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I'm a citizen of Ukraine and I have a B1/B2 visa.

Since obtaining the visa in my passport #1 I have acquired an international passport #2 (it's legal in Ukraine to have two) in which my name is romanized slightly differently (Oleg G.. -> Oleh H...). I don't have any extra documents that would confirm a name change because technically I didn't change it.

Then I have acquired EU residence using my passport #2.

I wish to travel to the US using my passport #1. If I resided in Ukraine I'd have to travel to a different country through the land border where I would get an entry stamp. Then I'd get an exit stamp before boarding a plane to the US.

However, since I reside in EU, I would have to fly directly to the US. Thus my passport #1 won't have any evidence of travel through a 3rd country that is currently necessary to reach the US.

I would like to avoid the following situation:

  1. I show my passport #1 with visa
  2. Border control officer wondering how did I make it to the US
  3. I pull out my passport #2 with my name name spelled slightly differently.
  4. ??? Entry ban ???

What are the chances of border control officer getting curious about how did I teleport to the US? I'm traveling for business reasons.

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  • 1
    "evidence of travel through a 3rd country that is currently necessary to reach the US" - why is it currently necessary?
    – littleadv
    2 days ago
  • 3
    It's currently necessary to travel through a 3rd country to reach the US from Ukraine because Ukraine has closed it's airspace since the beginning of the war. yesterday
  • 1
    @jcaron's answer sounds good. But you should ensure that your airplane ticket's name spelling coincides with the passport you want to use for that leg. I believe.
    – frIT
    yesterday
  • 2
    "evidence of travel through a 3rd country that is currently necessary to reach the US": this necessity only exists for residents of Ukraine or, more precisely, for travelers who begin their travel in Ukraine. You are not a resident of Ukraine. Therefore, there can be no expectation that you began your trip in Ukraine.
    – phoog
    yesterday
  • 3
    @RobbieGoodwin The cyrillic letter Г is a G in Russian, but H in Ukrainian. Replacing former Gs by H is common for Ukrainian lately, and I'd expect competent border control officers to know about that. (This is not a statement about how competent I'd expect the average border control officer to be). 17 hours ago

1 Answer 1

24

If you mean the US CBP officer would find it abnormal that you don't have an exit stamp from wherever you are coming from, then the easy answer is: they won't:

  • Many countries don't stamp on exit (US included!).
  • Many countries don't stamp passports of residents.
  • Tons of people have multiple citizenships or passports or other forms of ID.
  • Many officers forget to stamp even when they should (and vice-versa).

Unless they become very suspicious for some reason and start splitting hairs, the chances they will notice (which would require them flipping through all the pages of the passport looking for an exit stamp from the same day and not finding one) are zero.

They know perfectly well where you are coming from: the airline will have sent all your data to them before you are even allowed to board, so they will have all the info. And they probably don't care much what your status is in wherever you are coming from. What they want to know is:

  • that you have a valid visa
  • that you are coming for a purpose that matches what that visa allows
  • that you have the means to support yourself during your stay
  • that you will leave at the end of your stay

They are interested in you having a return ticket (which, again, they will probably know about if you have both flights on the same ticket). They may ask about how you will enter the country you are going to at the end of your stay, though I'm really not sure this is something CBP officers ask for. Showing your residence permit should be enough for that. They may be puzzled by the different spellings, but they probably have seen worse.

2
  • 6
    Might want to mention the importance of using the right passport for checkin when leaving the US, in order that the I-94 record not get messed up (causing future ESTA problems).
    – Sneftel
    yesterday
  • Also many of the stamps I do have are so indecipherable, as they didn't pick up enough ink, that no one can actually tell where/when they are from.
    – Rob
    9 hours ago

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