I am currently studying in the UK with a visa on my Lebanese passport. If I want to travel to Portugal I will need a visa. Can I use my Australian passport to get out of the UK and visit Portugal and back? Am I allowed to do that?

  • I think jpatokal procedure is the best and safest but in principle you are allowed to do anything, you just need to follow the rules in each country.
    – Relaxed
    Jan 22 '14 at 8:46

Yes, you can travel, but you need to use both passports. This is going to be the third answer saying basically the same thing, but let me break it down into exact steps.

When leaving the UK:

  1. Check in at the airport, show your Australian passport to airline staff.
  2. There is no exit immigration in the UK, so you do not need to show your Lebanese passport to anyone, unless you're stopped by the police or something.
  3. Arrive in Portugal, show Australian passport at Immigration.

You are now in Portugal! And on the way back:

  1. Check in at the airport, show your Lebanese passport with UK visa to airline staff.
  2. At exit immigration, show Australian passport.
  3. Arrive in UK, show Lebanese passport at Immigration.

This obviously assumes you have a multiple-entry UK visa that will let you back in the UK. Given the UK's lack of exit immigration, you could probably re-enter with your Australian passport (no UK visa needed) and they might never even notice you left, but I would not recommend it -- things would get hairy fast if they notice a hole in your story, eg. claiming to be a student but not having a student visa in your Oz passport.


The general rule about multiple passports is that you must always exit a country using the same passport that you used to enter. This implies that you cannot:

  1. enter the UK on your Lebanese passport
  2. leave the UK using your Australian passport
  3. enter the UK on your Australian passport

because at that point, you have "entered" the UK twice with two different passports and clearly you can only leave once more at this point.

If your UK visa is multiple-entry, then you should be able to re-enter the UK on your Lebanese passport in step 3 above after visiting Portugal on your Australian passport. If your UK visa is single-entry, then you would probably have to apply for a new visa or something before returning to the UK.

  • 2
    +1 for the general rule. However, in the specific case of the UK, you actually could do that quite easily, since the UK does not track who leaves the country, only who enters. Jan 22 '14 at 4:30

No, you are not allowed to do that. However, you do not need to enter Portugal on the same passport that you left the UK on.

Since your Australian passport won't have any UK visa or entry stamps, you can't leave the UK on it.

Conclusion: You need to leave the UK on your Lebanese passport.

The Portuguese customs, will not know (and don't even care) where you just came from. So you can enter Portugal on any of your passports, as long as you hold a valid visa in this passport (or are allowed to enter without a visa).

Conclusion: Enter and leave Portugal on whichever passport it's easier to enter the country.

Same on your way back: You need to leave Portugal on the same passport, that you entered it with. However, now you can enter the UK with any of your passports - as long as you hold a valid visa in this passport (or are allowed to enter without a visa). But since you are apparently studying in the UK and your student visa is in your Lebanese passport, you should enter on your Lebanese passport.

Entering the UK on your Australian passport will probably just get you a tourist visa, which most likely means you need to leave the country after a certain amount of time.

That said, make sure your Student Visa is a multiple entry one. If it isn't you will loose it by leaving the country - no matter which passports you are using anywhere.

  • 1
    Mostly true, but the UK has no exit immigration checks. This means you can leave with a receipt from McDonalds, as long as you can convince an airline to let you board. Jan 22 '14 at 4:32
  • 1
    Not completely correct - there's normally no problems with showing the airline Passport A at checkin (so they can see you can enter the destination), showing Passport B at the exit immigration control (so they can see you left on the one you entered on), then back to Passport A at the gate (for a final check for the destination)
    – Gagravarr
    Jan 22 '14 at 9:53
  • No exit checks at all? I can hardly believe that. That would mean you could overstay any visa for years without anyone being able to find out. Also makes me wonder why Julian Assange fled into an embassy when he could just have left the country easily.
    – Phil
    Jan 23 '14 at 1:28
  • Rest assured, it's true, although they're thinking of adding them. Assange would have been nabbed at check-in though. And you can overstay anywhere for years as long as you don't go to the airport! dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2381880/… Jan 23 '14 at 10:57

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