How To Travel With Two Passports If You’re A Dual Citizen

dual citizenship

Having two passports and nationalities opens up the world of travel to the estimated 1% of the globe’s population [PDF] that has some form of dual citizenship. I should know because I’m included in that group of 60 million people; as many of you know, I carry both a Turkish and U.S. passport. That combination means dealing with fewer visas for countries around the world but can also leave you with complications if you’re not careful.

For those of you who are also dual citizens, these general guidelines can make sure neither of your nationalities causes problems for you as you hop over one international boundary after another.

porto portugal airportAlways Use The Same Passport Entering And Exiting A Country

This one seems straightforward but if you’re on a longer journey and visiting several countries with differing entry requirements for your particular nationalities, it can feel intuitive to to enter with one passport and exit with the other. I’ve made this mistake once or twice (most recently when flying out of Georgia to Ukraine) and had to charm my way out of buying an impromptu flight to Istanbul.

The reason is because countries want to keep track of foreigners entering their borders; using two passports not only makes that more difficult, but also changes the legal framework you fall under.

In general, even if the next country you are visiting would require a visa from you with passport #2, use the same passport to enter and exit a nation. The passport control officer in the country you’re leaving doesn’t care about where you’re going – only about you when you’re in their borders.

Airlines And Governments Are Different; Flash The Right Passport

The advice above is specifically for passport control – not when you check-in with the airlines. They are the ones who are going to care about whether you’ve got the rights (e.g. visa-free travel) to enter the destination. In these cases you should show airline staff the appropriate passport for where you’re going. The airline staff want to make sure you’ll be allowed entry to the country you’re flying to.

Several times prior to boarding a flight I’ve been taken aside by staff to have my documents re-examined. If there’s any question about whether you can (visa-free) enter the country you’re headed to, don’t hesitate to let them know about your dual status.

neon sign las vegasDon’t Advertise Your Dual Nationality Otherwise

Yes, says the guy who is publicly blogging about his citizenships to thousands of people right now. Broadly speaking, most governments worry about illegal immigration; which your second citizenship may actually be guilty of. Don’t tell passport control you’ve got two nationalities – even if asked. Doing so can forfeit your rights as a legal traveler. By the way, you’re not lying in this case either. No country in the world records dual citizen entries by tourists – they only see you as a single national.

I should mention also that many immigration and passport controls are tinged with a hint of racism, often biased against citizens of Third World or those who make up a significant minority in a given country. Another good reason not to mention your second citizenship and to keep your second passport inconspicuously stored in your carry-on luggage.

Which Country Sends Commandos After You In Case Of Kidnapping Varies

That is a bit of an extreme example for most people, but the basic premise is if you get in real trouble in a country, whichever passport you used to enter is the nation that’s going to bail you out. So if you’re a French-American dual citizen held hostage by genetically-engineered llamas on your trip to Ecuador you’ll know whether to expect Navy Seals or French Special Forces. (Or Superman, who doesn’t discriminate unless Lois Lane is in trouble at the same time.)

llama ecuador

What To Do If Problems Arise

Problems aren’t likely to happen if you’re a dual citizen taking advantage of your two passports – especially if you’re cognizant about not flashing both around. Your biggest troubles are likely to be at passport control due to a second nationality – remember to stick to the one that gets you legal entry. Be firm but confident and if all else fails, get in touch with your embassy.

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  1. Stefan says:

    Hey, thanks for the great post, just what I needed! :)

    I have a Serbian and Bosnian passport and want to travel to Botswana via South Africa (I need visas for both countries with both passports), but the good thing at least is that I can send both of my passports at the same time to have the visas issued.

    My plan is to get the Batswana visa in my Serbian passport and the SA one in my Bosnian passport. BUT! My Bosnian passport is brand new i.e. stampfree (I will just have the SA visa)…

    Would it be better to exit Serbia with my Bosnian passport then, to get some stamps in it (I can do it easily in Serbia, because Bosnians enter Serbia with an ID card), or I shouldn’t worry?

    My plan is to enter and exit SA with my Bosnian passport and to go then to Botswana with my Serbian one. Just hope it will work. And then exit Botswana with my Serbian passport, fly to Johannesburg and show them my Bosnian passport again.

    I’m just scared that the Batswana will ask to see my SA exit stamp, because there aren’t many flights from Gaborone, Botswana to other countries… So, I mean, they can really easily “keep track” of where you just came from.

    I mean, I’m ready to defend my rights, I’m sure it’s nothing illegal, but still, you don’t argue with border control. If they don’t let you in, they don’t. :D

    What should I do in case of problems, I’m a bit insecure, because it’s going to be in Africa, where I’ll be a complete foreigner, and I’m not sure how their administration works (trying to be realistic, I know that people here in Serbia would make fuss about nothing just because they are uninformed, I guess that could also happen “down there” :))

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  2. christopher lew says:

    Hi! I’m a passport holder of both Australia and Estonia. When I first entered Europe I was not thinking clearly and entered on my Australian one (stupid I know) however my 90 days is almost up. I go from Serbia to Denmark soon,sk you think it would be an issue of I left Serbia on my aus passport then enter Denmark with my Estonian (never before used) so no stamps etc… thanks in advance

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  3. Tripmania says:

    Something here doesn’t make sense. If I have to enter the country and leave it on the same passport, it means that I can enter it and leave it on one passport and enter it again and leave it again on another passport. This is my situation, I am both French and American.
    So I have entered the US on my french passport with a visa and I have been there for 2 years, and now I am going to leave the US with my french passport, as it is suggested. And I would like to reenter one week after with my US passport instead and stay for one year this time and leave with my US passport next year. According to what you say, this is ok, because I made a 2 years trip on my french passport, and now I am going to make a 1 year trip with my US passport, each time entering and leaving with the same passport. However, if you look at a smaller time scale, it also looks like I am going to make a one week trip to france, leaving with one passport and entering with the other. Which, according to you is no correct.

