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My wife has both British passport and Chinese passport with Japanese Residence Permit on her Chinese passport, and we are currently living in Japan. We are planning to go to South Korea next month, and I am Japanese passport holder which is visa free for enter Korea. My wife wanted to use her British passport to enter Korea due to visa-free too, and we also learned from other answers already:

  1. she would show her British passport to the airline counter in Japan to express that she can enter Korea without visa.
  2. then she would show her Chinese passport & Japanese residence permit to the immigration for exit Japan.
  3. arrival Korea and show her British passport to immigration to enter Korea.

Until now, I think there is no problem, if am correct?

My question is on her returning to Japan. Which passport should she show the airline counter? Since British passport and Chinese passport with Japanese Residence permit both can be valid to enter Japan. As I heard that airline will send passenger detail to destination immigration after check in (so if you check in with British passport you have to use the same passport to show the immigration, is this correct?), coz my wife would definitely use her Chinese passport with Japanese residence card to enter Japan, so should we have to show Chinese passport with Japanese residence card to airline counter? as China does not allow dual citizenship, so if we only show Chinese passport with Japanese residence card to airline counter, would the airline staff say your Chinese passport is not valid if they know she has dual passport? So, to be hassle free, can we just show airline only British passport to check in and arrive in Japan use her Chinese passport with Japanese residence card?

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  • "coz my wife would definitely use her Chinese passport with Japanese residence card to enter Japan" Would that not be fraud, by presenting herself to immigration officials as a PRC citizen, when she is not a PRC citizen according to PRC law?
    – user102008
    Nov 17, 2022 at 4:06
  • as i know if you are not a prc citizen unless you go back to your country and to cancel "Hukou" in China, if you did not do this, then you still have prc citizenship though.
    – sniper2006
    Nov 18, 2022 at 8:39
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    Citizenship is a matter of law. It is possible for citizenship to be gained or lost automatically, without any action and without the government knowing. It all depends on what that country's law says. For example, some countries' law say that a child born abroad is only a citizen when registered, but many other countries' law say that a child born abroad is automatically a citizen at birth if the conditions are met. In the latter case, such children are citizens even if they are never registered and the government doesn't know about them. (continued...)
    – user102008
    Nov 18, 2022 at 16:21
  • And some countries' law say that the government has the power to revoke the citizenship of someone who naturalized in a foreign country, in which case the citizenship is not lost until the government revokes it. But some countries' law say that the citizenship is automatically lost when the person voluntarily acquires foreign nationality, in which case it is automatically lost the moment the person naturalizes, without needing any other action and even if the government doesn't know about it. This is the case with PRC nationality law Article 9. (continued...)
    – user102008
    Nov 18, 2022 at 16:23
  • I'm assuming she naturalized in the UK and wasn't born with both citizenships (but in that case she would probably be using a PRC travel document and not a PRC passport). I'm also assuming that she wasn't from Hong Kong or Macau, which has slightly different interpretations of PRC nationality law (but in that case she would probably be using an HKSAR or MSAR passport).
    – user102008
    Nov 18, 2022 at 16:25

2 Answers 2

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Unless China is actually involved in the trip (if you transit via China for instance), you can safely ignore any rules about China not allowing dual citizenship.

Just show her Chinese passport with the Japanese Residence card to the check-in counter and when entering Japan. Basically, you're just doing the exact opposite of what you did on the way out.

Outbound:

  • Japan check-in: show UK passport
  • Japan exit passport control: show Chinese Passport and Japanese Residence Permit
  • South Korea entrance passport control: show UK passport

Return:

  • South Korea check-in: show Chinese Passport and Japanese Residence Permit
  • South Korea exit passport control: show UK passport
  • Japan entrance passport contro: show Chinese Passport and Japanese Residence Permit
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  • thanks for you answer, this is what exactly i thought at first. But can i ask that when return journey, i cannot / must not show her british passport when check in at the airline counter?
    – sniper2006
    Nov 16, 2022 at 17:17
  • You can show it, and it is even possible they will ask for it for some reason or other. But what matters to them the most is usually the passport you'll need/use to enter the destination.
    – jcaron
    Nov 16, 2022 at 17:37
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    As a data point: I recently flew out of South Korea - which I'd entered on a UK passport and I was flying back to Germany on a German passport. I showed my German passport to check in, and the agent asked me whether I had entered South Korea on that passport, and then asked for my UK passport when I mentioned that I had entered on the UK one. It's likely you'd need to present both the passport for your next destination and the one you entered South Korea on if they are different.
    – Edd
    Apr 16 at 8:52
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I think your first paragraph is totally correct. Also when returning, showing the Chinese passport would be correct, because that's where the residence permit is. She would want to be admitted as a resident into Japan. On top of that, Japan has suspended all visa free travel into Japan which the British passport might needed a visa. At least one of my Canadian friend did his 3 month tourist visa before he went Tokyo. If the airline ask why she has two passports, I don't think that's the airline's duty to determine if dual citizenship is allowed on a Chinese citizenship. Having the kind similar issue myself.

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  • thanks for you reply, yes now japan is fully opened so british or canadian passport would be fine to enter japan, but i think i will follow you and Jcaron's suggestion.
    – sniper2006
    Nov 16, 2022 at 17:21
  • "because that's where the residence permit is" - that's actually where the re-entry permit is stapled. A sticker was inserted for my first period of stay (2015-2018) but there's nothing at all for subsequent renewals (2018-2021 and 2021-2026), so there's no "residence permit" necessarily. This is down to your residence card and immigration's computers. Nov 17, 2022 at 1:08
  • I think Jcaron's answer is perfect. I don't think Korean airlines should concern about your wife's dual nationality. However just a reminder, I was told someone who is holding Chinese and Dominica passports went from China to Korea on Chinese passport had Issue transit to Europe on Dominica passport, couldn't get on board. This person was allowed on board after switching to different airline. So airline also does matter, should you worry about maybe the best is to talk to airline directly just for double check.
    – lane 55
    Nov 17, 2022 at 3:43
  • coz he does not have a EU visa on his chinese passport so he is not allowed to be on board?
    – sniper2006
    Nov 17, 2022 at 6:32
  • I wasn't sure about the story details, maybe something else involved. What I know is Korean Airline refused him on board, refused at the check in counter. Logically that shouldn't happen, since his Dominica passport has visa free access to Europe, but it appears some how the airline just won't recognize his Dominica passport. Good thing is he eventually went Europe with different airline. OP probably should check with airline just to make sure trip going smooth.
    – lane 55
    Nov 17, 2022 at 11:41

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