I have the following situation: I'm travelling next week with my children from Chicago-via Berlin- to Sofia (Bulgaria). We all have dual citizenship and both passports- US and Bulgarian. My US passport and my son's too expire Sept 18, 2015. Our Bulgarian passports are ok. We are planning a return from Sofia-via Berlin- to Chicago on Aug 12. I was told by my agent to check about the NEW VALIDITY rule of Germany. Can someone help? My logic tells me that we will make it to Bulgaria, but on the way back will the German authorities let us come back to the US?

1 Answer 1


As a Bulgarian passport holder, you are an EU citizen. Germany cannot prevent you from entering Germany on the basis of your citizenship. You should have no problem returning to the US through Berlin.

At check-in on your return trip, the airline will check your US passport to ensure that you have the right to enter the US in Chicago.

When passing through exit passport control in Berlin, be sure to use the same passport that you used to enter Berlin. This will probably be your Bulgarian passport, as the Schengen visa rules require that visitors have a passport valid for 3 months after the planned date of departure, and your US passports do not meet that requirement.

  • Thank you for the fast answer, my logic tells me the same, but they have advise me otherwise.
    – iva
    May 22, 2015 at 3:35
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    Does your agent know you hold valid Bulgarian passports? It would be an issue with only your US passports, but you have a better alternative. May 22, 2015 at 3:37
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    @iva I am also a dual US/EU citizen. I always identify myself to EU authorities using my EU passport. Doing this will make your life rather simpler. If anyone says that your US passports are not eligible for entry to Germany, you should explain to them that you will not be using your US passport to enter Germany, but your Bulgarian one. As an EU national, you have a right to enter Germany, and your Bulgarian passport is documentary evidence of that right. (Furthermore, since Bulgaria and US are both outside Schengen, you don't actually need to pass immigration control in Berlin.)
    – phoog
    May 22, 2015 at 19:04
  • In fact, I talked to US national passport center - they are telling me that Bulgarian authorities would not let me fly back to the US since my passport will not be valid for over 3 months.
    – iva
    May 22, 2015 at 22:12
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    @iva: If you enter Bulgaria with your Bulgarian passport (which you should), then you show the Bulgarian authorities your Bulgarian passport when you leave. It is important to always enter and leave using the same passport. However, the airline will also want to make sure you can enter the US when you arrive home in Chicago. For that, show the airline your US passport. Having dual passports is not unusual and there should be no problem. Note that the US government will always recommend that you travel using your US passport in all cases, even if you have another citizenship. May 22, 2015 at 23:10

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