    So what’s wrong ?

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    • Anil P. says:

      Generally speaking, you should use the passport of the country you’re a citizen of when going there. Why enter the US on your French passport? You’re a US citizen so use the US passport.

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  4. Dan says:

    Great forum – but any experience of travelling with UK and Chinese passports?

    I know China does not accept 2 dual citizenships but any chance to get away from it?

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    • Erin says:

      I’ve heard it’s like ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’

      Basically don’t tell or let the Chinese authorities know you have dual citizenship. However, if you are flying to China say from the UK, they may ask you why you don’t have a visa to be in the UK…which might reveal your dual citizenship.

      My friend had to renounce her Chinese citizenship when she became a Canadian, now when she travels to China it is definitely more work to get a visa to go (because they know she used to be a Chinese citizen). One way around it (at least for Canadians) is to request a special passport that doesn’t indicate your birthplace, thus they might not guess that you once had Chinese citizenship.

      Definitely contact the British (NOT Chinese) embassy.

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      • Dan says:

        Hi

        Thanks for the replies.

        I am planning to travel back to china via Dubai from the uk. I have got uk permanent residency in my Chinese passport. I am thinking that I exit uk with my British passport, in and out Dubai with the British one as well and enter china with the Chinese one. The only concern is whether there will be any problems entering china? Will the immigration ask any questions where I travel from etc?

        Thanks

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    • Anil P. says:

      Hi Dan,

      Perhaps someone can jump in here and give you a hand. I would also call the British embassy in China or send them an email, they might be able to give you some information.

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  5. Sonchi says:

    Hi Anil, this is an excellent blog by the way…. previously my wife was a Kenyan citizen. Whilst being kenyan she got an OCI (overseas citizen of india). She is now British with a British passport but her OCI is on the Kenyan passport. We’re going to India and were thinking of leaving on her British passport, entering India with her Kenyan passport and then coming back out of India with Kenyan and into UK with the British passport. Can you forsee any issues with this?

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    • Anil P. says:

      Thanks Sonchi, I appreciate the kind words. As for your question, honestly I’m not sure. It might just be easier to use the British passport and get a visa to India to avoid complications.

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  6. Kinza says:

    Hi Anil…. I have dual citizenship from the US and the UK. I have lived in the US most of my life, but will be moving permanently to Amsterdam in a couple months. Since Holland is part of the EU, I do not need to get a visa to work over there, however, it is imperative that I am not on the radar as entering Amsterdam on a US passport, otherwise I will not be able to stay for longer than 90 days, and I will also not be able to register as a resident of Amsterdam and receive a Burger Service Number. Given the exit & enter on the same passport laws, in addition to passport control checking for an exit stamp in my passport, I am not sure which passport I should use to enter the EU to become a resident. Right now, my flight is booked Amsterdam via London, but I’m wondering if I need change the flight so that I enter London with my US passport and then, on a separate flight, enter Amsterdam with my UK passport.
    I have looked everywhere I can, called both the US and the Dutch Embassy, and still cannot get a definite answer. I just want to make sure I’m doing it the right way, and to ensure that I do not run into any problems once I have begun the journey.
    Thanks so much!

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  7. Enrico says:

    Hi, I hsve dual citizenship for Germany and the US. Before I knew I held German Citizenship, I legally changed my name in the US.

    Now I have two passports, two different names, and the same picture:). Soon I am leaving the US to live and work in the EU but a different country than my citizenship.

    If I enter the new EU country with my US Passport, will that country require me to have an entry stamp on my EU passport to legally be there for work or is this a non-issue?

    I assume the name on my plane ticket has to match the name on my passport.

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    • Anil P. says:

      Check with the German embassy to confirm but I would suggest entering the EU on your US passport (names must match ticket like you mention) and then legally change your name in Germany and update your passport.

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      • Enrico says:

        Thanks. Unlike the US, Name Changing is difficult. It requires an approval. In the US, there’s an approval process based off one’s criminal history.

        So if you have no issues with police, the approval process takes minutes and it cost about $5o. In Germany, the approval process seems more complicated and it costs up to 1300 euros.

        It would be great if I could know what to expect. BTW- thank you for the ticket information.

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        • Anil P. says:

          I am familiar with German bureaucracy – and costs for enduring it unfortunately :) Having two different names is not a problem if you use the appropriate one in Germany; however it can cause problems when you are traveling out of the Schengen. Do you have a common middle name you can use perhaps?

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  8. Meera says:

    That’s cool stuff. Never required to travel with 2 PPs, but certainly it feels great to be a citizen of two nations. Leaving for Canada in September, and may be will settle down there, at that time your post will help me a lot Anil.

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  9. May says:

    if i enter the country by land with my saudi and only present my Canadian passport when exiting would that be an issue

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    • Anil P. says:

      It may be, I can’t say with certainty. Your embassy(ies) are the only definitive source of information. I wouldn’t take a chance but rather give them a call to find out.

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  10. May says:

    how can i enter Bahrain with an empty passport or a passport that’s not stamped would they questions that ??

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    • Anil P. says:

      They may, so it’s best to call the Bahraini embassy in Saudi Arabia to find out if there might be any problems using both passports there.

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  11. Jeremy says:

    Great idea for a post! I’m in the process of applying for my Bulgarian citizenship so I might be able to live within the EU without anyone knocking on my door saying time to go. (I’m American.

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  12. brit says:

    heya, im dual australia/uk…. i just applied for my indian visa online and it asked if i had dual nationality and so i tried to type both in but it wouldnt accept the issue date for my uk passport so i just said that i had single citizenship. do you think that’s a bad idea? and what the hell am i supposed to do if it wouldnt let me enter in the right info anyway?

