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I am a dual US/ITA citizen and I recently entered the EU with my US passport and got a 90 day visa. I decided I want to stay longer than 90 days and I have my EU passport with me. I am wondering if that will cause issues when I decide to return to the US or trigger any other issues during passport controls when leaving the EU if I overstay 90 days. I've read it isn't possible to overstay if you are an EU citizen, but it would look odd on your (US) passport to not have an exit stamp. Also when I leave the EU to go back to the US I would be using my US passport, so not sure how to handle that with it showing an overstay.

Can/should I go to Gibraltar and get an exit stamp, then re-enter with my EU passport? Or is this not necessary and can I just stay longer than 90 days, then show my EU passport when anyone asks about my overstay?

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    Was there a particular reason why you entered with your US passport?
    – Tim
    Dec 12, 2022 at 12:35
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    For what it's worth, I'm a dual US/Greek citizen and have been doing things like this for years: I will usually enter using whichever passport gives me the shortest queue at the airport and have never had any issues when leaving.
    – terdon
    Dec 12, 2022 at 12:59
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    @Tim As another US/EU citizen, I enter on my US passport because there is nowhere to get a passport from my EU country in the part of the US where I live, and I'm not in the EU long enough to apply for one there.
    – Lee C.
    Dec 12, 2022 at 16:36
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    You have the right to be in the EU regardless of which passport you used on entry. Personally, if I was in your situation I'd use both passports in an inconvenient a way as possible for border agencies to mess with their ever more intrusive efforts to track people Dec 12, 2022 at 20:02
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    @ScottishTapWater EU countries in general do not maintain a record of entries and exit of citizens and others with a right of free movement, the examination is supposed to be check the authenticity only. On the other hand, your movement across the border as a third country national may be recorded and soon will be mandatorily recorded in a database shared by all Schengen members...
    – xngtng
    Dec 13, 2022 at 7:34

3 Answers 3

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No, you don't need to exit and reenter. You are an Italian citizen; you enjoy the right of free movement regardless of which passport you used to enter the Schengen area (or any non-Schengen EU country).

it would look odd on your (US) passport to not have an exit stamp.

The US doesn't care, and neither does the EU. You will probably never have to show your US passport to an EU official, but if you do, and if they ask about your lack of an exit stamp, just tell them that you're an Italian citizen and show them your Italian passport if they want to see it. Similarly, in the exceedingly unlikely event that a US officer ever asks about the lack of an exit stamp, just explain that you used your Italian passport when you left and therefore didn't get one.

Also when I leave the EU to go back to the US I would be using my US passport, so not sure how to handle that with it showing an overstay.

Check in for the flight with your US passport. When you get to the exit checkpoint for the Schengen area, show your Italian passport. When you arrive in the US, show your US passport.

Can/should I go to Gibraltar and get an exit stamp, then re-enter with my EU passport?

No.

Or is this not necessary and can I just stay longer than 90 days, then show my EU passport when anyone asks about my overstay?

Yes.


Instead of memorizing complex sequences of whom to show what passport when, I keep instead to these principles:

  1. Always show the EU passport to EU passport inspectors.

  2. Always show the US passport to US immigration officers.

  3. Use the EU passport with the airline when flying into the EU.

  4. Use the US passport with the airline when flying into the US.

There is a lengthy discussion of these matters at I have two passports/nationalities. How do I use them when I travel?

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    Re: Gibraltar, I believe this is still not yet finalised. Supposed to happen before the end of the year, but this has been the case for 2 years.
    – jcaron
    Dec 11, 2022 at 21:18
  • @jcaron yes, I did a bit of research after writing that and it indeed seems not yet to be finalized. I will delete it. (Still, for anyone who does need to leave the Schengen area temporarily from Italy I suspect that Croatia -- for the next 20 days -- or Montenegro or Albania would be easier. Or, if you're flying, a big hub such as Istanbul is likely to be less expensive.
    – phoog
    Dec 11, 2022 at 21:32
  • or for someone who does not have issues with visas there (like OP), anywhere in the UK... A bit further, but surely more flights than to Montenegro or Albania...
    – jcaron
    Dec 11, 2022 at 23:44
  • @jcaron I was thinking of the ferry.
    – phoog
    Dec 11, 2022 at 23:51
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    @fanatix which is the "return flight"? In other words, where do you live? I always check in for flights to the EU with my EU passport and for flights to the US with my US passport. This has never caused a problem, and almost all of these flights have been one half of a round trip ticket between the EU and the US or vice versa.
    – phoog
    Dec 13, 2022 at 18:39
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I've read it isn't possible to overstay if you are an EU citizen

True. Your right to stay in any EU country is nearly absolute if you are working, studying, seeking a job, or have a pension or otherwise enough financial resources, outside exceptional circumstances (e.g. if you have committed a serious crime).

This right cannot be abrogated based on which passport you used (even if it was in violation of some national laws requiring their dual nationals to use the EU country's passport only).

but it would look odd on your (US) passport to not have an exit stamp.

Also true. If you show your US passport without proof of EU citizenship, you can encounter difficulties when you try to exit or enter EU again with your US passport only. But any immigration inquiry at a border (or elsewhere in the EU) must end when you show your EU passport.

If you show both passports, border officers are not supposed to stamp your passport if they know you to be an EU citizen. They will most likely simply disregard your U.S. passport and give it back.

Also when I leave the EU to go back to the US I would be using my US passport, so not sure how to handle that with it showing an overstay.

There is no requirement to show your U.S. passport when exiting or entering E.U. borders. The simplest and recommended thing to do is to show your EU passport or national ID, and show these things only. Do not make things more complicated than it needs to be.

In general (exceptions exist), there is no requirement to show the same passport or travel document to the airlines, the immigration officer of the departure country and the immigration officer of the destination country.

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  • All of this is true. However, if I were in this situation, being a little bit obsessive, I would want an exit stamp in my US passport just to have the record there if I ever wanted to look it up again I recently requested all my PNRs from CBP, and what they sent isn't even half of my USA entrances and exits. And at least two of them were wrong.
    – WGroleau
    Dec 13, 2022 at 7:45
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It's better to respect your US passport used for entering the EU. Yes! You have the freedom to stay as long as you wish to be in the EU but it may be like the US citizen staying in the EU after their visa has expired and EU Citizen staying who has never entered the EU. It will be great for you to get advice from the US consulate.

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