I understand this question has been asked a few times.

A solution is booking two tickets from US - [Middle Country] - Indonesia. The middle country can be either Singapore or Malaysia. I heard that Malaysia might be better because Singapore has built an automated entry/exit system.

However, I'm still unclear about which passport to use in the middle country. Can anyone provide some pointers?

US --> ID

When exiting from ID, use ID passport.


Should I use US passport / Indonesian passport? Do I need to exit at immigration and get a visa stamp?

Arrives in ID Use ID passport

ID --> US

When exiting from UD, use ID passport.


Should I use US passport / Indonesian passport? Do I need to exit at immigration and get a visa stamp?

US Use US passport to enter US

  • 3
    I understand this question has been asked a few times. - what makes you think your situation is different from the other times it's been asked (and answered)? If there are things that are radically different, I'd suggest adding them to your question
    – Midavalo
    Oct 17, 2023 at 22:18
  • In the Middle Country (C), what do I do exactly? Should I show ID or US passport? Do I need to enter immigration when going to ID or when returning?
    – user139914
    Oct 17, 2023 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


This is what my friends who have 2 passports, one of which from a country that forbids dual citizenship do (Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, etc), applied to your case:

  1. When leaving the US, use your US passport at the airport.
  2. When landing in Malaysia, pass through Immigration, and use your Indonesian passport, get a nice fat stamp in. Malaysian Immigresen officers being sometimes nosy, they might look at your Indonesian passport, your lack of US visa, and ask about that. Show them your US passport. They might not like it, but it's not like they can do anything about it.
  3. Stay a little in Malaysia, to establish probable cause. A couple of days or so. You'll have proof that you were in Malaysia, and came "back" to Indonesia.
  4. When leaving Malaysia, use again, of course, your Indonesian passport.
  5. Landing in Indonesia, again, use your Indonesian passport. If you are registered with the automated channels, no biggie: nobody will look at your passport. If not, the immigration officer will see a Malaysian stamp, boleh. And register for the automated clearance... There are in a few countries, including Indonesia (I saw them at Soekarno-Hatta) automated immigration gates – ie subway-like gates that read your passport, scan your biometrics, and let you in and out. You may or may not require prior registration to use them.
  6. When going back to the US, at the airport in Indonesia, show your Indonesian passport. If you're only transiting in Malaysia, show your US passport to to the airline staff – who don't care – so that your luggage is tagged all the way to the US. At immigration in Indonesia, only show your boarding pass to Malaysia, and Indonesian passport.

7a. If you are transiting only, in Malaysia at the boarding gate show your US passport. Airline staff are not interested in what stamps you have, only that the name on the boarding pass and on the passport match, and that the passport allows you to fly there.

7b. If you decide to stay in Malaysia for a couple of days, show your US passport, and get stamped in and out.

  1. Landing in the US, obviously show your US passport. If the CBP officer asks for an entry/exit stamp, and you only transited, show them your Indonesian passport. If you stayed a couple of days, you'll have Malaysian entry/exit stamps.

I would however avoid Malaysia – as I said the officers there tend to be nosy – and instead use a country or region that doesn't care. HK is a good choice (and they issue a piece of paper instead of a stamp). Singapore and South Korea only care about THEIR citizens' (lack of) dual citizenship. No stamps either.

  • Thanks so much! Does the same concept apply in different countries (for instance, Singapore, HK) and when I return to? So, when I return to the US, in the transit/middle country, should I get a stamp on my US passport? And I'm not sure what registering for automated clearance means.
    – user139914
    Oct 18, 2023 at 1:23
  • Also, by staying a little in Malaysia, do you mean a couple of days?
    – user139914
    Oct 18, 2023 at 1:26
  • I appreciate the detail answer. Quick question about step #8, if I stay only 3 days lets say, can't the CBP officer know I was only in Malaysia for 3 days? Will he ask when I have been because left the US many days before that (because I was in Indonesia)? I don't know if he cant check in the database that I left many many days before that.
    – user139914
    Oct 18, 2023 at 19:04

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