Traveling as a dual citizen can reduce the number of visas you have to deal with from country to country but can leave you with many questions before booking your next trip. The rules are often murky at best and vary widely from each paired nation whose passports you may happen to be carrying. These are the simple answers to the more intricate questions dual citizens tend to ask when considering to take advantage of their multiple passports.
Before digging into this list, I recommend you brush up on the basics of how to travel with two passports if you’re a dual citizen to make sure you’ve got the fundamentals covered. Then, run down these most frequently asked questions to find out how to handle common scenarios that many dual citizens will face at some point in their travels.
How Should I Check In At The Airport?
This is easily the most common – yet misunderstood – process travelers using two passports come across when crossing multiple borders.
Here are the basic steps to follow starting with number one: check in with the airline at the airport using the passport for the country you will be heading to. So if you’re a U.S. citizen with dual French citizenship heading to Brazil (which requires a visa for Americans but not the French) at the airline desk you’ll show your French passport. The airline is more concerned with where you’re going and if you’re legally allowed to do so. Passport control on the other hand works in reverse, checking to make sure you entered the country legally and didn’t overstay your travel visa. (Here’s what happens when you do.) Back to our U.S.-French example, at passport control in say, New York, you’ll show your American passport. Get stamped and on your flight (when boarding again if asked, show your French passport). Upon arrival, at passport control in Rio de Janeiro, you’ll present your French passport. Repeat in reverse to return to the United States.
You’ll want to follow this basic formula when switching between your various nationalities, keeping in mind not to do so (and stick with one passport, visas and all) if either of the countries you’re traveling to doesn’t either of your dual citizenships.
Will My Home Country (Or Countries) Be Suspicious If I Don’t Have Corresponding Stamps For Places Nations I’ve Visited?
They shouldn’t, unless there’s some sort of restriction your country places on travel to the places you’ve been (e.g. Americans going to Cuba). The other caveat is if your country doesn’t allow dual citizenship – admitting to having one can cause problems. In either of the latter examples, do your specific research prior to traveling. Otherwise, remember that your country of citizenship doesn’t care as much about what you did abroad so long as you didn’t break any of their rules.
Which Country’s Embassy Should I Visit If Needed?
Generally speaking, you go to the embassy of the country whose passport you entered a nation on, if you need assistance when traveling. When in either country where you possess citizenship however, the Master Nationality Rule applies. That means your other country of citizenship cannot provide you diplomatic protection when you’re visiting another country you’re a citizen of.
Is It Legal To Switch Passports To Avoid Visa Fees?
For the most part, yes, however the practice is not encouraged by any government. (And the countries whose visa fees you’re trying to get around aren’t exactly excited about you doing it either.) Follow my dual citizen check-in formula above.
Can I ‘Switch’ Passports While In A Country? (For Example To Extend A Schengen Visa Stay?)
No. You’re recognized as the citizen of the passport you entered a country on. Legally, citizenships are always separated, you can’t blend them. Nice try though. There are other ways however to extend your Schengen stay and other visits elsewhere in the world.
What If My Name Is Different In Each Passport?
That my friend, can cause problems, if that name doesn’t match your transportation (i.e. air) tickets. But like all things, it depends on how big the differences actually are. If your middle and first name happens to be reversed or you were recently married and have documentation to prove a maiden name change, it’s almost never a problem. Otherwise, try to get all of your documents with the same name.
Where Is The Best Place To Get Definitive Answers For My Specific Situation?
Your embassy. Here’s how to find the contact information for embassies all over the world and the place to begin is the one in the nation you’ll be visiting. The office or government department that issued your passport should have the domestic answers you need as well. Although it takes time and effort to get an answer, they’re the only places that can give you information with certainty, so stay on them until you get what you need.
Finally, What Are Some General Guidelines I Should Follow?
Aside from what’s listed above, realize the limitations of dual citizenship for your travels. Sometimes switching passports may not be feasible or recommended and you’ll have to simply use one passport, paying the fees for visas that may entail. Also, always enter a country you’re a citizen of with their passport and whenever in doubt – go to an official government source to get the complete details.
Just a small detail regarding Step One: fortunately, this step is simplified when departing from North America. Canada, the USA, and Mexico all do not check passports on departure. So no need to switch passports during the departure process. All they care about is that you return your Entry Card (I-94 in the USA; not sure what it is called in Mexico and Canada) upon checking in with your airline.
Very true 🙂
Never really thought about how this would work with dual citizenship. Sounds complicated, but with your great advice it should clear up a lot of confusion for those with dual citizenship.
Thanks Barbara, it’s got several advantages but only if leveraged properly.
When I read posts like this I’m oh so grateful to have just the one passport – quite handy that that passport is British, too, I guess. 🙂
I’ve read it’s the best in the world to have in terms of travel!
I’m coming up on my final year as a temp resident and considering whether or not to apply for a passport from my new country. I have lots of questions and you’ve just answered a few. Thanks! Unfortunately, I live in the Netherlands and they are changing their dual citizenship policy, which will likely decide the matter for me 🙁
Great post, though.
