I now have dual citizenship, and I live in my 'new' country. I don't really want to obtain and maintain two passports, with the associated admin and costs.

If I continue to travel on my 'old country' passport, and in due course renew it, can I let my previous 'new-country' visas in my old passport expire (ie not renew/transfer them into the renewed passport) and rely instead on my 'new' citizenship certificate to allow entry into my new home country?

I realise the exact rules may differ by country, and I will check them out in my specific case, but before I do: does anyone have experience of this for their own countries?

  • 4
    It depends on which two countries are involved. Some countries e.g. may give you a stamp with a citizenship declaration in your "other" (foreign) passport. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 9:32
  • 1
    As you suspected, it's necessary to be a little more specific (Which country? What's a “citizenship certificate”). In my own country, you would get a national ID card and can use that to enter when you come back. You would not be able to get a new visa, renew your old one or transfer it to your new passport as you don't need a visa anymore and visas are not issued to citizens.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 11:33
  • If you somehow find yourself in your “old” country without any document from the new country and need to travel there, you would need to contact the nearest consulate of the new country, which would first verify your citizenship and then give you an ID card, (temporary) passport or other travel document.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


As the citizen of a country, you have the right to enter that country as long as you have documentary proof that you are a citizen of that country, passport or otherwise. So if you show up at the border waving your certificate, you'll eventually get in, although it may take a while.

The big problem is going to be getting to that border in the first place. Airlines flying into a country are going to insist on a passport or some sort of temporary travel document, a random certificate is not going to cut it.

And you're most likely to have trouble even leaving your home country, since exit immigration is going to want to see your passport: you can't just show them your other-country passport, since that's not going to have a visa and would make you an illegal immigrant. You might be able to argue your way out, but it would be highly unusual to say the least.

Obviously this applies to places primarily reached by air and where border controls are enforced. If you're a new citizen of (say) Finland but decide to keep renewing your (say) Swedish passport, you're not even going to need the citizenship certificate, because there are no border controls between the two and a Swedish passport is completely valid for entering any Schengen country.

  • Some countries have no exit immigration. Also, if OP leaves the new country on the old-country passport it presumably reflects whatever permanent-resident status the person had before taking the citizenship of the new country; it would not seem that OP was an illegal immigrant.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 16:24

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