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A guy told me today that his son has dual US/Swiss citizenship and that he always travels on his Swiss passport because it is much easier to travel on the Swiss passport. Why would this be?

Ideally, I am hoping for someone who actually has a Swiss passport and can speak authoritatively about how they are treated. Getting guesses from people who do not have Swiss passports is not useful. I can guess.

A partial answer is that even though the US and Switzerland have similar visa rights around the world, in those countries where both require a visa, US passport are possibly scrutinized/searched/hassled more than Switzerland.

(I don't consider the linked question to answer my question. That question/answer does absolutely nothing to answer why a Swiss passport would be more convenient than a US passport.)

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There's a framing issue with your question; it's not necessarily Swiss passports, but all passports issued within the EEA. It's easier, for example, to travel on a British passport than an American passport, at least within the EEA and neighbouring countries. – Gayot Fow Jan 3 at 17:39
Possible duplicate of What is the best passport for traveling? – Doc Jan 3 at 17:49
According to the list in the question above, US is actually better than Swiss - but of course it depends on what countries you're travelling to, what you intend to do there, and how long you intend to stay - which will vary for each individual traveler. – Doc Jan 3 at 17:51
@Doc I don't consider that list to answer the question. – Lemuel Gulliver Jan 3 at 19:08
You are correct - the linked answer does not answer why some guys son told you that one was better than the other. Unless you expect that guys son to answer, I'm not sure how you can expect anyone to explain why he thought one was better than the other. – Doc Jan 3 at 21:06

If your question is why did that particular guys son think that one was better than the other, then that is a question you'll obviously need to ask him.

If your question is why is a Swiss passport better than a US passport, then the answer is "it's not"! Or at least, not always.

Which passport is "better" than another will depend on the exact situation, and thus will depend on things like what country you're attempting to enter, your purpose for entering that country, etc.

Based on the simple criteria of how many countries need a visa to enter, a USA passport is better than a Swiss passport, as per What is the best passport for traveling?. Of course, that means very little unless you're planning to travel to every country on the planet - what matters is the countries that you plan to visit.

If you're travelling to New Zealand, then a US passport is better as you can use the SmartGate passport control, where a Swiss passport holder can not. If you're travelling to an EU country - especially if you want to work there - then the Swiss passport will be better as you can use the faster EU lanes through passport control (although Switzerland is not a part of the EU, many of the rules related to EU movement also apply to Swiss citizens).

And of course, if travelling to the US, then the US passport is best - because entering the US using another passport is illegal for a US citizen.

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Otherwise +1, but Swiss passports can now be used in Australian SmartGates: – jpatokal Jan 3 at 23:40
Thanks @jpatokal. Update the answer. – Doc Jan 3 at 23:48

It completely depends on where you are travelling to.

There is a small number of countries in the world that make life harder for US citizens, for various historic or current reasons, and as Switzerland was mostly neutral the last 500 years, there are not many countries that have a problem with them.

I would pick the passport of the country I arrive in, as it always is the easiest. I understand that it is legal to leave a country with one passport and use another one in the arrival country (assuming you own both passports legally)

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Which countries "make life harder for US citizens" vs Swiss? – Tom Jan 4 at 6:10
@Tom Random example: Brazil requires visas for US citizens, but not for Swiss citizens. Compare… and – deviantfan Jan 4 at 9:02
@deviantfan - there are countries that do that both ways. That doesn't clarify aganju's statement about which countries "that make life harder for US citizens" – Tom Jan 4 at 11:33

On top of the other good answers, for those countries where visas are necessary, the fees may be reciprocal, and the United States charges visa applicants top dollar. In this case, it is possible that Switzerland charges Country X's nationals less, and X returns the favor. You can see, for example, that Brasil charges the USA by far its highest visa fee for this reason.

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I would say that not just swiss, any european passport (german, swedish, danish etc) are also great passports, when it comes to traveling without any prior visas.

Check this article:

I wouldnt worry much about how i am treated in a different country, regardless of what passport i carry. Yes there are little more hassles, more questions or scrutiny, i am happy to go through all the process as long as i do everything legal and nothing wrong.

Agreed, yes it is not a good idea to travel using US passport to high risk countries such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea etc

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Except that Switzerland is below not only the USA on that list, but also more than a dozen other European countries... – Doc Jan 4 at 7:35

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