Border Towns: Myth v. Fact when it came to my passport[s]

Someone once told me that the United States doesn’t recognize dual citizenship between the US and Canada. That didn’t sound right to me. Guess what… it wasn’t. The United States most certainly recognizes dual citizenship between our two countries. You only run into problems if, when you became a citizen of Canada, you meant to renounce your US citizenship. For myself, I didn’t. In fact, becoming a Canadian citizen was a passive act for me. While I sat (or stood) doing whatever it was I was doing on my 24th birthday, I became a Canadian citizen.

I was born in the US – Greenwich, CT to be exact. I have often joked that having been born in Greenwich and raised in West Vancouver, BC, my snob pedigree is perfect. Both my parents are Canadian (born and raised in the Kootenays) so I was considered a Canadian citizen born abroad. Because I lived in Canada when I reached the age of 24, I became a full Canadian citizen.

When I applied for my Canadian passport, I needed a guarantor’s signature, and those of two references. For my US passport, I just needed my birth certificate (stamped with the seal of the issuing State) and picture ID. I used my Canadian passport. Which leads me to myth number two: The US won’t allow you to carry two passports.

BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Thanks for playing.

The woman at the US Consulate in Vancouver told me that when arriving in the US, arrive as an American. When arriving in Canada, arrive as a Canadian. That’s two passports kiddies. Surprised me too.

Lastly, though it pains me to say it, these idiot Tea Partiers might actually have something with this smaller government thing. It took two and a half weeks for my Canadian passport to show up and about two hours to apply for it. My US passport took me less than 45 minutes to apply for and arrived a week and a day later. Of course, when it comes to government, if the US can figure out healthcare and education for its (our?) citizens I’d be willing to wait another ten days for my passport.

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