My daughter is traveling to Spain from the US. She wants to stay longer than 90 days. She holds passports for both Ireland and the US. Which passport should she use to book her flight? It appears that she needs to use her Irish passport for the flight but her US passport for leaving and entering the US.

| improve this question | | | | |
  • 2
    You can put either passport in your flight information system and it shouldn't be a problem. While entering the EU in Spain, she will need to use her Irish passport if she intends to stay for longer than 90 days. – crayarikar Feb 19 '18 at 20:37
  • @crayarikar actually she can use either passport to enter the Schengen area, but if she stays longer than 90 days she'll have to show the Irish one when she leaves (or both) to avoid negative consequences. – phoog Feb 19 '18 at 21:10
  • @phoog ok yes, that's a good point, however, will she not get an entry stamp when entering the EU with a US passport? – crayarikar Feb 19 '18 at 21:17
  • @crayarikar she will, but it won't much matter because she enjoys freedom of movement. Getting a stamp as a US citizen does not restrict her rights as an Irish citizen. – phoog Feb 19 '18 at 21:37
  • 1
    @MichaelSeifert there have been forms concerning emergency contact information for.US citizens that I've seen in the past; perhaps you're thinking of these. In my experience there was never very much of a serious effort to ensure.that those traveling on US passports submitted them, much less dual citizens traveling with a different passport. There was typically just a box of forms with a sign saying that US citizens have to submit them; I have on many occasions boarded without giving the form to anyone. – phoog Mar 18 '18 at 20:04

It doesn't matter from a legal perspective which passport she uses to book her flight. The main concern is practical: what strategy will cause the least hassle? Unfortunately, the answer to that may depend on the airline in question; I've found that different airlines have slightly different assumptions and requirements built into their systems.

I would provide the airline with the Irish passport details and let them think of her as an Irish citizen until she checks in for the flight to the US, for which she will need to use her US passport. If at any point the airline asks about her immigration status in the US, though, she should say she's a US citizen and show her US passport if asked.

I've used this strategy with a few EU-based airlines, and they've never asked about my US immigration status on departure, so I've never had to show my US passport before checking in for my return flight. I have seen indications that some airlines might ask about this, though, so she should be prepared.

To the Spanish border authorities, or indeed any EU border authorities, she should show her Irish passport.

To US CBP officers, she should show her US passport.

When she flies out of the US, it is not necessary for her to use her US passport at the TSA security checkpoint. She can show her Irish passport or even a US driver's license.

There's nothing illegal or improper about holding both passports, so she should not worry about showing the "wrong" one at any point. If she does, she can simply show the right one to remedy the situation.

| improve this answer | | | | |

Showing only the US passport to EU border officials can create an appearance of overstay if she gets an entry stamp without matching exit stamp within 90 days. She cannot actually overstay, no matter what passport she showed, as long as she is an EU citizen.

This appearance might matter to third countries which look at her passport during subsequent visa applications, but those applications would presumably mention her Irish citizenship.

| improve this answer | | | | |
  • If she is in the Schengen area with a stamp in her US passport, she could do a short visit to a non Schengen country and leave with her US passport and return with her Irish one. – Willeke Feb 20 '18 at 15:55
  • @Willeke, why should she? As an Irish citizen, she is not bound to the 90/180 rule whatever other passports she may have. – o.m. Feb 20 '18 at 21:18
  • 1
    Presumably @Willeke is suggesting this for the benefit of any third-country immigration authorities who might take exception to the apparent overstay in the US passport. – phoog Feb 21 '18 at 8:07
  • @phoog, yes, that's a possibility. – o.m. Feb 21 '18 at 16:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.