My dad visits China, and prefers Canadian customs not to see his many visits to China, as relations between Canada and China aren't great. My dad's flying back from Hong Kong. If he presents his Hong Kong SAR passport in Canada,

  1. will a CBSA officer know that he's a Canadian citizen, notwithstanding his Hong Kong passport? I'm thinking that the computer can match his name and details from his HK passport to his Canadian passport?

  2. If yes to question 1, then will the officer be wary why a Canadian citizen's using a HK passport to enter Canada?

  3. Will there be any other ramifications to my dad? Will my dad be flagged or something?

  4. By the way, https://travel.stackexchange.com/a/37988/35670 claims:

No, a Canadian citizen can use another country's passport to enter Canada. There are no official sources that explicitly disallow it, and empirically, people have done it all the time without encountering any problems.

But this states:

Dual Canadian citizens need a Canadian passport to fly to Canada.

If you are flying to Canada in 10 days and don’t have a valid Canadian passport, apply for a special authorization. If approved, you can board your flight with your valid non-Canadian passport.

In the future, make sure you travel with a valid Canadian passport. Plan ahead and apply soon. It can take time to get a Canadian passport.

  • Are you worried about customs or immigration? Customs has to do with what you bring into the country, immigration looks at who's getting in. Nov 8, 2018 at 21:31
  • Why is he worried at all? AFAIK Canada has no particular reason to bother citizens who travel to China. Nov 9, 2018 at 4:25
  • I would assume that entering with a non-Canadian passport (if detected), would be way more suspicious and questionable than a few pages full China Visas and stamps. I have lots of China Visas and never had an issue at all
    – Hilmar
    Nov 9, 2018 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


The Stack Exchange answer you refer to is out of date.

Canadian Immigration now says this:

Canadians citizens, including dual citizens, need to fly to Canada with a valid Canadian passport

There is an exception for American-Canadian dual citizens referred to on the same page (thanks @Phoog)

Your father will need to use his Canadian passport to enter Canada.

Passports are matched by name and place and date of birth. If your father uses his Hong Kong passport it is possible that Canadian Immigration will match it and he will then need to explain why he's not using his Canadian one.

  • 6
    I would note that the change in policy derives from the implementation of the eTA system, which has been mandatory since November 10, 2016 (a couple of years after the out-of-date answer was written). It applies to visa-free travelers flying to Canada unless they are using a US passport. Crucially, Canadian citizens are not eligible for eTA, nor for a visa, so they can only fly to Canada with a Canadian or US passport (the page you link to notes the US passport exception in the next paragraph).
    – phoog
    Nov 8, 2018 at 19:25

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