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  13. KS says:

    Could you give me an advice what if I got wrong? Thanks…

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  14. KS says:

    Hi there, I have German and Myanmar Passport.I wanted to go and live in Myanmar.But Myanmar passport doesn’t allow to use in German , and I won’t be got a long stay in Myanmar with German passport. I considered that, If I exit from Germany with German Passport with one way ticket to Thailand , then get in with Myanmar Passport with Thailand Visa into Thailand. And then I will buy one way ticket with Myanmar Passport, and exit with Myanmar Passport , then get in Myanmar with Myanmar Passport

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  15. KS says:

    I don’t think so, that Myanmar doesn’t accept dual. I can go to Myanmar from Germany exit with German Passport and enter with Myanmar Passport.Problem is, I need to show Myanmar Visa if I exit with German Passport to aboard.Right?

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    • Anil P. says:

      Call the embassy, it’s the best way to find out honestly but if you’re exiting Germany with a German passport you won’t need any other papers.

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  16. Tom B. says:

    Anil, this is a fantastic site. I recently discovered that I have been a dual citizen of the US and the UK with out actually knowing it (UK being the previously unknown one) and I’m in the process of applying for my UK passport. Do you know of anything I have to do with the US State Department to make sure it’s all above board?

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  17. Andrea says:

    hey. i’m going to brazil in december and i have dual citizenship for Peru and USA. i know that i need a visa for my american passport, but not for my peruvian one. so i just want to make sure i understand what you’re saying. i’m supposed to leave the US with the american passport, arrive in brazil with the peruvian one, leave brazil with the peruvian one, and enter the US with the american one? and if i’m right, when should i show each passport? i’m just a little bit confused.

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  18. Alicja says:

    Ok.. so i have a Polish and American passport. I entered usa with the american one, and now I want to go back to Europe. From what I understand, when I will be checking in, I should use my American passport, show them the Polish one if they ask..and than when I land in Poland, hide the American one and enter with the Polish one?? Sooo confused!

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  19. Alicja says:

    http://www.newcitizen.us/dual.html Here it says that you can carry two passports on the same time, even in the airport and you should not have a problem with that.

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    • Enrico says:

      Great article! I feel more comfortable traveling with both passports now. I have US/German nationality. I changed my name in the US but not Germany. As a result, I must travel with both passports and US Court Order to avoid issues in case questions pop up:).

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    • Anil P. says:

      The advice above works as well. You’re not breaking any laws in the case of either country, you just want to make sure you’re showing the proper papers throughout the trip.

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  20. ellen barber says:

    iam a filipina ..i would like to ask if i have my dual citizenship British and filipino and when going back home is it possible that i will just use my british passport ? what are the advantage(s)if any using any ?
    I am having my dual citizenship because i have my property and a stockholder of a duly registered in SEC small company in the phil of which i acquired while i was still living there but at present iam a dual citizen.Thank you very muchin advance to all replies

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    • Anil P. says:

      Why use your British passport to get in the Philippines? There’s no advantage that I know of and you may even have to pay any applicable visa fees. When visiting a country you’re a citizen of, use their passport.

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  21. Sean says:

    hello there, was wondering if you can help me. I have dual citizenship, Britain and Canada. I have already been in Australia on a working holiday visa on my British passport, that has now expired and i have a new Canadian passport. Can i get the same visa for Australia with a different passport?? (i left Australia Sept. 2011 and have been in Canada since) or is that slightly…against the law????

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    • Anil P. says:

      You can but why would you want to?

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      • Sean says:

        well my girlfriend is Australian we want to go back for some more travelling, but if i used my British passport again, i’d have to get her to sponser me, and that visa costs $2000, whereas a working holiday visa costs $200. so it isnt illegal then?? i know you say in the article they might not be happy about it, but screw them if it isnt against the law!
        thanks dude!

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  22. Nay5 says:

    I have made a mistake. I am a dual citizen between Canada and Netherlands. I have come to Netherlands to study for a year and accidentally showed my Canadian passport when entering Holland. I am staying here for a year at least. Even though as a Dutch citizen I am legal to be in the country, am I going to have problems? As well if I leave Holland for another country (as I am planning on attending a conference in India) can I use my Dutch passport for this trip as then I am entering Holland on one passport and leaving on a different one.
    Thank you.

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    • Anil P. says:

      Yes – you can just use your Dutch passport – but you may have problems using your Canadian passport in the Schengen now. Only use the Dutch one in Europe.

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  23. AA says:

    I have a brazilian and Lebanese passports. I currently live in the United States with the student Visa in my Lebanese passport. But, in order for me to get through to brazil I need to use my brazilian passport.
    Should I just leave the United States with a lebanese passport and then when I get to brazil I show them my brazilian passport, and then on my way out of brazil i show them brazilian passport, and then back into the United states with my Lebanese passport?
    Sorry this so confusing. I’d appreciate any help.

    Thanks!
    A

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  24. sung says:

    Hi,
    Awesome blog! Hope you can help me out, do you know if US recognize Dual Citizenship? And, if I return without an exit stamp on the US passport, will they ask me a lot of questions? In the past, they’ve always asked me a lot of questions, even when I have all the proper stamps. Would really like to go through Customs without a hitch. Also, do you know if the RFID in the passport can keep a record of a person’s destination (entering & exiting)?
    Thank you very much!

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  25. Timothy says:

    Hello,

    I´m an american – spanish dual citizen. By law, I am required to enter and exit the US with my american passport. I am currently living in Spain and will be going to the US to visit my family. I booked my flight using my US passport info just to simplify the process.

