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Situation: I'm a Ukrainian living in Russia with permanent residency permit (ВНЖ). I wish to visit a Schengen country (Greece) using my visa-free travel right as a Ukrainian national.

I have two Ukrainian passports for international travel:

  1. Non-biometric previous generation passport with lots of expired Schengen visas, Russian border stamps (including the latest entry), extensive travel history as well as information on my residency permit in Russia.
  2. Crisp new never-used biometric passport which allows visa-free Schengen entry, with all blank pages.

So far I can see the following issues:

  1. The only passport I can use to enter Greece is my biometric passport. The Greeks, however, may have questions because its completely blank.
  2. If I present my biometric passport to Russian border guard upon leaving, it won't have any information on my last entry to Russia and no residency permit stamp.
  3. If I leave Russia with my old passport, I might be denied boarding by Russians because I have no valid Schengen visa in it, and it's not biometric.

Which passport should I use to book airline tickets and which one should I present to Russian border guard in the airport? Is it a strict rule that I should use the same passport when booking tickets and passing the passport control?

  • Was your old passport not invalidated when you got the new one? – Peter Taylor Mar 11 at 7:53
  • @PeterTaylor No, they are both valid. The old one expires in 5 years. – Taosique Mar 11 at 7:55
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    For the last question: absolutely no. You can use different passports for booking and for border control (if both have the same name). Having a passport completely blank is normal (for new travelers, new passports, and for frequent travelers that doesn't have blank pages, so they requires a new passport). – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 11 at 8:35
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    Most of travel.stackexchange.com/q/52100 applies. In particular, you can present one passport to the airline as proof you’ll be admitted to destination country, but a different one to the border control. – Roman Odaisky Mar 11 at 12:47
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You should bring both passports. But which one you use may be different with the airlines and with immigration control.

For instance, if you need to enter the Schengen area you need to give the airline your new biometric passport. When you return then you may need to give the airline both passports to prove that you have residence.

If you need to show Russian immigration that you have a residence permit, then you need to give Russian immigration your old passport with your residence permit. They might also need to see the new passport. This situation is common enough that they deal with it every day, and it should be no trouble to you.

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Which passport should I use to book airline tickets and which one should I present to Russian border guard in the airport?

Show your non-biometric passport to Russian immigration. If asked about Schengen visas, show them your biometric passport in addition to the non-biometric one.

As for the airline, it makes absolutely no difference what details you put in during check-in. As long as you have your biometric passport with you at the time of boarding, they'll let you on board.

Is it a strict rule that I should use the same passport when booking tickets and passing the passport control?

No, there is no such rule.

The only passport I can use to enter Greece is my biometric passport. The Greeks, however, may have questions because its completely blank.

Having a blank passport is not suspicious at all. At worst, you can show them your other Ukrainian passport if asked about it.

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