You’re welcome and good luck!
Sorry about the duplicate post. Received an error message that my comment could not be posted, yet it appears twice. Weird.
No worries, it can be confusing when the comments have occasional issues like that. I’ve removed the duplicate.
Thank you for the info, it was really helpful. I’ve just got a question, one of my passports is new and has no stamps on it… Would that be weird to the officer of the country I’m going to?
Yes, most likely.
Hi there, thanks for the very informative post. Dual citizenship and travel is a very grey area indeed in some ways, and there seem to be many potential pitfalls out there.
We live in South Africa, and we’ve got a tricky problem with my wife’s dual citizenship. She is South African and Portuguese, both countries do allow dual citizens. However due to the strict naming laws in Portugal, after registering her marriage with the local embassy she has now been saddled with a triple-barrelled surname (mother’s maiden surname, father’s surname, and my surname) in her Portuguese passport. All her South African identification, including her SA passport, has the names in a different format (same first name, but mother’s maiden surname is used as a middle name, and my surname as the only surname).
Where possible we just disregard her Portuguese citizenship, travel only on her South African passport and cough up the visa fees – but it is a particular problem when travelling to the UK and EU, since they flat out refuse to issue her a visa in her SA passport because she is also an EU citizen. If we want to travel to any of those countries we *have* to find a way around the name mismatch.
Do you have any further advice to offer on the “different name in each passport” problem?
When traveling to Europe, why not use the Portuguese passport? I’m confused as to why you’d apply for an entry visa in your wife’s case.
Thanks for the reply Anil. You are correct, for travel in Europe we could make all her travel bookings using the name as shown in the Portuguese passport and travel on that document.
The catch with travelling from South Africa is that, as a citizen, you are required by law to exit and enter SA using your SA passport. This means that when leaving South Africa, one would 1) check in at the airline using the Portuguese passport, no problem, but 2) have to pass through immigration and passport control with the South African passport, which would not match the name on the boarding pass and would not have a visa – one would have to show both passports and try to convince the passport control officer that you were the same person even though the names are different. I’m unsure how easy (or not) this would be, and what paperwork might be asked for.
Ok, I see now. I would go with the same process you described above, but carry along a copy of the marriage certificate. That’s what many others in similar situations in other countries have tried, usually with success. It sounds like the names are similar enough and with two government-issued photos IDs, your chances are pretty good.
Next step if possible, get an amendment to the SA passport with the new name. Some countries allow alias names to be listed in passports along with legal names, it may be an option for your wife in SA.
Very useful advice – thank you for your time Anil.
You’re very welcome, glad I could be of some help.
My wife has dual Thailand and US passports. I know she should use her Thai passport to enter and leave Thailand and her US passport to enter and leave the US. My question is that when going from Thailand to the US we go thru Japan. There they ask to see your passport. We are not entering Japan, just passing thru, but they will ask to see a passport. Which passport should she show in Japan?
The one she used to check in at the airline with.
Thanks, I assumed such and you have confirmed.
Hi Anil, in my case I have US passport and reside in US w/my children who are also US citizens. I also have Azerbaijani passport and my kids are entered into my passport at citizens of Azerbaijan (azerbaijan does not issue passports for children under 16). We are leaving United States tomorrow for Azerbaijan, changing planes in Germany. What passport should i be showing at airline check-in and security check point? My concern is that my children are written into my Azerbaijani passport, would US and Germany be ok w/it. Kids are 2 and 5 years old. Please help, I am leaving tomorrow!
Leaving the US, check in showing both passports which will confirm you don’t need a Azerbaijan visa. (As there is no passport control leaving the US.) Then enter Azerbaijan, show the Azeri passports.
On the return home, the same process in reverse. I hope this helps and I got back to you in time!
Hi, we have an unusual problem in that my wife and I both have different names on each of our two passports – I have Greek and Australian passports, she has Vietnamese and Australian.
We understand we use each passport in and out of that country (eg. Greek passport in and out of Greece, Vietnamese passport in and out of Vietnam). We cant alter the names on the passports due to various bureaucracy and what not, and we’re not changing the Aussie ones. So with that said, with names as is, our issue is regarding boarding flights.
If we fly on Australian passport in the name “A”, we show it checking onto a flight and exiting Australia. No issue.
If then we travel to Greece or Vietnam, either my wife or I would show that passport, in name “B”. Also no issue, being citizens of those respective countries.
The issue appears to arise when we exit. We need to show passport A to the airline to match the ticket, but the passport in the name B to exit that country.
So, the boarding pass will be in A but the passport will be in B when we show immigration on the way out of Greece/Vietnam. Are you still with me?
I know there are various opinions on what to do, or ideas on how it works, but I would be grateful if anyone with first hand experience travelling to Greece and/or Vietnam could let me know of their experiences if they are in similar situations.
