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How to cross borders with a second passport

Rules for entering and leaving a country help you travel the world with dual citizenship without trouble.

Learn how to cross the country border with two passports, considering all the main steps: purchasing flight tickets and passing passport control when boarding, at arrival and departure.

Main rule for crossing borders with dual citizenship

When entering and leaving a country, a person provides the same passport. For example, if you use your Dominica passport upon arrival to a country, you should show the same document during passport control at departure.

You can purchase flight tickets with any passport. However, suppose you buy a ticket with one passport and want to cross the border in the country of destination with the second passport. In this case, you should show both passports to an airline representative when checking in for a flight.

Step-by-step procedure of crossing the country border with a second passport

Suppose a dual national of India and St Lucia flies to the UK.

Purchasing flight tickets to the UK
Purchasing flight tickets to the UK

Use a St Lucian or Indian passport valid for international travel.

Passport control at departure from India
Passport control at departure from India

Present an Indian passport. It is not mandatory to show a second passport to leave the country of the first citizenship.


Present a St Lucian passport.

An airline representative must make sure a person has the right to enter the country of destination. If a passenger can’t pass passport control upon arrival, the airline will have to pay for deportation.

Passport control at arrival to the UK
Passport control at arrival to the UK

Present a St Lucian passport. St Lucia citizens can stay in the UK visa-free for up to six months. 

When crossing a border with a Caribbean passport, you might be asked how you obtained citizenship. It would be best if you honestly answered that you’ve participated in the citizenship by investment program.

Purchasing return tickets to India
Purchasing return tickets to India

Present an Indian or St Lucian passport.


Show an Indian passport to airline representatives.

Passport control at arrival to India
Passport control at arrival to India

Present an Indian passport. Border officers don’t care which document a passenger uses for a trip abroad, but they must be sure a person has the right to enter India.

As a rule, border officers don’t check visas or other permissions to enter another country. Thus, a person provides only a passport suitable for international travel and a boarding pass.

Freedom of movement with St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

Johannes and his family needed to gain the right to travel the world without visas. Spouses wanted to develop their businesses and attend meetings and conferences abroad, while their daughter dreamt about studying in Europe.

Immigrant Invest helped the family get St Kitts and Nevis passports in 4.5 months through a government citizenship program.

As St Kitts and Nevis citizens, the investor, his wife and his daughter can enter 157 countries without visas, including the Schengen Area and the UK.

Read the full story

How to cross borders with a residence permit

A residence permit equals a visa. That’s why a resident provides both their passport and a residence permit when entering and leaving a country.

Suppose an investor from Nigeria has a Portugal residence permit and goes to Austria.

  1. Purchasing a flight ticket to Austria: with a Nigerian passport.
  2. Boarding: present a Nigerian passport and a Portugal residence permit card.
  3. Passport control at arrival to Austria: present a Nigerian passport and a Portugal residence permit card.
  4. Purchasing a return ticket to Nigeria: with a Nigerian passport.
  5. Boarding: present a Nigerian passport.
  6. Passport control at arrival to Nigeria: with a Nigerian passport.

Key points on how to cross borders with a second citizenship

  1. Provide the same passport when entering and leaving the country. 
  2. You can buy flight tickets with any of the two passports.
  3. It’s not mandatory to present the second passport during passport control when leaving the country of the first citizenship.
  4. A residence permit card equals a visa, meaning you must provide both your residence permit card and passport at passport control when arriving abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave a country with one passport and enter another country with another passport?

Yes, you can use different passports for entering one country and leaving another. However, it is important to present the same passport at the border control of one country. 

For example, you leave Morocco with a Moroccan passport and enter the Schengen Area with a Maltese one. You would need to leave Schengen with a Maltese passport and enter Morocco with a Moroccan one.

Which passport do you use if you have two?

If you have a passport of a country where you’re at the moment you should use this passport. For example, it is reasonable to use a Spanish passport in Spain and an American in the USA. 

In other cases it’s better to use the passport that offers more benefits.

Do I have to travel with both passports?

If you plan to use only one passport for your travels you don’t have to travel with both of them. At the same time, it is better to have both passports with you just in case.

Schedule a meeting

Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach, Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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