Traveling With Two Passports: Dual Nationality Travelling

What is dual citizenship?

A person with dual citizenship is a national of two countries with all rights, privileges, and obligations. Although there are many pluses of holding two passports, this status also involves many complications that every potential holder having multiple citizenships should know about.

A person may hold more than two nationalities. Requirements to acquire another nationality are more or less similar.

How to become a dual citizen

Depending on the country, there may be different ways to acquire a second nationality. These are the most common options:

  1. By birth (when one of your parents is a citizen of the country or you were born in the country even if your parents are not its citizens)
  2. By naturalization (if you come to the country as a foreigner and you legally live in it for a long time, you may apply for citizenship by fulfilling certain requirements)
  3. By Marriage (if you marry a national of the country)
  4. By investment (in case you invest a certain amount of money in the economics of a country that offers citizenship by investment program)

Pluses of traveling with two passports

While traveling with two passports has some drawbacks, such as the need to keep track of two sets of laws, it is mostly a great privilege. Here are the main advantages of traveling with multiple passports.

  1. First, you have a wider range of visa-free countries to choose from. Dual nationals are eligible for visa-free travel with the rights of both nationalities.
  2. Having two passports can provide a sense of security in case of political instability or natural disasters in one of the countries of your citizenship.
  3. You have the right to live and work in both countries of your citizenship. Moreover, you are likely to get hired due to your knowledge of the culture and/or linguistic skills.
  4. You are not limited by stay duration of the country of your second citizenship. You can go there whenever you want and stay legally as long as you wish.
  5. Your passports have different expiry dates, so you can travel with one passport when the other is expired and must be renewed.
  6. Finally, there is a safety aspect of traveling with two passports. If you lose one passport while staying abroad, you always have another to travel back home.

Challenges posed by having dual citizenship

Depending on the country, people may face different requirements and complications when applying for second citizenship. Some countries do not allow possessing a foreign passport, and others put significant limitations or procedures difficult to follow.

Here are a few examples of additional restrictions put on two passport holders:

  1. When you enter or exit the country of your second citizenship, you may be required a passport or ID card of this country. Sometimes you may even have to show an exit visa in your passport.
  2. Dual citizens may experience exit bans as a criminal method of keeping a person in the country with connection to, eg. civil disputes. Exit bans are often imposed on relatives or associates of a person who faces criminal charges.
  3. The problem of transferring a prosecuted person between both countries of a nation may occur if countries do not recognize more than one nationality/ Their authorities do not inform embassies or consulates of the second citizenship if a person is arrested or detained.
  4. If you do not enter a country using its passport, the authorities don't know you are citizenship, and you may face problems with obtaining consular support.
  5. If you are a dual national, you may be required to perform military service when entering a country of your second citizenship.
  6. Having two passports means you also face a double tax requirement in both countries of your citizenship.

It is worth knowing that some countries do not recognize dual citizenship and, to go through the naturalization process, a person must renounce their previous citizenship.

Important information

When you plan to travel with two passports, you should know a few things that allow you to avoid complications during your trip.

  • Always use the same passport for entering and exiting a country during your travel.
  • Make sure if there is a preferred passport in a country you are visiting (some destinations may not accept passports of selected countries)
  • Before international travel, check the entry requirements of your destination and use the passport that makes your journey easier. Sometimes it is even better to take both passports for a trip and use the more beneficial one at every stage of the travel.

Final thoughts

Applying for second citizenship may be a complicated procedure, but if you only have a possibility, this option is worth taking advantage of. Traveling with multiple passports will give you more freedom to visit different places worldwide. You may even think of living and working in places where you would not be welcome as a non-passport holder.

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