Which passport should I use?

Mary has two passports, and so she wants to know the protocols to follow when entering and exiting certain countries. In today’s Travel SOS, Lee Mylne explains.

Q. Mary
I hold UK and Australian passports and have always used my UK passport to enter Britain and European countries. However, on my last trip, when I exited Europe via Berlin, there seemed to be an issue as I had shown my Australian passport, but had entered the country on my UK one. What is the correct protocol? Does it matter which passport I use?

A. Yes, Mary, it does matter which passport you use. Having dual citizenship is a great bonus for a traveller, but there are important protocols that you should know and follow.

Dual citizens should always use the same passport to enter and exit a country. According to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smart Traveller service, all Australians, including dual nationals, should leave and enter Australia on their Australian passport.

uk border protection

If you are entering the UK or European countries, you can use your British passport – but you should then also use it when you are leaving that country.

International airlines have a legal obligation to ensure passengers have appropriate documentation for Australia – and for Australian citizens that means a passport. So ensure that you always carry both passports with you when you travel.

If you are travelling to countries other than the UK and Europe or Australia, you can choose whichever passport you think is best to use in that country. Do some research to find out what visa fees might apply to each nationality, or if there are any likely difficulties or restrictions that might apply, and choose accordingly.

Be aware that if you encounter any difficulties while travelling outside the countries for which you hold citizenship, the passport you have entered the country on will determine who you should turn to for any consular advice or assistance.

More information: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Do you have a travel question for Lee? If so, email your Travel SOS to [email protected] 

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Written by Lee Mylne


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