I am traveling to the UK using my dual citizenship.

When leaving South Africa, I will be using my SA passport which will have an "exit" stamp on it. But once I arrive in England I will be using my EU passport which will then receive an "entry" stamp, but obviously this passport will have no exit stamp from South Africa in it. Will they not be wondering where I came from?

I feel like showing both my South African and EU passport in England will get me into trouble.


When border officers look at the stamps in your passport, they are looking for other stamps from their country (or from countries with which they share border control responsibilities, as with the Schengen area). They look for these stamps because they want to see whether you have been spending too much time in their country, in which case they would deny you entry.

Border officers are not generally concerned with how you got to the border, nor with how long you stayed in other countries.

Also, you probably won't get a stamp in your EU passport when you enter the UK. EU border officers generally do not stamp EU passports because of the freedom of movement rules in the EU.


I'm a dual passport holder too (SA and NZ), but frankly it's not an issue anyway. There are many instances of several countries that don't even stamp you on exit (or entry) (currently or in recent past).

For example, the US has no exit immigration. Australia requires actually asking to even get a stamp. Switzerland didn't stamp me when I went through (2007), to my frustration.

The point being that there are many possible places you could have come from, and they may legally not have stamped you. Or you could have used a different passport (also legal).

So basically, no, it won't be a problem. Generally you're expected to use the same passport going in and out of a country, but switching like this is no problem.

  • 1
    Switzerland doesn't stamp? Since when? A few years ago, my wife almost got fined by a Swiss border officer when leaving Switzerland because she didn't have a stamp showing her entry into the Schengen area (in Italy, if I recall correctly). He said that if the officer processing you through the border doesn't stamp your passport, you should ask for a stamp. Of course, he stamped the passport himself. (She was traveling on a non-EU passport.) – phoog Mar 17 '15 at 7:53
  • @phoog this was 2007, and it was my first solo trip into Europe (flew into Zurich from LCY) and was very frustrated not to get a stamp - I even asked for one. NZ passport :( – Mark Mayo Mar 18 '15 at 10:32
  • that explains the discrepancy -- Switzerland implemented Schengen in December 2008. This underscores the importance of mentioning dates when discussing government policies, as they do change from time to time -- something I also forget. – phoog Mar 18 '15 at 12:06
  • True. In this case it was just a a series of examples so date not really relevant, but I may edit. – Mark Mayo Mar 18 '15 at 12:08

Dual or multi-nationalities are not uncommon in the world and border/custom officials are used to dealing with multinationals. When you arrive at an EU port, and you present an EU member state passport, you are entering the EU as an EU national, end of story. You have an absolute right to entry, and your passport WILL NOT be stamped. The same applies to South Africa, you are a national re-entering and you have an absolute right of entry as a SA citizen.

It is a total non issue.

  • While I suppose this is true in general, the officer examining one's passport is not the general case, and there will be exceptions. My sister once volunteered her foreign passport to a US CBP officer, after having presented her US passport to him. He started to make troubling assertions about how having another nationality is "unconstitutional". Of course, nothing could be father from the truth, because US citizens are permitted to have another nationality precisely because the Supreme Court found that the law forbidding it was unconstitutional. – phoog Mar 18 '15 at 12:11

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.