I know we have all the paperwork to prove identities, I’m just interested in what the immigration officials in both Greece and Vietnam do, besides ask for some baksheesh..
It’s hard to say what might happen – do you have a national ID card with the same name in both countries you can show with the passport? Additionally, you should have your names changed to match if possible to avoid trouble in the future.
Thanks for the reply. Its a tough one.
I’d like to hear from someone who has experienced travelling in different names through either country. We surely wouldnt be the first people to do it.
To answer your question, yes, we have all our additional documents. I have a letter from the Greek consulate with a copy of both passports on it saying im the same person. My wife has her legal name change certificate showing both names.
The only issue I see is the immigration officer not wanting to stamp a passport when we’re exiting without a matching boarding pass. But if the airline has issued a pass already and there is a second passport to show its for the same person, I cant see any real justification in creating a drama.
Some background if you’re curious – I was born in Australia with an anglicised given name. I was entitled to a passport through a parent so Greece just changed it to a Greek name and are inflexible on changing it back. My wife changed her name by marriage and has added an anglicised given name, so Vietnam wont change hers either. It is very impractical for us to use the other names in Australia, for a variety of reasons I wont get into, but the bottom line is we wont be changing them.
Love to hear from someone who has gone through Greece or Vietnam in this situation!
I have an answer to my own question. My wife travelled from Vietnam to Australia this week. The airline has no problem as long as one document matches the name on the ticket. Immigration also said just use the Vietnamese passport in and out, and if one of the people says the name on the boarding pass doesnt match, just show the other passport. No worries whatsoever.
Hi, i’m born in surinam but as a baby I moved to Belgium and got Belgium nationality when i was 12 i moved back to surinam and when i turned 18 i also got the surinam nationality, but now i want to travel to Belgium, but before you i reach Belgium i have to go to the netherlands( surinam-Belgium flights don’t exist). I already bought my ticked with my Belgium passport, but with which passport do i pass the passport control in surinam and with which passport do i enter holland(to enter holland with a surinam passport you need a visa).
Follow the advice in the answer to the first question in the article above.
What about the US and fingerprints. I used to travel to the US frequently on my US passport. I have dual citizenship. Now what happens if I travel with my german passport instead. At the boarder they will take my fingerprints right? and those will be matched against their database? So my British passport will also show up? would this cause a problem? I was just wondering about the answer to this question.
thank you for any and all advice. A
, sorry UK passport NOT US … I have UK and German passport. many thanks
You should not and are generally not legally able to enter your country of citizenship with another passport. Many countries have restrictions against it, check the appropriate UK government website.
Sorry Anil, thats incorrect. It may be true for some countries but not all. I travelled to Australia this week and as long as you are a citizen, it doesnt matter – they must let you in. You’re only trouble will be trying to board your flight on the way there. Airlines get fined if they carry people with no visa, so thats why they want to see all the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted when checking you in.
They dont care what passport what you use to exit either. Its better to use an Aussie document though as it saves you explaining everything.
Anne – Its not CSI. I doubt they would fingerprint match you that fast, but if they did, you have legal documents (passports) showing your identity anyway. You may get a cowboy and have to explain it all, but should not be an issue.
However, according to the Australian government:
“If you also have a passport from another country you should always use your Australian passport when leaving and entering Australia.”
I work for them Anil. Its not an issue.
Hi, I recently obtain a US passport since I’m going there this summer and this is the first time I’ll be traveling using 2 passport
I’m quite understand with the processes you mentioned above but still got some question considering my country doesn’t allow dual nationality
1. When I check-in in US to get back to my home country, do I present the US passport or the other one? As far as I know for US, they can have a VOA. Or do I present my home country passport (without US visa in it)?
2. Does the immigration officer in my home country will really not check and questioning the entry/exit stamp?
3. Does the immigration in my home country can track to where am I going using that passport? Or they only have a record that stated my exit/entry to my home country only?
Thank you so much!
It’s hard to say without knowing what the second country is. Call their embassy in the US to find out.
the second country is Indonesia
dear have you faced a problem with the stamp ???
I’m confused! When my husband traveled, the airline agent was really angry when we showed both passports and said we aren’t supposed to tell her that he was traveling with two of them… but it followed the advice of showing the passport to prove that you don’t need a visa.
If he’s traveling from the US to Egypt to Norway to Egypt to Korea, it seems so complicated! He has both US and Egyptian citizenship. He exited with his US passport and entered Egypt with his Egyptian passport but to go to Norway he must use his US passport… I don’t think passport control will let him through with his Egyptian one. Though this seems to contradict entering a country and leaving it with the same passport! So should he just stay with his US passport the entire time?
It depends on what Egypt’s policy toward dual citizenship is. If they don’t allow it, stick to one passport.
I have an unusual situation. I have dual citizenship with the U.S. and Poland. My U.S. passport expired 1 month ago, my Polish passport is still valid (till 2023). I am planning to travel to from the U.S. (I reside in the U.S.) to India on Sept. 10, 2013. I will be starting the process of renewing my U.S. passport Aug. 13 (tomorrow), but I am afraid I will not have enough time to obtain the necessary tourist visa for India as a U.S. citizen in time for my departure in September. However, I will very likely be able to have my renewed U.S. passport before my departure.
