April 8, 2021
Reading Time: 3 min

How to cross borders with a second passport: entering and leaving the country

After obtaining a second citizenship, many practical questions arise: like how to travel with two passports, which passport to use, to whom and what should be shown when crossing the border.

The answers to these questions can be confusing because documents need to be presented several times: in your home country before departure at the airline counter and at passport control, and then in another country after arrival. We will tell you how to cross the border with two passports.

Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Gave examples

How to cross the border with a second passport: tickets, entry and exit

How to cross borders with a second passport: entering and leaving the country

For example: a Turkish citizen received citizenship of Malta tr-flag mt-flag

For clarity, let’s take the situation of when a Turkish citizen received a Maltese second citizenship. To enter the European Union, he had to have two documents: a Turkish passport and a Maltese passport. There can be any third country passport instead of a Turkish one, and a passport of any European state instead of a Maltese one.

Travelling with two passports: which passport to use when dual citizen is at an airline counter

You need to show your second passport, for example a Maltese one. Usually, along with the ticket, the passenger must present a visa allowing entry to the European Union. However, the Maltese passport is a document that allows you to move around the Schengen area without visas. In this case, it is the passport of a citizen of the European Union that gives permission to enter the country.

You can not refuse to show your passport to airline employees. It is the carrier that is responsible for boarding the flight of passengers with valid documents. The airline must be sure that upon arrival the passenger will accurately pass the border control. If it is deployed by the border guards of another country, the airline will have to carry it back at its own expense.

After that, you can safely put the Maltese passport in your pocket: you will not need it until you arrive in the European Union.

Second citizenship: passport control and double passport holders

Which passport to show at passport control

A citizen of Turkey (or any other country) must leave the home country with their first passport. Even if the border guards ask for a visa, the passenger is not obliged to show it. Together with the passport, you only need to present a boarding pass.

Passport control officers do not have the right to check the availability of permission to enter another state. And his absence does not give them the right to detain a passenger.

Which passport to show at passport control in the European Union

Upon arrival in any EU country, you need to present a second passport, such as a Maltese one. Citizens of the European Union do not need any visa to go through passport control, so you can safely go through control in the corridor for EU citizens.

When traveling in Europe and crossing the internal borders of the European Union, a Maltese passport will also suffice.

Upon returning from Europe, airline employees need to show the passport of the country of arrival. It is the carrier that is responsible for having a valid entry permit and, if refused, will bear the costs of deportation.

Open travel around the world mt-flag

In 2022, many borders are still closed. But for citizens of Malta, visa-free entry is open to 96 countries. Another 31 countries issue visas at the airport. All you need to travel is a Maltese passport

Which passport to use when returning to the country of first citizenship

At passport control in Turkey, you need to present a Turkish passport. It does not matter to the border guards with which document the passenger traveled around Europe. The second foreign passport can be hidden and not shown until a new trip.

What nuances to remember

It is important to follow the rule: at the entrance to the country and exit from it, you must present the same document. There are only two of them, so it’s hard to get confused.

Air tickets can be bought on any document. For the airline, both documents, a Turkish passport and a passport of an EU citizen, are equally legitimate.

Which passport to use for dual citizenship and travelling with 2 passports

Countries where you can get a second passport by investment

The traditional way to get a new citizenship is naturalization. To do this, you need to live in the country for a long time, know the language, history, have a job, housing and a good reputation. Some countries wishing to receive a foreign investment offer faster and more convenient ways. Similar programs operate in different parts of the world.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently asked questions

  • Which passport should be presented to the airline employee at the check-in counter? 

    If you are departing from your country of first citizenship, you must show your second passport at the airport check-in desk. The carrier requires you to present a second passport so that you can safely go through border control in the future. The airline employee will check the information and validity of the passport. If you refuse to show your second passport, you may not be allowed to board the plane.

  • What documents do I need to present at the border control desk upon departure?

    At passport control when leaving the country, you must show the passport of the country of destination and boarding pass. You are not required to present other documents.

  • How to go through passport control in the country of arrival?

    You have landed at the airport of the second country and are heading to passport control. You will again need a second passport, but you do not need to show a visa or a first passport. If you received a second citizenship in one of the EU countries, you can travel with 2 passports to more than 150 countries. However, It is not necessary to present the first passport.

  • What documents must be presented when returning to the country of first citizenship?

    When you return to the country of first citizenship, you must show the passport of the country on arrival. You are not required to present documents that you used to travel to other countries with. The main thing to remember is that at the entrance and exit from the same country, you must present the same document. But you can buy plane tickets with any passport.