I'm traveling to the US from Israel. The Israeli passport does not give you an automatic entrance. I also have a German passport and an approved ESTA.

On my Israeli passport my name is: FIRSTNAME LASTNAME (OLDLASTNAME) - it's on brackets. On my German passport: FIRSTNAME OLDLASTNAME.

Name on both passports can't be changed but as you can see, both have my old last name in it. Also, my ESTA form states my Israeli passport and its number and the fact I'm also known by the other name. As I said, the ESTA is approved.

I bought my ticket on my Israeli last name because I have to leave the country with it.

I talked to both airline and the CBP (the US border protection) and they say it's ok.

But I'm worried.

Let's say I passed the Israeli customs with the Israeli passport and kept using it also on my connection (the airline said it's ok, if I show them the other visa and ESTA it will be OK with them) and I'm arriving to the US. I'm showing them the German one this time. Don't they need to see the stamp I left the country with? I called them about it and the lady said it's fine - but as I'm thinking about it - I'm not sure.

Also, on my way back I have to show at the airline desk the Israeli passport because it matches my ticket and on the border protection I need to show the German on to show I'm leaving the US (or should I just return this page they are giving on the way there?).

What do you think I should do?

  • 2
    In Germany Germans do not get exit stamps in their passports, so the US border people will not expect a stamp in a German passport.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


The border people do not generally even ask to see your boarding pass. They want to see your passport, your fingerprints, and your honest face. We don't have a lot of trouble with Israeli terrorists or even illegal aliens.

I talked to both airline and the CBP (the us border protection) and they say it's ok.

You may not realize that if the CBP rejects you, the airline has to fly you back at their expense: they are therefore vigilant about paperwork and can give sound advice about entering destination countries. You certainly realize that the CBP and the CBP are the same thing, and so if they say you can come in, you can come in.

  • thanks. does it means i"m also OK on the way back?
    – Irit Segev
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 4:12
  • 2
    There is no immigration check upon leaving the US. The airline will check you are the person on the ticket and that you have the paperwork to enter the destination country, but the government will remain sublimely indifferent to you, your passports, and your personal habits. Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 6:46
  • 2
    When traveling on the Israeli passport and entering the USA on the German one, your leaving might be missed by the USA authorities. If you might ever return to the USA, keep evidence that you really have left the USA.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 8:48
  • 1
    @IritSegev -- how common is the case of travelers obsessing over meaningless problems? Pretty common. You apparently need some kind of paperwork to enter and leave Israel. You need paperwork to board the plane. You need paperwork to enter (but not to leave) the US. They do not have to be the same pieces of paperwork. Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 21:28
  • 1
    @IritSegev I would not worry about it. If you must worry, however, here is some advice: If anyone asks about the name difference, show both passports and explain. Keep your boarding pass and your entry stamp into Israel or whatever country you enter next as evidence that you left the US, in case the automated I-94 system misses your exit.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:33

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