    The problem is that I´ll have a layover in Turkey (9hrs) before continuing to the US. Since it´s a long layover, I want to stay at a hotel near the airport. The problem is that I would need a visa to enter Turkey (exit the airport) with my US passport, yet with my Spanish passport I don´t. How can I get around this problem. Is it possible to just switch to the Spanish passport at Turkey.

    BTW, I remind you that my plane ticket was booked with my US passport and my Spanish passport has a slightly different name on it (has a second last name).

    To make matters worse, I believe that Spain also requires me to exit and enter Spain with my SPANISH passport.

    This is definitely a confusing subject. Thanks in advanced.

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    • Anil P. says:

      You typically can’t switch in transit – as for your other question you can follow the formula above. (I’ve also got an article I’m working on for the next day that should help answer your question as well.)

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  26. sas says:

    Hi there,

    I am a Lebanese national living and working in the UK, and I have a working permit/visa attached to my Lebanese passport.
    I recently acquired a Brazilian passport (because my gran is Brazilian) which is amazing because it allows visa-free travels to Europe and other countries, whereas the Lebanese passport is very restrictive.

    I have read the posts and found them very useful HOWEVER i am still confused about justifying myself at border control without having to use both passports.

    Suppose I want to go to Paris for a weekend (so going from the UK to France). According to your post, I should check in with the airline with my Brazilian passport, but exit the UK with my Lebanese passport (which they will not stamp upon exit), and then enter France with my Brazilian passport which is completely empty! If I am asked at border control where i am visiting from, tell them it’s the UK, and then am asked why there is no proof on my Brazilian passport of any entry/exit to the UK, what am I supposed to do then??

    And again, upon exiting France, according to your posts, i should check in with my lebanese passport (which carries my UK visa), exit france with my brazilian passport and enter the UK with my lebanese passport. From experience, border control asks all sorts of questions, such as where are you coming from, how long have you been out the country, why, etc…? When i enter the country with my lebanese passport which carries no entry/exit stamps from France, what am i supposed to say??

    This is really stressing me out, and taking the fun out of having dual nationality to be honest! I really appreciate any help/advice you can give me.

    thanks!

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    • Anil P. says:

      You can tell them you just got a new passport from the consulate/embassy in the UK. You also need to check what the UK rules are for your visa (in terms of dual citizenship). Call the visa office to find out what the specifics are since it’s a bit different than just travel visas. Let me know if you have any other questions, good luck!

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  27. Silvia Consolini says:

    This a great blog.
    I have Italian and Venezuelan passport, I’m used to shuffle them around. This time I will try:

    1- Enter Thailand with my Italian passport.
    2- I will then give up my Italian passport to the Indian Visa Office to get an Indian Visa on it. This might take 10 days.
    3- In the mean time I wanted to visit Laos with my Venezuelan passport which won’t have the Thai entry stamp on it. Venezuelan passport doesn’t need a pre-issued VISA so I can get it at the port of entry in Laos.
    4- I will re-enter Thailand from Laos with my Venezuelan passport and pick up my Italian one before flying off to Mumbai.

    SO, maybe I have a couple of options:
    - Getting entry stamps on both passports: never done it and probably not advisable to even ask for that.
    - Leave Thailand with a non-stamped Venezuelan passport and show photocopies of the Thai entry stamp in the Italian passport?

    I know none of these sound too wise or feasible, I was just wondering if anybody had experience with this…

    Thanks!

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    • Anil P. says:

      Thanks Silvia. As for your questions, honestly, it’s best to wait before going into Laos for your Italian passport. That might make re-entry smoother for you.

      (Also they won’t give you entry stamps on both passports.)

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  28. RK says:

    Hi, I have two passports: a Bulgarian one and a Spanish one. My name is Bulgarian.
    Last time I entered and exited Turkey, I used the Spanish one, as I had the visas for the countries I was visiting after Turkey in this passport and traveled with a Spanish-registered car.
    Now I plan to go to Turkey again, but using the Bulgarian one, as I don’t need to buy a sticker visa (15 euros) and will travel with a Bulgarian-registered car.

    (Traveling with the same passport as your car’ country registration makes things at borders much easier).

    Will there be problems when trying to enter Turkey with my Bulgarian passport, because I entered last time with my Spanish one?

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  29. Andy T says:

    Thanks for the great blog.

    Didn’t see it covered above but was hoping you could clarify a situation for me. My wife and I are going from the US to Australia via stopover in China in both directions. She has US/Australian citizenship. Last time she flew to Australia on her US passport and was given a lot of grief for not using her Aussie passport (it had expired at the time). I know she should normally enter Australia on the Aussie passport and exit same, but how does flying through China BOTH ways complicate things?

    She has to fly on her US passport to China from the US (couldn’t arrange Australian Visa to China from USA). She has a dual entry visa already secured for China on US Passport. I assume exit China on US passport but show Australia passport to airline? Then enter/exit customs in Australia on Aussie passport, showing US passport to airline bound for China on return? Then enter/exit China on US passport? Just wasn’t sure how China would handle this since she’s passing through twice, on different passports potentially.

    Thought we’d simplify it and just do all on the US passport, as Australian visa is only $20, but when registering online it asks if she has dual citizenship and wasn’t sure if we should answer? Not sure if they’d care if she arrives on US passport while she has Australian citizenship, as they didn’t care for it previously.

    Any advice you can impart would be appreciated.