Will it be possible to obtain the tourist visa for India using my Polish passport , use my Polish passport to enter India, then U.S. passport to travel to and re-enter the U.S. using my U.S. passport?
It should be possible – but you likely have time to get the India visa and renewed passport, if you use expedited services on both.
Thanks so much for the reply – it looks like the expedited process will be the best way to go!
You’re welcome and good luck!
Hi, I was wondering if you could advise me on this situation:
I’m in the process of becoming a US citizen, am a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth, and an Australian Permanent resident. My Australian permanent residency is tied to my Zimbabwean passport. So when I leave the US to go to Australia (after becoming a citizen and acquiring a passport) do I leave the USA on my Zimbabwean passport? Does the US care which passport you use to leave the country (US)?
Once in Australia, should I advise them of my dual citizenship and have my permanent residency status tied to my US passport so that I don’t have to flash my Zimbabwean passport to prove dual citizenship? Or would I have to go through the whole process of registering to be an Australian permanent resident all over again using the US passport?
Honestly, I’m not sure. Check with an immigration lawyer.
You say it’s legal to switch passports to avoid visa fees. I know this can easily be done when flying, but I’m still not so sure about when crossing land borders. Does the country you’re entering ask to see your exit stamp from the country you just left? Can they be talked into letting you in on the other passport?
It depends on the countries and border in question.
I want to leave the EU (specifically, Finland) using my Romanian passport and enter Russia on my Israeli passport. Israelis don’t need a visa to Enter Russia.
Hopefully you can give me a hand as I am not able to find the answer I am looking for on any embassy website… I am a Canadian/US citizen holding passports from both countries. I will be moving back to the US from Canada and have booked flights to go down to find a house and a second already for the move. My problem is that my work booked my flights and used my Canadian passport details that they had on file. Should I still be using my US passport when entering US customs (I assume I will have to for the move for sure..). Will I have an issue due to the fact they will have no record of my US passport details on the arriving flights?
Yes your US passport to enter the US.
I have dual citizenship. Flying Belgium – Thailand, Thailand – KL, KL – Indonesia. Two last flights with Air Asia. Enter Thailand with Belgian pp (as no visa fee but for Latvia yes, also bought Brussels – Bangkok – Brussels ticket with Belgian pp) Want to continue with the Latvian pp to Indonesia as Belgian pp only few pages left. Should I – leave Thailand with Belgian pp – yes,enter Malaysia with Latvian pp? check in for Indonesia with Latvian pp? 1 question – go out of Malaysia with Latvian pp no problem? Second – maybe have to show ticket forward when entering Malaysia and then on the ticket different nationality – should it give a problem? Thanks a lot.
I’m not sure for your itinerary, check the embassy websites for all of the countries you’ll be entering and exiting to find out the requirements for dual citizens. You’re probably better off staying with the single Belgian passport.
It appeared to be necessary to board with the same passport I entered the country, both in Thailand and in Malaysia – upon leaving, Thai immigrations asked for to see the boarding pass and I had to show my passport upon boarding in both countries. Air Asia boarding passes have a nationality so it would probably be better to have the same nationality in the passport. It is – you have to fly with the same passport you entered the country. Entering Indonesia I wanted to use my another passport. My plan was to ask the cheaf, as the last embarkation port Kuala Lumpur was not stamped in the passport I wanted to use … it,s nearly empty … but taking some time, it occured to me it was ok to ask nothing but just pay visa fee and get a sticker in the passport. Happy I saved a page and a half in my ,better, passport …
Dear i have dual passport (Palestinian and Jordanian one) and i want to visit turkey with my Jordanian passport which is exempt from visa and i have to exit Italy where i leave now with my Palestinian passport, i have read carfully your guideline to follow with these situation but i have a simple issue which is ( my Jordanian passport is new and haven’t been stamped before)form any country so is these a serious problem with the Turkish border and should i woried about if they tell me go back because your passport is new
thanks a lott
I don’t think so, but double-check with the embassy.
Hi. What a great resource this website is! With all the combinations and permutations I just want to confirm that my understanding is correct. My parents are dual citizens of Canada and Italy. They would like to travel to Italy in the near future. Do they leave and enter Canada with their Canadian passport and enter and leave Italy with their Italian passport?
I live in Canada and have dual nationality, Canadian & British. I am planning a trip to New Zealand and if I enter N.Z. on my Canadian passport I do not require a visa but my stay in N.Z. is limited to 90 days. If I enter N.Z. on my British passport I do not require a visa and I can extend my stay to 6 months. As I would like to be in N.Z. for 4 months I would need to use my British Passport to enter N.Z.
