I plan to visit Australia from the UK, I am an Australian national with dual nationality - I also hold a Greek passport. I have all the correct documentation and everything is fine.

However, if I leave the UK and present my Australian passport to immigration control on exit from Heathrow, will this then pose problems when I return back to the UK and present my Greek passport. I will be carrying both passports.

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    Is there a reason why you can't use the same passport on your arrival and departure? Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 11:06
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    @mindcorrosive Do I need to ? Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 11:09
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    Don't know, but if you do it like this, then you'll circumvent the problem altogether. But I can certainly recognize that other people in may be in a similar situation, when they can't use only one of the passports, so this is certainly a good question. Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 11:10
  • I think travellers must enter and leave any country on the same passport, but if you're living in the UK things might be different. Also I could be wrong altogether. Commented Oct 29, 2011 at 10:59
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    I can't tell for UK citizens, but a person I know who holds Italian and Swiss passports entered the UK using his Italian paper and exited it three weeks later using the Swiss one (the Italian document was no longer valid). Nobody complained.
    – Paola
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 16:49

5 Answers 5


Aas long as you leave a country with the same passport that you entered in on, then you're ok.


  • Option 1: Entering Aus on Aus passport, leaving on Greek = bad
  • Option 2: Entering on Greek, leaving on Aus = bad
  • Option 3: Entering and leaving on Greek passport = good
  • Option 4: Entering and leaving on Aus passport = good

The reason being for counts and tracking - if a Greek tourist has entered Australia, but has not been seen leaving, panic ensues (well probably not, but that's the theory anyway). That passport has 'overstayed'. And you NEVER want to get pinged for overstaying.

Once you've left a country, meh, they no longer care about you. So when you come back to the UK, you can use whatever passport you want, so long as that passport has the legal entitlement to work there (if you're working there). Greek passport is obviously easy for this, but the Aussie one you'll require a visa of some sort, if you present that at the border, as you're now being treated as a non-EU citizen (as that's the passport you chose to present).

Hope that makes sense.

  • yes, you are right. the rule is you should enter and exit any country with the same passport. Mixing make troubles.
    – Yousf
    Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 11:53
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    I agree with you about entering and leaving a country on the same passport, but this does not mean that you should be leaving the first country on the same passport. If leaving the UK on the Greek passport saves Nim troubles of any kind (lines, stamps, visas, whatever), why shouldn't he do it? Then entering Australia on an Australian passport is surely the best choice, and he should also exit the country using it. When he gets back to England, using the Greek passport again probably will save him time. Besides, do you think someone at the border knows he exited Australia on the other passport?
    – Paola
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 17:01
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    I'm sorry if it wasn't clear - entering and leaving on the same passport is the key here. It doesn't matter which country we're talking about, just use the same one to enter and exit it. So if he goes to Aus, use the Aus one, and if he goes to the UK, use the Greek one. I'm fairly sure I stated that. As I even pointed out, the Greek passport was the recommended one for the UK, as Aussie would require a visa.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented May 27, 2012 at 20:06
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    Except they don't treat you as non-EU if you use a non-EU passport. My Canadian passport specifies I was born in the UK, and even though I don't hold a current British passport, they have to let me in :-) Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 13:21
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    It is not only easier to use the visited nation's passport, but it is actually illegal in some countries for citizens to enter under a foreign passport. For example "Most U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States."
    – Murch
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 16:12

Definitely you should use your Australian passport in Australia and Greek passport in Greece (because for these countries you are their citizen and they don't really care if you have a dual nationality). And as others have said it's safest to use the same passport to enter and exit the country. However, in many countries the police would not check your passport on exit (I don't think anyone checked my passport when leaving the UK), so this discussion might be a bit academic.


A few searches through this site will discover pairs of countries that don't like to see each other's stamps in your passport. If you plan things right, you can use separate passports to make this less of a worry for you. For example you might use one passport for Israel and the other for all the countries that might not like seeing an Israel stamp, or whose stamps might raise eyebrows when you go to Israel.

I don't know what the collections of countries are these days. When I was a child my father had one set of countries including USSR and Cuba in one passport, and another set including the USA in the other, and he had a much smoother travel experience than his colleagues with only one passport. Also, you can choose the shorter line most of the time when you're interacting with a neutral country and don't care whose passport the stamp goes in. Or if you need to send your passport away to get a visa in it (still happens) you can travel on the other in the meantime. Plenty of advantages but you will do best if you plan a little in advance.

  • This is certainly still true if you have the advantage of a dual nationality, and as a consequence two different passports.
    – Paola
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 16:54
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    Incidentally, the same principle applies even if you only have one nationality. Some countries will deliver a second passport for this purpose.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 9:19

As long as you leave and enter on the same passport it is fine... for instance I have a South African and Swiss passport.

Leave and enter SA on my SA passport and enter and leave Switzerland on my Swiss passport.

No hassles!

It does seem weird but for all the country cares you haven't left an airplane the whole time!


I have dual nationality (UK - Australia), and I always show both on departure. This stops them getting worried that they will have to deny me access to the flight because of visa issues. They should still only use one of them (the 'local' one) for their record keeping though. On arrival I just show the local one as that is less hassle for everyone.

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