Travelling as a dual citizen

Dual (or multiple) citizenship or nationality means that you are a citizen of more than one country. Dual or multiple citizenship is legal in Canada. However, it may not be legal in the other country or countries where you hold citizenship.

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If you are a dual citizen and travel to the other country where you hold citizenship, local authorities could refuse to give you access to Canadian consular services. This could prevent Canadian consular officers from providing them to you.

All Canadian travellers must obey the laws of the country they are visiting. Dual citizens may be subject to local laws that other Canadians travellers are not. For example, you may be legally required to register for military service or have to pay taxes in that country.

Before you travel

If you are in Canada and are planning to visit the country of your other citizenship, contact the embassy of consulate of that country to find out if you need to meet specific requirements. This could reduce risks and difficulties for you and your family when you travel there.

Country-specific information about dual citizenship is also available on our Travel Advice and Advisories.

Travelling to or transiting through Canada by air

Dual Canadian citizens need a valid Canadian passport to board a flight to or transit through Canada by air.

If your other country of citizenship needs you to enter and exit that country using a passport issued by its government, you will still need a valid Canadian passport to board your flight to Canada. Make sure you carry both passports when you travel. Find out more about why you need to travel or transit through Canada with a valid Canadian passport to avoid delays and/or possible missed flights.

Exception: If you are an American-Canadian dual citizen with a valid U.S. passport, you don’t need a Canadian passport to fly to Canada. However, you still need to carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.

If you do not have a valid Canadian passport and are at an airport or flying to Canada in a few days, you may be able to apply for a Special Authorization.

Dual citizenship and parental child abductions

Many international parental child abductions involve parents and children who are dual citizens. Officials of the government of the country where the parent and/or child is a dual citizen will decide whether to issue the child a passport or visa or not. If you are worried about your child being abducted, you or your lawyer can ask the foreign government not to issue these documents. The foreign government may not comply.

Write to the other country’s embassy or consulate and include certified copies of any court orders outlining custody decisions or necessity for consent concerning removal of your child from Canada. Send a copy of the request to Global Affairs Canada’s Consular Services (see the contact information) and tell the other country’s embassy or consulate that you have done so. 

For more information, visit our Child abduction and custody issues page or consult the publication International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents.

If you need more information, call 613-944-6788 or email travel@international.gc.ca

If you need emergency consular assistance, email sos@international.gc.ca.

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