Dual US-CDN citizen moving back to Canada


New Member
Hi, I hope to receive an answer to the following scenario:

- I was born in Canada
- I moved to the US 20yrs ago and became a naturalized US citizen
- During the naturalization ceremony I chose to change both my first and last name
- I’ve decided to move back to Canada this summer
- My birth name in Canada is still in tact and I have not changed my original name in Canada

My question is what do I need at the border so that I can cross into Canada and live there again? My US passport shows an entirely different name than my Canadian birth certificate, so what will they need from me at customs to prove I am still the person on my Canadian Birth Certificate? Should I change my name in Canada to the one I use in the US before leaving?


Active Member
Do you have a old Canadian passport? (although likely expired and in your old name)
If not, do you have the old Canadian passport number? (photocopy of old passport)
The best way to prove your Canadian Citizenship is to hold a valid Canadian Passport.
Apply for a new passport, based on your Canadian Birth Certificate and related required supporting documents.
or Apply for renewal passport, based on your expired Canadian Passport and Canadian birth certificate.

Canadian citizens require a Canadian Passport to enter Canada.
There are some exceptions, like Dual US-Canada citizens can use their US passport, but that is only for visiting Canada.
If you want to return to Canada to live, I understand you must have a valid Canadian Passport.

Apply now by mail and should get it in about six to eight weeks.
They may issue it in your old name. Call them to figure out if they can issue it in your new name.
Also ensure the photos meet the Canadian passport requirements (50mm x 70 mm) and not US requirement (2" x 2")


New Member
Yes I do have an old Canadian passport but that’s already expired. So sounds like I’ll just have to renew my Canadian passport in my old name so I can move back to CA? As long as my new name in the US is a non issue at customs then this seems to be the solution. Once I move back to Canada then I can begin the name change process while I’m in the country. Sounds like this would be the easiest approach.


Well-Known Member
So...is it possible to just shed a legal name change & get a passport in an old name ? Sounds like a big security loophole if so.


Active Member
I would think you can apply for a new Canadian passport with your new legal name.
If your current Canadian passport has expired more than one year you need to apply for a new passport (rather than a renewal passport).
Documentation requirements are little more. Copy of your US drivers License, US passport, or other government issued ID.
Call the Canadian Passport office and ask them.
Call us from Canada and the USA
Toll free: 1-800-567-6868


Registered Users (C)

Until the ETA requirement, you could enter Canada with a foreign passport and just show proof of Canadian citizenship in other ways. You can travel on a US passport because then no ETA is required. The problem you have is that your expired passport will show a different name, so it's not a straightforward entry.

I'm not sure you can get a passport in your new name without your other proof of Canadian citizenship having the new name, so you might need a special travel authorisation letter first to enter Canada, and then deal with it there.

Anyway, best to contact them directly with your specific issues.

Please come back and update us as to how it goes. It would help others in this peculiar situation.


New Member
Hello all,

I contacted the border protection service in Canada. They said all I would need is a valid US passport along with supporting documentation showing the name change to validate my identity in Canada. Hope this helps others in similar situations in the future. Thank you all for your help!