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  30. Muge says:

    Merhaba Anil,
    Bende de ABD ve TC pasaportlari var. Turkiye Amerikadaki bosanmayi kabul etmedigi icin pasaportlardaki soyadlari suan icin farkli. Bugune kadar sadece ABD-TC gidip geldim. Arkadas grubuyla birkac ulkeden olusan bir geziye cikmayi planliyorum. Bu gezilerde TC pasaportunu kullanacagim, ve bu gittigim ulkelere havaalani degil sinir kapisindan girecegim. ABD’ye geri dondugumde gittigim ulkeleri sorduklarinda Turk pasaportunu gosterebilir miyim? yada izlemem gereken yol nedir? Simdiden tesekkurler…

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    • Anil P. says:

      Türk pasaportunu gösterme, sadece ilk giriş ve son çıkış ülkelerini yaz. Ondan fazlasını sorarlarsa çift vatandaşlığını açıklayabilirsin.

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  31. luaay says:

    Hi!
    I just hosted a guy from Hong Kong.He is citizen of three countries:
    UK,Hong Kong and Canada.
    Anytime he flies back to Canada he conceals his Canadian citizenship ,entering Canada on either British or Hong Kong passport.
    I dont quite understand why.go and figure.

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  32. Bello says:

    HI,

    I’ll be very relieved if you could advise me with the best solution to my issue. I have a Mozambican passport and a Portuguese passport. I’m flying to Switzerland from south Africa, i would like to know: after entering south Africa with tha Mozambican passport to i present the same passport and the airport control? and my Portuguese passport to the airline. making in this case only using my portages passport in Europe and my Mozambican when i return to enter south Africa? this has been a very complicated issue to me. hope you can better inform me.

    regards

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  33. RK says:

    Hi again, it seems that in the case of Turkey (or other visa free/visa on arrival country where you don’t fill forms), it is no problem to use whatever passport I want (Spanish or Bulgarian),
    but what about countries where a visa is needed? I am specifically interested in Azerbaijan: when I went there I used my Spanish passport and on the visa form they asked
    if I had a previous citizenship and when I ‘lost’ it. I wrote that I had a Bulgarian and I lost it in 2006 (when I got my Spanish one). At the border I was asked if I am a Spanish citizen (because my name is Bulgarian and I have been born in Bulgaria). I have heard from different people that in Azerbaijan they allow you only to have one citizenship and it seems that they think that this is applicable to everybody. Will I have a problem if I decide to travel to Azerbaijan again using my Bulgarian passport in the future?

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      It depends but stick with a single passport. You’re probably better off using the Spanish on in that case.

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      • RK says:

        Thanks for your clarification.
        It seems that having two EU passports is more a trouble than an advantage: now I am residing in Bulgaria, but I can not get a residence permit, because I am a Bulgarian citizen. And if I need to apply for a visa in Sofia with my Spanish passport, I can not, because I need a residence permit. This means that I need to go to Spain first in order to apply for a visa for a country which wants you to apply in your residence country. A little bit of an expensive Catch22.

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  34. Karen says:

    Hello, I’m hoping that you could also answer a question for me regarding my dual citizenship. I was born in Canada but also have a German passport. I’ve been living in Germany now for a year and a half and I entered the counrty with my German passport. I am now going to visit Canada for Christmas and would like to know if I should use my Canadian passport or my German one to enter Canada. I will only take one passport with me so it’s important I take the right one. I am worried that if I use my German passport,that they will ask me questions about how long I’ve been living in Germany and where is my canadian passport etc… But if I use my Canadian one, I am afraid they will think I was only visiting Germany and would inquire about how long I had been there for etc…..what should I do please?
    A quick response would be much appreciated, I fly in a few days.

    Thank you!

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    • Anil P. says:

      Take both passports but show the Canadian one in Canada.

      (0)
      • Gonzalo says:

        Hi, hope you can help me..

        I am traveling around the world and at the entry in Laos I intended to use my Uruguayan passport to save $5 on visa over my second passport (US). After getting the visa at Laos entrance, the immigration official asked me where was the exist stamp of my prior country visited (Vietnam) so I explained I showed my second passport where the stamp was. Bottom line he forced me to use the same passport I exited the prior country! Now I am worry I can’t use my visa free Uruguayan passport at Russia border because I will be have an exit stamp from India on my other passport (US)??
        Any advise?

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  35. Immy says:

    I have a question if any one has experienced this,
    I am living in DUBAI on a Pakistani passport since long time and has UAE RESIDENT VISA on it, UAE does not recognized Dual Nationality and I also have UK passport, usually i will exit on Pakistani passport and go out from UAE and take another flight from different country to Europe and vice versa same..Now if i am checking on Dubai Airport on UK passport to London than Airline has no issue but soon after i face immigration where some time they ask for boarding card and also asked where are you going, so If i lie that going to Pakistan where boarding card says London, than they will have me for keeping 2 passports in my pocket etc.. LAW here are very tough. so any one is experiencing same from DUBAI/UAE airports than please share your experiences and tricks to save money for rerouting flights.and solutions.reagrds.

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  36. Natalie says:

    I had problems on both times I tried to leave Turkey in the last year. One trip was to Meis and the other to the UK. It involved an old British passport, a new British passport, lack of residency visas (because they took them off me when I got my citizenship) and a kimlik.

    Both times, they said the kimlik was no good because I was not leaving on a Turkish passport but I had to show how I had been living legally in the country and that was the only proof. On both occasions, they tried to piece the time line from the last entry stamp in the old British passport which was about eight years ago, to present day!!

    They both gave up in the end but I have learned to arrive super early if I try to leave the country.

    I am assuming you enter and leave Turkey on your American passport?

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    • Anil P. says:

      I wonder if that’s because of the British passport, residency, and the ignorance of whomever was checking your passport!

      No, I always enter and leave Turkey with my Turkish passport. (And if from Istanbul pay that stupid 15TL exit fee.)

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    • flybynights says:

      I will be exiting Thailand on my American passport and want to get into KL Malaysia on my German passport.

      Would this be possible if my German passport is empty and has never been used?

      Hold would I need to do this?

      Can I do this also by border crossing, or do I need to fly.

