TLDR: travelling to Japan and back from Australia with expired Spanish passport (AUS visa linked to it) and valid French passport (AUS visa not linked to it but AUS Immigration is aware of dual nationality info).

My son has dual citizenship Spain and France, with the same name (ie K--- ) and last name (ie M----) on both passports but one additional last name added on the Spanish passport (ie M---- + A---). We have an Australian PR visa linked to the Spanish passport and want to travel for a short trip from Australia to Japan and back.

The problem is, the Spanish passport is expired and we cannot get it renewed (Spanish administration sucks big time in general, no embassy near us to renew it within the timeframe).

Australian Immigration says they can update visa details to the French information (and dual nationality is OK) but that visa might still be linked to Spain when shown to airlines and essentially might cause trouble when travelling, which I don't understand why.

What should I do and how do I travel to Japan and back given the information? I'm thinking of bringing both passports and let the airlines sort it out but I'm scared of what might happen.

Any advice?

  • 2
    Not a full answer, so I'll stick to comments for now: airlines in Japan (not Japanese airlines, but rather Japanese staff of airlines) are stickler for rules when it comes to visas and passports. I almost got denied boarding twice there, once because they couldn't confirm my residency, even though I was showing them my ID card. Showing up with an expired passport at a Japanese counter is a recipe for disaster.
    – dda
    Feb 1 at 15:30
  • 2
    Not familiar with AUS visas and residence permits, but is yours stamped in the passport or just linked to it in a database like an ETA for instance? In the latter case I indeed don't quite see why it would be an issue if they link it to the French passport: just use only the French passport, the airline should use the details of that and send to Australian Immigration which should respond "OK".
    – jcaron
    Feb 1 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


That's complicated. I suggest putting your and your son's details separately into travel document checkers such as https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/passport-visa-health-travel-document-requirements.htm and https://www.traveldoc.aero/

If that comes back negative or inconclusive you need to contact the airline directly and ask about your specific cases. Make sure you mention ALL details and ideally get a response in writing.

Generally, a valid visa in an expired passport remains valid (that's why you get the old one back when you renew). But in your case there are two somewhat different names, which complicates things further.

Another option would be to just get ETAs with your French passport, but again, that depends on your specific details.

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