleasantness.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-agencies.html
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Old Mar 12, 18, 3:44 am
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Originally Posted by petitemarmotte View Post
We got onboard! Will keep updating in case anyone is following... thanks everyone for the advice!
There is no routine emigration inspection when leaving the US, so there was 99.9% chance that nothing would happen on your outbound flight. As the ESTA was approved you are likely to get on board the return flight without any problems too.

Expect a bit more hassle after you actually land in the US.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
There is no routine emigration inspection when leaving the US, so there was 99.9% chance that nothing would happen on your outbound flight. As the ESTA was approved you are likely to get on board the return flight without any problems too.

Expect a bit more hassle after you actually land in the US.
Indeed. Buf more times than not for the return trip to the US in such situations, the material problems aren’t with US CBP at a US airport of entry; rather when there are problems it would be with the airline flying people back to the US or when seeking US consular services.

That said, if the OP wouldn’t have any US birth documentation in hand, I would say that the odds of an adverse incident and extense of adversity increases enough that I would have suggested postponing the trip and doing the US passport agency office under all but the most extenuating of circumstances. And a vacation doesn’t qualify as my idea as such.
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