      Please help

      (0)
      • Anil P. says:

        Why switch passports if you don’t have to? As far as your German passport being empty, you can tell them you hold dual citizenship if you like or use your German passport for entry to Thailand and into Malaysia. I wouldn’t recommend switching if you don’t have to.

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        • flybynights says:

          It’s because I have to get a Non B visa in my German pp because of a work requirement.

          How can I make this work departing out of Thailand?

          (0)
          • Anil P. says:

            Why didn’t you then enter with your German passport, obtaining the visa first? (Read the first bullet point of this post.) I’m not sure in your case, I would contact the German embassy in Thailand to see if they can be of assistance.

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  37. Anil P. says:

    I assume exit China on US passport but show Australia passport to airline? Then enter/exit customs in Australia on Aussie passport, showing US passport to airline bound for China on return? > yes.

    Then enter/exit China on US passport? > yes. but if you show the Australian passport (without visa) you’ll be denied entry. Use the passport wit the visa at immigration control in China.

    Thought we’d simplify it and just do all on the US passport, as Australian visa is only $20, but when registering online it asks if she has dual citizenship and wasn’t sure if we should answer? > this is your best option. on the Aussie visa you should (always in general) be honest and having the Aussie citizenship they probably won’t charge you visa fee.

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  38. Carol says:

    Hi there, how are you? Maybe u can help me I have Italian passport and A Brazilian passaport and I’m Australian permanent resident – my Australian residency is linked to my Brazilian passport! Question – im leaving australia on my brazilian passaport that has my australian residency , I’m going to brazil via Dubai and will spend a few days in Dubai! Can I enter Dubai with my Italian passport or do I have to use the Brazilian that contains my residency in audtralia? If I use the Italian I don’t have to apply for a visa if I use the Brazilian I have to apply for a visa to enter Dubai? The problem is that no one seems to know if I should use the Brazilian or If I could use the Italian?
    Your help would be appreciated

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  39. Peter says:

    Hi there, very informative blog. I have both Canadian and New Zealand passports. I intend to spend some time in the US, as much as possible actually without applying for a work permit. As a canadian I can spent six months in the US (per year) and as a New Zealander I can spend three 3 months there without a work visa. If I were to go on two separate trips, one on each passport, spending a total of 9 months in the US within a year, would the authorities deem this suspicious and would I risk being denied entry to America?

    Thank you, look forward to your response.

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  40. david says:

    traveling IN TO A COUNTRY BY MR XYZ travel out by MR XYZ ( BUT THEY ARE DIFFRENT PEOPLE WITH DIFFRENT PASSPORTS. WILL THE CHECK IN COUNTER S NOTICE THIS. IE. TRAVELD IN AND TRAVEL OUT TWO DIFFRENT PASSPORTS BUT SAME NAME BEARING INITIALS
    ADIVICE PLS

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  41. Ivan says:

    Is it possible to travel to Brazil from U.S with a Russian passport(brazil doesnt require VISA) and come back with my American passport(Brazil requires visa)?

    The problem is that if I am going back to US but visa is absent, can cause suspicion no?

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  42. Tosh says:

    Hello Anil, you mention above:

    “Don’t tell passport control you’ve got two nationalities – even if asked. Doing so can forfeit your rights as a legal traveler. By the way, you’re not lying in this case either”

    What do you mean “forfeit your rights” ?

    This is the scenerio :

    I will be flying out of Thailand into Macau on my American PP.

    They will have to stamp me out of Thailand on my American PP.

    I will then want to stamp into Macau on my German PP.

    My German PP has never been used before, so what do I say if PP control in Macau ask where is my exit stamp?

    Tosh

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      Basically if there are restrictions on your other nationality, they may be imposed. As for Macau, almost always you have to enter and exit on the same passport.

      (0)
      • Tosh says:

        Thank you Anil,

        Ok well, having a German and American passport should then be ok? Do you know if there are restrictions on these two nationalities?

        Will what I have planned above work?

        (0)
        • Anil P. says:

          I don’t know if there are any restrictions off hand but be sure to check the embassy websites of both to confirm there aren’t any visa or other conditions. Your plan otherwise should work, just follow the sequence mentioned above with airline check-in and passport control.

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  43. Lorraine says:

    Great site! I am a dual UK & South African citizen. I am looking to go to Dubai & want to enter & exit on my British passport (to get the visa on arrival), as South African’s have to purchase a visa beforehand. Here’s my question – I have to exit South Africa on my SA passport,will it be a problem that there is no exit stamp in my British passport, when I land in Dubai?

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      Use the format above in the post along these lines: UK passport at check in, SA at passport control, UK at Dubai arrival, then reverse…if that makes sense.

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  44. Ryder says:

    Hello Anil P,

    Thank you very much for the great information.

    If I may I just have a few questions you might be able to help with.

    My Son is a dual national “Russian and Australian” and we’re leaving Russia for Australia shortly.

    As far as I know, we should Exit Russia using his Russian passport but tell the airline and border officers he is a Dual National so they can see he doesn’t require a Visa to enter Australia. Does this sound correct?

    We will be going through Abu Dhabi in UAE, so Question is which passport should we show
    when entering the UAE? his Russian one or Australian one?

    I’ve called both Russia and Australia and they just say, you should exit and enter the country you’re a citizen of with that passport. But i’m confused about the rest! :(

    Any information you could advise would be greatly appreciated.

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      As far as I know, we should Exit Russia using his Russian passport but tell the airline and border officers (border control won’t care about Australia visa, don’t mention the dual unless asked) he is a Dual National so they can see he doesn’t require a Visa to enter Australia. Does this sound correct? > yes

      We will be going through Abu Dhabi in UAE, so Question is which passport should we show
      when entering the UAE? his Russian one or Australian one? > you won’t have to show a passport if it’s just a connection. if not, you’ll have to use a single passport for the entire trip. (and get applicable visas.)