I am confused about which passport information/details I should use for airline registration purposes when I purchase my return ticket from Canada. Do I provide the airline with details of my British passport or Canadian passport… as the way I understand it, I must show my British passport when entering through N.Z. customs and immigration to qualify for the longer stay. Are these same passport details details automatically entered into the airline computers for my return segment of my trip or can I change them without raising flags?
If my British passport details are attached to my airline ticket do I just re enter Canada through Canadian Customs and use my Canadian passport.
Where are you flying from?
Use Canadian passport when booking the ticket back. But at customs you show the British passport on the way out. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Thank you for your reply but I am still confused and was wondering if you could clarify the situation for me as your answer seems to indicate that I would be purcasing two one way tickets, which is not the case.
Before I leave Canada I will have purchased a return trip ticket which includes my flight from Canada to N.Z. and from N.Z. back home to Canada. I will NOT be purcasing two one-way tickets. I am required to enter my passport detals with the airlines only once, when I purchase the ticket, which I will do here in Canada. Are you saying I should enter my Canadian passport details into the airline computer system when I purchase the ticket in Canada and these same details will be attached to my airline ticket for my trip home to Canada from N.Z.?
If I have provided my Canadian passport details when I purchased my return airline ticket do I show the Canadian passport with my boarding pass to the Airlines when boarding my flight going to N.Z. and also when I am leaving N.Z.?
Do I use my British passport when going through N.Z. customs when entering and leaving N.Z. but use my Canadian passport to show the airlines, with my boarding pass, when leaving N.Z. to fly home to Canada. Once I arrive back in Canada and go through Canadian customes do I show my Canadian passport at that point?.
As per a previous post we are not required to show our passports at customs when leaving Canada, only when entering Canada.
Thank you for your time and I apologize for any misunderstaning in my previous post.
It’s the same process really – when you book your tickets, do so with your Canadian passport. For the airline what really they’re interested in is if you need a visa to enter a given country (since they get fined if they let you on without checking).
At check-in, the airline may ask if you have a visa for the longer stay, in which case you can let them know you’re a dual citizen of England and will enter customs in NZ with that passport.
Now I understand, Thank you for the clarification.
Quick question for you, and thanks for the help on questions in the past.
Leaving JFK NYC (USA) on a flight to GIG RIO (Brazil) I have a American Passport and a British Passport. I know the steps on how to use the British Passport to avoid having to get a VISA. However I was wondering what to write on the card you give when you enter the country. It asks for an address. I have only lived in USA my whole life. (I have a British Passport because of my Dad) Should I write my address in USA on the card or use say my Uncles address in England? Or does it not matter at all? Same thing on coming back.
No problem and happy to help if I can. I would say use the UK address, it likely doesn’t matter but it’s best to be consistent. Especially considering U.S. passport requires a visa.
So what to do if: A dual Italian and Canadian citizen with only an Italian passport. Traveling from Canada to Italy. What will be needed to get back into Canada problem free?
Again, EXCELLENT website you have here!
You’ll need to get your Canadian passport I believe from the embassy in Italy if possible. Good luck, and thanks!
I left the US using my American passport, and was able to make a Korean passport in Korea. I did not get a Visa or extension because of this new passport, just by looking at the US passport, I’ve overstayed in Korea for 2 years. Do I still present my US passport when leaving Korea for the US? Or will there be an issue because I stayed for too long? Also, at US customs, will it be a problem that there’s no indication of a visa?
Are you a Korean citizen?
I was born an American citizen, but I received my Korean citizenship as I was living in Korea during these past two years.
Since you’ve gotten Korean citizenship, you can’t overstay (and guess that didn’t hinder the application process). Now when going back to the US, check-in with the airline using the US passport but show the Korean one leaving Korean passport control. Upon entry into the US, show US passport. If they ask why there’s no stamp, let them know you’re a dual citizen.
Thank you so much for your help!
Hi, I am from the US and have dual citizenship with a UK passport. I live in England at the moment but will be going back to Florida this summer. When booking the flights, if the airline asks for my passport number should I give my US passport number? Thanks you for any advice!
Give the airline your US number and enter the US with your American passport.
Hi, I read some of your posts and think they are excellent. I have been looking everywhere trying to find out about dual citizenship in china. my daughter is a dual Canadian and chinese citizen. She was born in china about 2 weeks ago and by blood is a candian same as me. I was wondering if you might be able to provide me with your thoughts on a couple of questions.
1. Is it better to use the same name on the Canadian and chinese passports or use different names?
2. Since china does not allow dual citizenship how can we clear customs? If I remember correctly from the last trip my wife and I made, the customs officer checked her, she is chinese, passport to make sure there wasa valid visa in it. So buying the plane ticket on the Canadian passport and showing customs the chinese passport won’t work. Do you know of any country that could be used to switch passports? Do you know if we could use your method of plane tickets and customs if we flew in and out of Hong Kong?
