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I am a dual Canadian/Iranian national and I am traveling to Istanbul (Turkey) mid June and staying a few days and then traveling to Athens (Greece) for 1.5 weeks, then I am returning to Canada.

As a Canadian, I don't need a visa to enter Greece but I do need one ironically for Turkey but I also have my Iranian passport and Iranians are exempt from visa in turkey.

Would it be possible to use my Iranian passport when I arrive/leave Turkey and then my Canadian one when I arrive/leave Greece?

Is this illegal at all or completely okay? I'm doing this because then I don't have to pay for the Turkish visa and money saved is money earned :)

What I am worried about is going from Istanbul to Athens and Greek official asking me why I don't have a stamp on my Canadian passport and I'll have to show my Iranian one - which is not the best nationality to have. Or am I overthinking this?

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It is completely okay. I do similar things all the time, although the two passports I hold are both visa-free in most of the places I visit.

The Greek official will not care whether you have a stamp from Turkey in your passport. She or he will be concerned only with stamps from Greece and other countries in the Schengen area, to determine whether you have ever overstayed your visa. Assuming you have not, there will be no problem.

Of course, if the Greek official does ask about your travel to Turkey, or whether you have Iranian nationality, you should tell them that you are an Iranian national, and if it seems they want documentation of that, show your passport.

In general, you should volunteer as little information as you need to, but always give any information that they ask for.

I would add that I once entered Turkey with some Bosnian/Canadian dual nationals who did not have their Bosnian passports. Turkey is (or was then) one of the few places that Bosnians can go without a visa. I was traveling on a US passport, and my visa fee was something like USD 15 or 20. The Canadians, entering on their Canadian passport, had to pay a fee of $60, if I recall correctly. I think the disparate fee amounts are based on the fees that Turks have to pay for visits to the country in question.

My friends regretted that they had not brought their Bosnian passports; you'll save a decent amount by remembering your Iranian one.

  • Yes its still $60! That's quite a lot! Many thanks for your thoughtful answer :) – nicefella Mar 18 '15 at 21:07

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