Border police and airlines typically aren’t able to handle travelers with multiple passports.
They expect you to have ONE only passport to identify you. Showing two (or more) passports at border checks led to bad results for many people I met in my experience as an immigration lawyer: border officers may easily delay you and let you miss a connecting flight.
The border police in Frankfurt (Germany) took Steven’s and his wife’s passports one hour ago. The police gave no clear explanation: they just seemed not satisfied by Steven’s and his wife’s answers. The unexpected delay is making them miss their connecting flight back to the US. What are the police concerned about?
What should you know to avoid any problem at European border checks?
1. European countries have immigration checks on EXIT, too!
Most countries in the world have immigration checks only on their entrance. Not in Europe.
Most European States are tied to the European Union and share external borders. Not only you will show your passport to the immigration police upon arrival at any European airport, but you will meet the immigration checks on your way out.
Within the European countries, you may meet more border checks. Between Denmark and Sweden, for example. Be prepared to show your passport when you leave.
2. You are supposed to show only ONE passport.
Border police and airlines expect you to have one passport. The law requires you to use only the passport with the best connection with the country you are entering.
1. If you have an Italian passport, you MUST show that (and only that) upon entering or leaving Italy, at any airport or another border crossing.
2. If you arrive at any other airport in Europe (and you do not have a passport of that particular country), again show your Italian passport. That is because Italy has privileged relations with all European Union countries.
Italian citizens can enter the EU countries freely, together with their family members. Follow the signs for European citizens and flash your Italian passport.
IMPORTANT: Only when you enter another country OUTSIDE of the European Union (including the UK), you will use your other passport.
3. Ticket data = passport data
When traveling to Italy, you will book with your name and last name as written on the Italian passport.
Airlines’ systems typically do not handle travelers with multiple passports. This extends to their online flight check-in systems. You want to avoid losing time and energy trying to solve misunderstandings with a customer care operator.
When traveling to Europe and to Italy, enter your Italian passport data. Not only the passport number is an issue, but you may notice that, in some cases, even your name or last name may vary from your Italian passport to the passport of another country. Write your data carefully according to what is written on your Italian passport when traveling to Italy and to Europe. You can be denied boarding if your name on it differs in anything from that on the registered passport in your flight booking.
But what if you already booked with your other passport?
Most airlines allow you to change your data when checking in. If you see that is not possible in the online check-in system, you may ask the airline customer care service to do that for you. However, in my experience that doesn’t help. Most customer care services seem not to have the privileges to apply such changes to the bookings. But don’t worry: they can make the change at the airline counter at the airport. So you should go to the airport in good advance and obtain the change at the check-in counter or at the airline office in the airport.
Show your new Italian passport BOTH at entry and exit points. Your hassle-free journey starts with your booking. Remember to write the data on your Italian passport.
You can leave your comment or question below. We read ALL the comments.
– How does this information work for you?
– have you requested your Italian passport as a new dual citizen?
– Which issues do you have about traveling with 2 passports?
– What would you need to know to be safe and free when traveling with 2 passports?
As a thank you GIFT, I will send you our
SPECIAL 2 PASSPORT TRAVEL KEY
In the SPECIAL 2 PASSPORT TRAVEL KEY you will find the following extras:
– Which checks are you meeting on your way IN and on your way OUT of Europe?
– Which passport are you supposed to show at border checks outside of Europe, as an Italian dual citizen?
– How did it work for Steven and his family?
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