1. Same name.
2. I’m not sure honestly. Things become complicated when one country expressly forbids duality. It’s probably best to contact the Canadian embassy in China.
hello, i hold two passports, one Russian and one Jordanian, i lived in Jordan for the most of my life, and am planing to visit Russia in less than a week, i booked my ticket on using my Russian passport but my name is spelled differently on my Russian passport, i was planing to give the airlines my Russian passport when exiting Jordan and provide passport control with my Jordanian one, and when entering Russia ill be using my Russian passport, on my return trip i want to show my Russian passport for the airline and leave Russia using my Russian passport, keep in mind Russian’s can get an entry visa for Jordan at arrival so it shouldnt be an issue for the airlines i guess, when arriving to Jordan i would enter using my Jordanian passport. will i face any problems?
Sounds like you’ve got the right process.
I’m hoping that perhaps you can answer a question I have about using my dual passports when leaving a country (Colombia) and entering another (US).
The problem is I came in with an emergency Colombian passpport last June and it has has since then expired. I did not go and get my official Colombian passport and now I wish to leave. I used said passport to enter the country, but I suppose I’d have to use my US one to leave because the other is no longer valid. What kind of problems can I expect, and does it stand for anything to show passport control my expired Colombian emergency passport as evidence of having entered the country?
I hope to hear back soon.
You might have problems since you entered on the Colombia passport. Best to check with local immigration.
Hey Anil I have dual citizenship with the U.S. and Jamaica. Jamaica this year has become visa free travel to Brazil. Instead of paying the $160 for a Brazil visa in the U.S. Passport I wanted to just used my Jamaican one. I’m confused though on which passport I would use at check in, immigration, passport control, etc from start to finish of my trip (I’m leaving and returning to the US)
Which part are you confused?
I have dual nationality— EU and Trinidad and Tobago. I travelled to the US with the EU passport because I have ESTA (visa waiver).No problem. On departure the airline insisted I use the Trinidad and Tobago passport. I am worried that it will seem as if I have overstayed my time in the US. How do I go about ensuring that this does not happen? Is there some US authority that I can communicate with?
Airline needs to make sure you can get into T&T – passport control in US, use the US passport.
Thanks. I assume you mean use the EU passport at passport control in US.
Sorry, yes, that’s correct.
Hi. I have a question.
I was born in South Africa but my dad is American so I had an American passport, we then immigrated to Australia, so I now have both an Australian and American passport but no legal rights to live in South Africa.
I recently visited South Africa on my Australian passport and stayed for 160 days. Half way through the stay we went to Mozambique with the intention of resetting my 90 day visa. When eventually leaving South Africa they said I had overstayed and that the trip to Mozambique did not count. Anyway, I am need to go back to South Africa and plan on entering in on my American passport this time.
Question 1. Do you think I will get through immigration without them bringing up my Australian details. Question 2. If I was to be pulled up on the second passport, would I be in trouble and what would the consequences be?
I have tried on MANY occassions to contact the South Africa embassy to ask them but can’t seem to get any help.
It could definitely cause you problems.
Hi Anil, I’m hoping you still frequent this page. I like all the info you posted but I have question that I’m hoping you could help me with. I am a US citizen and I recently acquired dual citizenship (through birthright) with Germany. I had been living in Austria 3 months, America 3 months for over a year now while waiting on all the paperwork to be approved. Now that my citizenship certificate is ready to be picked up at the German consulate in Austria (they cannot mail it to me), I must return to Austria again to apply for my German passport. Then I can finally stay and work and live.
This is no problem since it’s all Schengen and EU citizens have the freedom of movement and abode. However, my question is – I have 6 days left on my US passport to be in the Schengen area. Would they have a problem allowing me through the airport with just 6 days on my Schengen visa?
Also, even more, would it be possible, once I am issued my German passport to go to the immigration office and explain my situation to them so they can invalidate my “visa” in my US passport? Going back to America simply to come back again on my German passport the next day seems silly and wasteful. There should be a way immigration authorities can help the aliens who obtain new citizenship in the country stay without returning home…right?
So you’ll have 6 days left on your visa when you enter Austria to pick up your German passport?
Yes, exactly. I have 6 days left in the Schengen zone to get my new passport. Do you have any idea how I would go about switching them out in order to not travel back to the US? I would like to finally stay this time.
I’m so sorry if this is a bit confusing for you, but the US consulate wasn’t able to answer my question. I turned to Google and your site popped up.
I can’t say with certainty – maybe the immigration office there can help you. I’m guessing you can just stay but best to confirm this. Sorry I can’t be of more definitive help.
No problem, thanks either way!
I have a question I have dual Canadian and Australian citizenship. Both allow dual passport holders. My question is when I travel back and forth I often have to transfer through the states. I have two scenarios that can happen.
1. Australian to LA to Denver to Canada
2. Australia to LA to Australia
Australians require a visa in the states even if they are only transferring in the states.
How do you do the transfers. Using your formula?
Why not use your Canadian passport for the trip?
I would exert when on my return flights Via the same routes
Canadians require visas to enter Australia.
I understand I have no problem using my Canadian Passport to Canada it is just the return trip I am confused about.
do I still use my Australian passport in Australian passport control on the way to Canada?