      Hope this helps!

      (0)
      • Ryder says:

        Thanks very much, I called the Airline “Etihad” to explain the situation and they said the same thing pretty much.

        They will ask where the visa is and we should just tell them he is a dual national.

        Other than that there should be no other issues.

        Thanks again Anil, much appreciated.

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  45. kelty clark says:

    hey guys=) i need help im dual im pilipino and canadian i have two passports an i dont know what to use for going back to phil=( its my 1st time so i dont know how=(

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  46. Daisy says:

    Hi, thanks for the great site!

    I am going to enter India with Israeli passport and after the 6 months visa is expired- i am not allowed to issue another one in a period of 2 months. I was wondering if i can just go out with Israeli passport and obtain another Indian visa in my second (Russian) passport and enter India again. Do you think it’s legal?:)
    thank you!

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  47. Cherry says:

    Hi,
    I am holding british passport and wish to leave UK and go back to my home country (Malaysia), but my old malaysia passport has expired long long time and never used after i had my british passport. When i leave UK and entry into Malaysia, i wish i could used my malaysia passport (need to renew) but if i used my british passport to leave UK, i don’t think that’s a good ideal to used malaysia passport to enter into Malaysia. But if i used my malaysia passport on departure, what if the british immegresen found that my passport enter to UK many years ago but never go out, they might think i am illegal stay in uk, but infact i have a british passport (with different surname – after marriage). Can anyone help?

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      Go to the Malaysia embassy in the UK and get a new passport, are you close enough? They likely will also let you do it through the mail as well.

      (0)
  48. Jim says:

    Hi Anil,

    I’m in quite an urgent situation. I have a Greek Passport and a US Passport. I’ve been living in the UK for the past three and a half months and I entered the country from Greece. I have never been to the States before in my life, so now that my girlfriend is studying there, I though it is the best time to go there. I though, “AT LAST”!!! However, I’m starting to fear that my dual nationality will become a big issue. I’m planning on leaving the UK with my US passport because I figured I wouldn’t need any visas. I tried to go to the US Embassy but they don’t let you enter without appointments, so I couldn’t have any of my queries answered. Could please help me with this information? Is it going to be a problem for me to leave the UK with a US passport if I’ve entered with a Greek one? If that is an issue, what do I need to do? I would be very grateful if you could help with this.

    Thank you in advance

    (0)
    • Jim says:

      Sorry,

      Also one more question, when I leave the States again to go back to the UK (which will be in about 9 months from the time I arrive, I believe) which passport should I use to exit the country?

      Thanks.

      (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      Hi Jim,

      It shouldn’t be an issue. When you book your flights, do so with the US passport information – at the airport when you check in with the airline, show your US passport – then at UK passport control the Greek one. Then in the US the US one :) It should be a smooth process.

      Safe travels,
      -Anil

      (0)
  49. Darin Graham says:

    I have a South African and a British Passport. I exited the UK on my SA passport and entered SA on my SA passport. I’m not sure what to do on the way back though. Do I exit on my SA and enter on my British passport? Will the British border control not ask why my British passport has not been stamped? How would they know where I cam from kind of thing? I’m so confused.

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  50. Joelle says:

    Hello; i’m going to Cuba for the Christmas holidays with my french passport, departing from France where I live and I would like my daughter to join me. She is currently studying in the US and she holds dual french-US citizenship. Because of the embargo, she cannot go straight to Cuba with her american passport nor can she exit the country with her french passport as she entered it with her us passport. She’ll have to travel through another country, Mexico for instance. My question is : can she exit the US with her US passport, enter Mexico with her french passport, use that french passport to travel back and forth Cuba, leave Mexico with her french passport (the one she used to enter the country) and then reenter the states with her US passport? Is that feasable and won’t they ask her (at us custom) why she has no stamp on her american passport? Do you have any idea or alternative solution on how she could join me? Thanks a lot for your help.
    Joelle

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  51. cherry says:

    Thanks Anil P,

    But i still worried, if i used Malaysia passport to leave UK, and what if the UK immegresen think i am over stay in UK for many years? with new passport, and different surname. should i bring my british passport and marry certificate to prove? will any other problem may occur?
    Thank you.

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  52. Maher says:

    Hello there,

    You’ve got a great post there.

    I was wondering, If you have dual citizenship and you’re traveling with two passports while visiting two countries, each with a different passport, wouldn’t you in fact need to stamp both passports with an exit stamp when exiting your country of origin? And is that allowed? While entering the second country you’re visiting, won’t they ask you where you’re coming from? ans subsequently would wanna see the appropriate exit stamp?

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  53. Brunette says:

    Hi

    This is such a great blog and clearly has helped ppl! Please can you impart your passport knowledge onto me:)

    I am a South African citizen living in the UK on an EU (Cypriot) passport – i am going to Thailand in December for a holiday and am not sure if I require a visa – as a Cypriot citizen I require a Thai visa but as a South African I don’t. Can I leave the UK on my South African passport and enter Thailand on my South African? and then come back on my EU passport?

    Im terrified i get into some form of trouble along the way! Happy to get the visa if need be but just trying to work out whats possible.

    thanks!

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      Thanks very much and I’ll do my best.

      You can but you need to follow the formula above. Check in EU passport at airport, SA passport on entry, then reverse on the way back if that makes sense.

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  54. kat says:

    Hi. I have dual citizenship US and Greek. I am currently studying in the UK with my Greek passport (so I wont need a Visa). I will be going back to the US for vacation and not sure which passport to use. In addition, my name on the Greek passport differs from the one on the US passport; so under which name do I book my tickets and how do I enter and leave the UK?

