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how do i use both my passports?

lauracatherine

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Joined: July 25th, 2008

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Tags: dual citizenship, dual passports
  • Added on: November 16th, 2010
So I put in my application for an Irish passport today. It should arrive in 3 months. :woot:

I'm planning on leaving next October from Chicago for a tour of the Trans-Mongolian Railway that drops me off in China. I'll overland through China, SEA, and fly to Australia from somewhere in SEA and hopefully get a WHV and stay in OZ for a while.

The tour will arrange visas for Russia, Mongolia, and China. Not sure if I should give them my Ireland or US passport info. I know I'd like to use the EU passport for SEA, as it's looking like the visas are cheaper for non-US passport holders.

My question is how do I do this? Wherever I start my Irish passport (as it'll come in the mail to me in Chicago) isn't someone going to wonder why the pages are entirely blank? I know I can't enter a country on one passport and leave on the other, but otherwise, I have to idea how to make this work. Help!
"i'm on my way, don't know where i'm goin..."~Paul Simon, Me and Julio

Mama-to-many

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  • Added on: November 16th, 2010
My husband has a British passport, but as the rest of the family was travelling on kiwi passports (which he also has), he did the same. He did, however, TAKE his British one along just in case it would be useful - as indeed it was. Without it we could not have got registration in Germany, which we needed in order to buy our motorhomes. No-one commented on the fact that it was completely devoid of stamps.

To save pennies, I'd travel on the EU passport, but take the US one with you.
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Traveler_2007

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Joined: December 22nd, 2006

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  • Added on: November 16th, 2010
Make sure to match the passport to the ticket when you fly.... There is no reason why you can not change passports from one country to another or betwween entry and exit in some countries. Both documents are valid. In cases where there is an entry visa and matching exit visa you may want to stick to the same passport. Some countries are very strict about this and if you miss your entry visa you could be fined when you try to leave that country.

Over the years I was surprised to see how many travelers with dual citizenships are out there. Its quite common to come acrooss British + Australian, Irish + US, Italian + Canadian or US passport holders. I even met someone that had 5 citizenships and commonly switched passports for the same reason you describe - managing visa costs. This individual was also travelleing a lot for his work, and another problem faced, escpecialy when travelling in Asia is the large number of stamps in your passport. As a frequent traveler, you will run out of pages in no time.

I also have two passports, but one of them I must have used only once ....

lauracatherine

Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 283
Joined: July 25th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 18th, 2010
Thanks for your prompt answers, but I'm still not getting the answers I'm looking for.

Does anyone on here have 2 (or more) passports and use them interchangably?

What about the customs officers in Moscow-something about Russia makes me kinda intimidated-will they notice my empty EU passport? And if they did, would it be a problem?

I'm thinking that if I leave Chicago and go to Ireland first (enter on US passport and exit on Irish passport) it'd be a smoother transition. Is this necessary to do this?

If anyone's ever done something like this, I'd love to hear how you did it!

Thanks!
"i'm on my way, don't know where i'm goin..."~Paul Simon, Me and Julio

2wanderers

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Joined: August 20th, 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada

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  • Added on: November 18th, 2010
You're worrying too much. If you're not doing anything illegal - and using two passports that you are legitimately entitled to have is not illegal - then nobody cares if your passport is empty.

Getting advantageous visa fees is a perfectly legitimate and expected use of 2 passports. On the other hand, using a second passport to defraud immigration (for instance, telling Syria that you've never been to Israel when your other passport says you have) would be illegal, and is not recommended.

And if you go to Ireland, or the EU in general, you should use your EU passport to enter. Fewer questions, no visa restrictions, life is grand.

halfnine

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Joined: December 5th, 2005

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  • Added on: November 19th, 2010
lauracatherine wrote:
I'm thinking that if I leave Chicago and go to Ireland first (enter on US passport and exit on Irish passport) it'd be a smoother transition. Is this necessary to do this?


I don't have any personal experience with dual passports, but my understanding is that in general

- you should enter and exit a country using the same passport
- if you are a citizen of a country that you are going to then you should use that passport (so if you're going to Ireland that would mean entering and exiting Ireland with the Irish passport)

Failure to do either of those could possibly get you into trouble. But, other than those things I don't think there is really too much to worry about.

lauracatherine

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Joined: July 25th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 19th, 2010
Thanks 2wanderers, I am a bit of a worrier. I was waiting for your response in particular cause I remember you being extra helpful when I was asking questions about getting the dual citizenship.

And halfnine, you're right. I've heard that too, entering and exiting on the same passport. But I was just thinking that where better to hand border patrol an empty passport exiting the country it's issued...

So I'm just gonna stop worrying about this and use my dual passport-ness to my advantage. Whohoo!!
"i'm on my way, don't know where i'm goin..."~Paul Simon, Me and Julio

Sophie9

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Joined: January 4th, 2007

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  • Added on: November 20th, 2010
lauracatherine wrote:Thanks for your prompt answers, but I'm still not getting the answers I'm looking for.

Does anyone on here have 2 (or more) passports and use them interchangably?

What about the customs officers in Moscow-something about Russia makes me kinda intimidated-will they notice my empty EU passport? And if they did, would it be a problem?

I'm thinking that if I leave Chicago and go to Ireland first (enter on US passport and exit on Irish passport) it'd be a smoother transition. Is this necessary to do this?

If anyone's ever done something like this, I'd love to hear how you did it!

Thanks!


Your Russian visa will be GLUED into your passport. You will have to use the same passport to enter and exit Russia, the passport with the Russian visa. Any other passport you may be carrying is insignificant and immaterial. Russian passport control is interested in Russian visas.

girandola

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  • Added on: July 30th, 2012
Well, this is a rather late reply, but I'd figure I'd throw in my two cents for any curious parties who stumble upon this thread again :)

I have both an American and Dutch passport, both of which I travel on regularly. In my experience, I have had almost no problems switching passports WHEN FLYING, but have had problems trying to switch when crossing land borders. Almost every time that I've flown somewhere and wanted to enter the country on a different passport from the one I left on, it's been no problem. The only exception was leaving South Korea on an American passport and trying to enter Japan on my Dutch passport, but I just had to explain the situation to Japanese immigration and wait an few minutes in an immigration office while they did some extra processing.

In land crossings, though, I have encountered problems switching passports. For example, when I tried to cross the land border from Peru (which I entered on an American passport) into Chile (which I wanted to enter on a Dutch passport), I was told that the entry/exit stamps from both countries had to be in the same passport, so they wouldn't let me switch.

Not sure if all land crossings are the same, but it's something to keep in mind :)



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