Yes, so on the return in Canada to the airline you show your Australian passport but at immigration your Canadian passport. Does that make sense?
I think so.
So australia to canada I use my canadian passport except at the immigration at departure in australia i use australian passport,
From canada to Australia This is where I get confused
do i use my australian passport at ticket counter but immigration in candada use canadian passport, also use canadian passport all through states if necessary transfers. And once I arrive in Australia use Ausralian passport at immigration.
My last question is when I am booking a return ticket I will have to book them separately won’t i Aus – Can using canadian passport and then return Canada to Aus use Australian passport number? I think this is the part that really confuses me .
My previous comment may have been lost.
Basically, the airline cares about where you’re going (e.g. do you have a visa/visa waiver/residency/citizenship) — immigration/passport control cares your stay in the country you’re in at the moment.
Are you booking the tickets separate because you have dual passports? You don’t need to.
normally I would book a return ticket all at once, this is the question I suppose, should I brook them separately to canada using canadian passport and to Australia using Australian passport number.
does that make sense?
No, you don’t need to do that. Book it all as once; when you check in to the airport you can show the appropriate passport.
Ok but if I book it with my Canadian passport when I check in on my return flight in canada I will use my Australian passport, won’t they have a conflict there as they will be looking for the canadian passport that I booked the ticket with. Or vice versa if I use my Australian passport to book.
No, as long as the papers are valid it shouldn’t be a problem.
You should call the airlines to confirm, I can’t guarantee anything (I’m just a guy on the Internet) but am almost certain about the above.
Hello, I’m a dual citizen of the United States and Japan, and plan on traveling to Europe soon. In your article you mentioned not switching visas while in a country in order to try to extend your stay in the Schengen area, but I was wondering if that also includes leaving the Schengen border, and coming back in and switching to my other passport to get a whole new 90 day visa.
My names on the two passports are the same for the first and last, however the last name is different. Thank you!
Yes, you shouldn’t switch passports within a country – it could cause problems. Entering and re-entering though is likely to not be a problem – but double check with both embassies first.
I hold Indian passport and i had applied for tourist visa for France and Amsterdam (Schengen). My trip was for 9 days and i got tourist visa for 1 month. After the trip i am in the UK and my Schengen visa expires by the end of month however i will be in UK for next 3 months, and i would like to see more Schengen countries so is there anyway i can apply for visa being in UK if yes could you please suggest.
Thank you for getting in touch. I can only give you general advice but if you’re looking for specifics, please feel free to send me your questions or set up a call through Plansify: https://www.plansify.com/anilpolat/
Hi Anil, (sorry, I made a mistake to message you on “Contact”). Your blog is Great.
I’m Dual, I have an American and Philippine passport. I just want to know what’s the best and cheapest way to travel from New York to Ukraine. Then from Ukraine to the Philipines and back to New York.? Is there a website to plot my travels or I better off using a travel agency? Thanks.
Hi Ray, have you seen this post of mine?
I have a question that I hope you can answer! I have a US 10-year visitor visa on my Indian passport. I recently received my Portuguese passport. I want to go to the States over the summer. Can I use my Indian passport to enter the US (India “requires” that you surrender the Indian passport if you take another nationality; however I cannot transfer my US visitor visa to my Portuguese passport!)
Any help or links for further reading will be appreciated.
I’m really not sure, it’s best to call the US embassy I think.
Apologies if you’ve answered this general question already, but I couldn’t find it..
I am a dual Australian/American national and will be entering Russian on my Australian passport.. I was planning to go to Ukraine next, which I just found out is visa-free for Americans but not Australians. Do you know if it is possible to exit Russia on the Australian one and enter Ukraine on the American? ie will Ukrainian authorities care about my exit stamp from Russia?
Any help is appreciated, thanks!
Hi Matt, it shouldn’t be a problem so long as you exit Russia with the Australian passport. Although, if Australia is visa free to Ukraine, you might as well use it for ease. Of course, double check anything I’m telling you with the right embassies 🙂
Hi Anil, thanks for your advice! Apparently Ukraine is actually quite expensive for Aussies for some reason, so I’ll try entering as an American.
Sounds good, have a great trip. I was in Ukraine a few years ago, here’s everything I’ve written about it, not sure if it might be of some help:
…and if you remember, feel free to post back your experience after entering Ukraine, it might be helpful to others in the comments.
I am really confused now with the comments i’ve read. I have a dual citizenship Filipino and British. I am traveling to US with my Filipino Passport on a B1B2 VISA. Then on to Philippines but going through Paris and Amsterdam then Taipei and Philippines. My flight have a layover in Paris for 6 hours and 2 hours in Amsterdam. My question is what passport I am going to use at Airline Check-in in the US. I don’t have a TRANSIT VISA for France and Amsterdam but I have my UK passport.
Please help me.
This post may be of some help:
Hi, sorry to reiterate a similar question, but just looking for some ease of mind, seeing as how the consulates and airlines seem to have trouble providing me an answer at all.
