So a prior job 2 years ago involved regular travel to the US, I applied for and received an ESTA against my British passport - this expires very soon, so consider it no longer valid for the purposes of this question.

My new role will be requiring both US and EU travel on a regular basis, considering the upcoming Brexit uncertainty regarding access to the EU for British citizens I'm considering switching over to my Irish passport for all business travel going forward (my employer only allows me to hold 1 passport in their system for the purposes of travel).

Given the above, my question is: would anyone anticipate any issues in applying for and using an ESTA for the US against my Irish passport given the expired ESTA against a British passport in the same name?

(I'm obviously anticipating the possibility of larger queues etc. at Dublin pre-clearance, or US side clearance as I won't be able to use the electronic system on first visit.)

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    I wonder how it can possibly be any of your employer's business how many passports you have or use/ Jul 7, 2019 at 23:11
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    @HenningMakholm LOL it's more that the travel agents system can't handle more than 1 registered passports - pile of crap. Means I'm restricted to 1 passport as they automatically book with that info
    – Peter Reid
    Jul 7, 2019 at 23:20
  • It seems from the question that in the most recent application for ESTA you might not have disclosed that you are also an Irish citizen and Irish passport holder? Otherwise, if you did disclose they then obviously know that you’re a dual citizen and will be easy for them to connect your new ESTA request to the previous one.
    – kiradotee
    Jul 7, 2019 at 23:48
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    @kiradotee Previously hadn't invoked my right to Irish citizenship or claimed a passport.
    – Peter Reid
    Jul 8, 2019 at 0:04
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    You can book a ticket with one passport and show a different one when you check in. I do it all the time. The only thing I've never done is check in with one passport and show a different one at immigration on arrival at my final destination. But I have frequently checked in for a flight to the US from another non-Schengen country with my US passport and then used my EU passport to get out of the airport while transiting in a Schengen airport. In short, it does not matter what passport they give the airline when they book the ticket.
    – phoog
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:46

2 Answers 2


There are no issues with obtaining an ESTA with a different citizenship than you've used for a previous ESTA.

As a part of the ESTA application you will be asked if you have a passport for any other countries, and whether you hold any other citizenship - obviously in this case you will need to declare your UK citizenship/passport as a part of the application.

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    A potential issue here is if you were dishonest in answering the 'do you have another passport' when you did your first ESTA. Assuming that you were honest, no issues will crop up. Of course, if you didn't obtain your second citizenship until after your initial ESTA was granted, you'll just need to provide the relevant documentation to proceed.
    – Brian R
    Jul 8, 2019 at 16:03

Your question concerns entering the USA, and this has been answered already. However the premise of the question contains a misconception regarding your ability to travel in the EU - which is what gave rise to your consideration of using an Irish passport in the first place.

Quote: "considering the upcoming Brexit uncertainty regarding access to the EU for British citizens"...

This is a symptom of the tendency for the media to peddle scare stories. I can 100% guarantee you that even in a "no deal" scenario, there will be nothing to prevent you travelling to any EU country for business purposes.

The EU right to free movement simply means that EU citizens can live and work in each other's countries without having to apply for permission. Removing these rights doesn't mean that people travelling on holiday or business won't be allowed to do so. Even in the worst case scenario, it just means you'd have to queue up and present your passport to an Immigration Officer (the same as you do now, since the UK is not in Schengen); but instead of being simply waved through, the officer will have the right to ask you how long you intend to stay and why you're visiting.

This is exactly the same as when any other non-visa, non-EU citizen visits. When, for example, an American or Japanese citizen flies into Berlin on business, they present themselves to the Immigration Officer as usual, and are granted entry to the country for the purpose of that visit.

You don't require free movement rights simply to visit other countries. Brexit won't change that - even in the worst-case scenario.

Source: I write as a former Immigration Officer.

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    It is possible, however, that after a No Deal Brexit the EU may require additional visa paperwork for British nationals wishing to visit the EU (similar in scope to the ESTA), in which case using the Irish passport for EU travel may save a small amount of money and hassle each time. Jul 8, 2019 at 11:11
  • @BrendonDugan - "Possible"? Technically. Probable? Extremely unlikely. The EU don't require Americans, Canadians, Japanese, Australians etc to get ESTAs, or anything similar. Any moves towards requiring UK citizens to have one would be pure political posturing, and would cost more time and money to set up than it's worth. Besides, if they did that then the UK would have the right to reciprocate. Also, the EU does not have the right to tell its individual countries what restrictions they must impose on non-EU citizens. Rules differ across countries within the EU. Jul 8, 2019 at 12:17
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    The Schengen Area is considering adding a new system similar to ESTA, called ETIAS. This would require payment of a fee and filling out a form, and may possibly (though I can't find a good source for this) require EU citizens to enter the schengen area with EU ID documents. A short intro from an EU agency: eulisa.europa.eu/Activities/Large-Scale-It-Systems/Etias
    – artemist
    Jul 8, 2019 at 13:10
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    The answer raises a good point. My US citizen brother in law, for example, visits the Schengen area for business at least monthly, it seems, and probably spends about 1/3 of his time there. The comment "the EU does not have the right to tell its individual countries what restrictions they must impose on non-EU citizens" is however incorrect; all Schengen countries and non-Schengen EU countries except the UK and Ireland must honor Annex I and Annex II, which list the countries whose citizens respectively require and do not require visas for short stays when traveling with an ordinary passport.
    – phoog
    Jul 8, 2019 at 14:27
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    The worst case scenario would be that the EU requires visitors from the UK to get visas, not just visa waivers or travel pre-authorisation. It’s not likely, since the EU has agreed in principle to add the UK to the list of countries whose citizens don’t need visas provided the UK reciprocates, but it's possible.
    – Mike Scott
    Jul 8, 2019 at 14:46

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