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      Use the US to go to US, but show Greek at passport control on the way out. How does your name vary? If it’s just middle/first name reversed, it’s almost never a problem.

      (0)
      • kat says:

        Shouldn’t I always enter and leave the US with my US passport? I don’t have a middle name; my first name however in English is katherine and in Greek it begins with an A. Also in my last name, in Greek, it lacks an S at the end. I wouldnt be worried, except for the fact that my name is different in both passports.

        (0)
        • Anil P. says:

          Yes, enter the US with the US passport; and show the Greek passport at UK passport control if you’ve been in that country for more than 6 months (US visa allowance).

          (0)
  55. gab says:

    hi, I have dual citizenship israeli and french and want to fly from australia to bangkok but the flight goes through malaysia with a 3 hour stop-over. Does anyone know if its possible to stop-over on my french passport? even though i’m born in israel and the passport was issued in israel? could there be a problem in the transit? do i need to go through immigration to transit?
    any experience in this situation could be helpful…thankyou

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  56. gab says:

    hello hello i live in australia and have a residency here with my french passport…i want to go to india and need to make a 6 months indian visa on my israeli passport cause the french passport is going to expire in 8 months so i prefer to travel with my israeli….so do i need to leave australia with the french one but let them know about the israeli?? and then when i get to india i just show the israeli with the visa??

    and do you think the indian embassy in australia would mind to make a visa to india on my israeli passport if i am staying in australia on my french???

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  57. Lee says:

    Hey there,

    Hoping you could answer my question!

    I have dual nationality between NZ and the US. I am currently living in the UK and have sent my NZ passport away to the UK border agency in order to extend my stay here in the UK.

    However, I need to get home briefly for my brother’s shot-gun wedding in two weeks. My NZ passport will still be the border agency for sometime. Can I leave the UK on my US passport even though I did not enter on it? I know I will have no problem getting into the US, it is just weather I will have trouble leaving and coming back into the UK on my US passport. I have a letter from the Border Agency about them having my NZ passport. Will that help at all? Any info would be VERY appreciated as I need to by a ticket ASAP.

    Cheers!

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      If you’re over on what the limit is for a US passport, it will likely cause you problems. The letter won’t help as you can’t ‘blend’ your nationalities, it’s either or when it comes to passport control.

      (0)
  58. Jenny says:

    Hi!

    I’ve been reading a million forums with great interest (and much stress). If someone could help me with my situation.
    I have an EU passport and Australian passport.
    I’m in Argentina. I left AUS with my AUS passport…and when I entered Argentina with my EU passport (as EU nationals don’t pay the tourist entry fee). No problem.
    What is interesting is this:
    My flight ticket was issued with my name as appears on my AUS passport.
    My EU passport has a somewhat different name, as it is in accordance with my EU birth/baptist name (long story).
    When I entered Argentina, they did not question this. Perhaps I did not show the boarding pass, I assume at this point? I can’t remember..

    The problem is:
    I just booked an online ticket from Argentina to Brazil. I will be exiting Argentina the same way I came: on my EU passport, and entering Brazil on my EU passport (again, no visa requirements with EU passport to enter Brazil).
    BUT….I realised my name on the e-ticket matches my Australian passport, not my EU passport!!!! Aaaaaaaah.
    ALSO…I have to pay an overstay tourist visa fine (from my EU passport).

    What do I do?
    Can I check-in with my AUS passport (which has no stamps or record of me entering Argentina).. and then go through passport control with EU passport?
    Do they check names matching with boarding pass/passport at passport control?

    Or do I pay the massive fine for a name change for my e-ticket and have it all match my EU passport and travel with that.

    I am so stressed and confused.
    I’d appreciate someone’s help.
    The staff at Emirates in Buenos Aires are not the most helpful bunch.

    thanks!
    Jen

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  59. JAMEK says:

    Hey man, you have a nice post over here.

    I recently acquired US citizenship and I’m also an Uzbek citizen. I only have one passport, an American but not Uzbek. Can I go to Uzbekistan, get the Uzbek passport and exit Uzbekistan using my Uzbek passport to Ukraine/Russia (which allow Uzbek citizens to enter without a visa) and flee to the US using my American passport from Ukraine/Russia?

    Thanks in advance

    (0)
    • Anil P. says:

      You can try picking up your Uzbek passport from the embassy in the US, that might be easier. Call them to find out the options in your case.

      (0)
      • JAMEK says:

        I cant get my uzbek passport from the embassy, the only thing i can get is the certificate of return to go back to uzbekistan in order to get my uzbek passport. Beyond that point, will i have problems because i have a new passport?

        (0)
      • JAMEK says:

        I cant get my uzbek passport from the embassy, the only thing i can get is the certificate of return to go back to uzbekistan in order to get my uzbek passport. Beyond that point, i want to exit uzbekistan via ukraine, by buying two separate tickets; uzb to ukr and ukr to usa. but im worried about leaving uzbekistan since i’ll have a brand new passport; i mean arent they going to question me about my passport being so new or whatever?

        (0)
  60. david says:

    FURTHER to my previous mail allow me to make my question more clear.OBJETIVE is to use a ticekt MR XYX WHO does not wih to go back soon So another MR XYZ use to go back instead preventing the wasted ticket

    hoping it is clear .ie transfer the ticke to another bearing the same name with initials.

    (-2)
    • Mike K says:

      I have dual passports, US and Irish. I visit England every year for a few weeks and meet with my family members (sisters/brothers). In the past, I have always used my US passport when entering and exiting England. While in England, I often visit Ireland for a few days but don’t use my Irish passport when traveling between England & Ireland. Can I legally use my Irish passport when traveling between countries? I was born in England and also have a British passport which expired many years ago and I never renewed it. I appreciate your comments!

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