I hold Canadian and Korean citizenships (live in Canada) and I’ve yet to use my Korean Passport. So as I understand:
1) When purchasing a round trip ticket from Canada -> Korea -> Canada, I can book the whole thing with my Canadian passport information.
2) On arrival in Korea go through immigration with my Korean passport.
But from here I get a little bit confused. On my return, when checking in at the counter in Korea, present my Canadian passport (which will match the booking info), then while going through departure and security checkpoints should I show them both passports along with the boarding pass when they do their boarding pass/passport checks? The name on my Canadian passport includes English and Korean name, while the Korean one shows just the Korean portion.
Thanks for all your information and advice!
Or you can simplify it for yourself – if S. Korea has visa free for Canadians and you’re staying under the tourist visa limit, you can just use your Canadian passport for the entire trip.
I’m required by law to enter and leave Korea with my Korean Passport.
Canada though also requires me to check in on flights returning to Canada with a Canadian Passport.
This might help: https://foxnomad.com/2016/08/02/book-tickets-check-airport-youre-dual-citizen/
I tried to read through all comments to be sure but didn’t find anything. If you have answered this before I apologize. I’m a dual citizen (Australia/Brazil) and I am planning on traveling to Europe next semester.
You put up the question “Can I ‘Switch’ Passports While In A Country? (For Example To Extend A Schengen Visa Stay?)”. For me that is obvious, of course I can’t. But could I enter with the Australian passport, leave the “Schengen Zone”, like to Russia, and return on the Australian passport?
Basically, the question is, is the 90/180 rule passport based or person based?
I have “switched” between passports a lot during my travels. So I thought this wouldn’t be a problem. My initial entry in Europe would probably be between England/France or flying into Portugal. My second entry, from East Europe, by land (if that makes a difference).
Last question. Is Europe like US and Canada, if you arrive by land you don’t necessarily need a ticket showing the continuation of your trip?
If you try to switch (by going to Russia for a few days) you’ll likely encounter problems. Others have reported they’ve gotten away with it but you should be aware of the potential problems. As far as US entry I’m not sure, but proof of onward journey if required in a country, means it’s a requirement regardless the type of border crossing.
Hope this helps!
I have read all your explanation about dual citizenship. Thank for giving us so much useful information. It is really appreciated.
I would like to have brief explanation about my case. I have dual citizenship of New Zealand and Japan. I work in Australia currently and plan to apply Australia permanent resident visa. I want the Australia permanent visa hold on my Japanese passport. Do I need to use my Japanese passport to enter in Australia before application? Could you please give me some advice? Thanks in advance.
I am looking forward to your quick reply.
Wish I could be of some help but I’m not familiar with those residency procedures.
I’m a Dual citizen US/CANADA. I live in Canada. I tend to book my departure trip seperate from return (timing, pricing, etc). My questions are as follows;
1. When booking and providing passport info from Canada, I submit my US passport info as that is what I will be arriving on? (Technically under your premise that Airlines only want to make sure you don’t need visa, I could give them my Canadian as well as I have in past? Until only recently having renewed my US passport after 8 years after a second screening flying in on Canadian passport)
2. When boarding from Canada, do I show the same passport I booked with? In other words US? Obviously once I land in states I’d present US passport because of their laws.
3. Now when returning do I book airline ticket with US passport or Canadian, there are no exit controls, but I assume I board with Canadian to show I can travel to that country?
4. Once I land in Canada I would presumably show my Canadian passport, but doesnt this create implications in further travel and neither country has record of me “leaving” as I used the opposite countries passport when leaving?
Please advise the best steps for US/Canada travel in terms of booking/airline/immigration. Thanks alot!
Here’s the general process: https://foxnomad.com/2016/08/02/book-tickets-check-airport-youre-dual-citizen/
You might have answered a similar question before but wanted to check with you to make sure.
I am a Finnish and US citizen and both countries are ok with dual citizenship. I have an active US passport and an active Finnish passport. I currently reside in the US but plan on moving back to Finland permanently. I am looking to buy a one way ticket to Finland shortly. I have googled how it is recommended to buy the ticket using the passport of the country of destination (Finland), then show the US passport at exit immigration in the US and then my Finnish passport once arriving in Finland. All of this sounds good but there is no exit immigration in the US as far as I know. So doing this strategy as so many recommend seems great but is that against the rules since there is no formal exit in the US. I hope this would be ok since with COVID times I am uncertain if I would even be allowed to book the flight with an American passport and fly to Helsinki. The rules about exiting and entering a country with the same passport doesn’t say one can’t book the flight with another passport. Any thoughts? Thank You!!
I would check with the embassy – however when you check in, the airline will want to know how you’ll be able to enter Finland (if there are restrictions on U.S. citizens). Let them know you’re a dual national, show the Finnish passport and that should be the standard approach. But I would recommend contacting the Finnish embassy to be sure. Good luck on the move and safe travels!