I have lived in the US for many years. I renewed my New Zealand passport several years ago (born in NZ).

I have been told I must leave and enter the US on my US passport. I am going to NZ soon. What will happen if I show US Airlines my US passport but on arriving in NZ show my NZ passport?


You haven't said whether this is a one-way trip or a round trip.

If it is a one way trip:

  1. Book your tickets using your US passport details.
  2. When checking in, the airline will want to see your NZ passport (because your US passport won't have a long-term visa for New Zealand in it).
  3. On arriving in NZ, show immigration your NZ passport.

If it is a round trip less than 3 months:

  1. Book your tickets using your US passport details.
  2. You don't have to do anything special when checking in, because US citizens are allowed to visit NZ without a visa. But, you can show them your NZ passport if you want to.
  3. On arriving in NZ, show immigration your NZ passport. You could show them your US passport instead, pretending you're a short term visitor, but it's probably easiest to show NZ passport.

If it is a round trip more than 3 months:

  • Normally a US citizen would need a specific visa for a trip of this length, so follow the same method as for the one way trip.

On leaving New Zealand:

  • If you choose to use the smart gates (eGate), use the same passport you used to book the tickets. Otherwise the passport number won't match the ticket booking and you'll need to go see an officer anyway.

In general, it is easy to travel with both a NZ and US passport. Both countries accept dual citizenship, and there are many people who hold both. Neither the airlines nor immigration will be surprised by your situation.

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  • But what if us airlines sees only us passport . Won’t they be looking for me if I get off plane using NZ passport ? I have Rt tickets – Diane Nov 25 '18 at 23:18
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    @Diane: No, nobody will be looking for you. What you're doing is totally fine. – Greg Hewgill Nov 25 '18 at 23:28
  • I’m sorry . I’m 72 and nervous – Diane Nov 25 '18 at 23:42
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    @Diane I am a dual citizen of the Netherlands and the US. I routinely show airlines and immigration officers different passports. Nobody has ever asked about this, but if they should ask, my fallback position is to show the other passport. There's nothing to worry about. Since your having dual citizenship is entirely legitimate, there is no harm in showing both passports if asked. – phoog Nov 26 '18 at 2:57

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