Question about obtaining VISA for Naturalized Citizen

I’m from Uzbekistan who got US Citizenship by naturalization. Now I want to go to visit my relatives and friends. Can I use my previous Uzbek Passport or do I have to get Uzbek VISA on my US Passport? I’m confused.

Short answer: from the information I can find on Uzbek citizenship, you have kept your Uzbek Citizenship as well as acquiring the new one (congratulations, by the way), so you can travel on your old passport assuming it’s still valid (check the dates).

Long answer:
It doesn’t matter whether you became a US citizen by naturalization, double-nationality-at-birth or because Obama likes your style; the actual question here is “are you also an Uzbek citizen?”

If you are, then you need to make sure your Uzbek passport is still valid (check out the dates) and you can travel under it. I’d carry both, as it will allow you to enter Uzbekistan in the Uzbeks line and the US in the US-citizens line; you do not need a Visa because you’re entering each country as a citizen of that country.

If you are not, then you will need a visa.

According to the US embassy in Uzbekistan (I can’t guarantee the information is current but this isn’t something which tends to change easily), Uzbekistan does not consider you a dual citizen: they consider you an Uzbek and don’t care what other country wants to believe. Since the US also doesn’t care about other countries’ opinion in this regard (they care whether you’re a US Citizen, but not whether you also happen to be a citizen of Elsewhere), congratulations: you’re a dual citizen and don’t need a Visa for either country, so long as you enter each country using the passport for that one. I’d consult the Uzbek Embassy or Consulate responsible for your area to make sure your passport is valid for travel in the desired dates etc. Often it isn’t enough with having a passport that will be valid within the exact dates, but needs to be valid for a while beyond that (in case the traveler gets sick, for example; being hospitalized for an apendecectomy is not a good time to do paperwork).

Where did you see that Uzbekistan allow Dual Citizenship?

The US Embassy’s page linked. It says what I paraphrased, that Uzbekistan doesn’t care if you also happen to be a citizen of someplace else. So long as they haven’t kicked you out, you remain an Uzbek. Fourth paragraph:

While what the Americans are worried about is being able to get your fat out of the fire if you screw up, the first two lines translate to “Uzbekistan doesn’t care if you’ve acquired another nationality, from their point of view if you were an Uzbek you stay an Uzbek.” That means your Uzbek passport is valid.

I hope they won’t kick me out if they find out that I became US citizenship. Thank you for helping me. God Bless You and Happy New Year!!

Okay which Passport do I use to purchase airline ticket? US passport or an Uzbek Passport?

Why would you even need to show a passport to buy an airline ticket? I never have - the airline considers travel documentation to be the traveler’s responsibility.

When I bought ticket in Uzbekistan 6 years ago to come to US for the first time, they wanted to see my passport. That is good if I don’t have to show my passport to buy airplane ticket. But still I think they want to see some kind of ID?

I believe the question comes from the fact that the name on the tickets must match the name on the Passport. Perhaps the OP legally changed his name when applying for US Citizenship, and therefor the name on the two passports are not the same.

Makes the trip a little trickier. If you use the US Passport, the ticket agent will not give you a boarding pass without a VISA. If you use the Uzbek Passport and purchase round trip tickets, you will have an issue on the way back.

You might need to purchase two one-way tickets.

I did not change my name

I imagine Uzbekistan is an entirely different universe in terms of travel documentation - you probably also needed an exit visa in order to leave, no?

The main issue is that the name on the passport you use to board the plane needs to match the name on your ticket. It’s entirely possible to buy a ticket online, for example, without anyone ever seeing any of your documentation. But that woudn’t do you much good if the airline wouldn’t let you board the plane because your ticket and passport didn’t match.

P.S. U.S. citizens are supposed to enter and leave the U.S. using U.S. passports. I hear this can be kind of a pain in the neck sometimes for those with dual citizenship.

Eva Luna, Immigration Paralegal

What do you recommend me to do? My name would be the same on everything (plane ticket, US Passport and Uzbek Passport). Can I show my US Passport when exiting US and show my Uzbek Passport when I arrive at Uzbek airport? Or should I just show both of my passports at the airport?

Good question. Anecdotally, I’ve heard clients tell me that it can cause official confusion if they use different passports at different parts of their trip. Also, I have no idea how the Uzbek officials would treat someone holding a U.S. and an Uzbek passport. Do you have an Uzbek friend who has already tried this? (I have a Turkmen friend who is probably a U.S. citizen by now, and I suppose I could ask him, but I don’t know how closely your circumstances match.)

Since this question will involve opinions as well as factual answers, it’s probably better in IMHO. MOved from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, MOderator

I’ve needed to show it to American corporate travel agents to prove that I had valid documentation. They would also insist in making sure I had Visas, even for countries for which I didn’t need one. Apparently it was part of their contract.

Well, not surprising, but that’s a whole different ball of wax than an actual legal requirement.

Making sure that people comply with the law may not be an actual requirement of travel agencies when there is no contract involved, but having the names match is, isn’t it? What’s strange about wanting to make sure you get the name down right? puppy didn’t say “I have to show my passport to purchase a ticket because it’s a legal requirement”, that part is yours.

In those cases the agents claimed that everything they wanted to see was a legal requirement. The immigration lawyer they used claimed that everything was a legal requirement, too, even when it wasn’t; after all, he didn’t get paid for saying “no, she doesn’t need a Visa”.

Unfortunately, none of my friends have been in this situation. Now I’m really confused.

Yes, they require an exit visa (Over) in order to leave.

I’m not at all saying it’s strange for the travel agency to want to make sure clients have their names match, etc. - it avoids potential problems, which even if they aren’t of the travel agency’s making, and even if they aren’t because of any specific legal reason, may well end up being the travel agency’s problem to fix (if a client can’t board a plane, for example). Better safe than sorry. Especially because post-9/11, it’s entirely possible to get caught up in security hell or not be allowed to board a plane if there are inconsistencies in travel or identity documents - even Ted Kennedy had problems traveling because of the no-fly list because one version of his name matched an alias used by someone on the no-fly list - and neither portion of his name is exactly rare. Here’s more info on the U.S. legal authority under the Secure Flight program by which people may be prevented from boarding planes if there are concerns about their identity as shown by certain specified government-issued documents.

So no, I don’t know that it’s a specific legal requirement that all versions of names match everywhere, including middle initials (and I’ve certainly boarded planes with boarding passes that didn’t have my middle initial, but then last I checked I was one of two people in the U.S. with my first and last name). But U.S. law certainly does allow airlines and/or the TSA to refuse boarding to people whose names reveal concerns about their actual identity, which pretty much amounts to the same thing. Potential result: one stuck, very pissed-off airline customer.