I see on this site tons of questions about "I have a dual citizenship, which passport do I show in this case?" and I don't get a simple thing… can't you just show both, and let them pick which one they prefer?

Sure, there is some complex case, such as IIRC China, which forbids you from gaining a second citizenship, but for all the OTHER cases… why don't they just show both?

  • 1
    A lot of people do just that! But we can't delve into what motivates people or drives them to adopt a particular behaviour pattern. Close voting as 'too broad', please take this up in META, thanks.
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 1, 2015 at 14:58
  • @GayotFow oh, then I misunderstood. Well, I think closing would be pontless now: either good answers come, or don't. If they come, this would be de-facto in-topic, if they don't, then yes it might have to be closed. But give some time to answer… ;)
    – o0'.
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:13
  • 2
    It's not broad as much as it is an open discussion type of question and hence off topic.
    – JoErNanO
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:52
  • NVM, I'll try to rephrase it more specifically, then. Oh, it won't let me delete it, strange, since there are no upvoted answer…
    – o0'.
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:53

3 Answers 3


It isn't really the airline's decision to choose which travel document you travel on. Yes, we all know for instance that you should enter the USA on the US passport (by law—if you have one), but should you enter the UK on your US passport or your Greek passport? The document you use will depend on the purpose of your visit, and your own circumstances. And although we can advise which might be more convenient for most cases, it certainly is not the job of the airline to make that guess.

Second, some people (including airport check in staff who should know better) assume that you can only have one passport, and that in possessing two you must be breaking some rule [even if you aren't]. If you have multiple passports issued by the same country, it's even worse. Since the airline staff (or contractors) then don't know which passport to enter in the system, or whether they are supposed to report this(!) or something ridiculous, it can cause delays when they go away to find out from a supervisor or the station manager.

So actually it's probably better to turn up at each desk knowing which passport to hand over.


The countries that do not allow dual citizenship are very many more than just China and showing passports indicating two nationalities to an official of one of these may get the holder into trouble. Even where dual citizenship is not an issue, an entry stamp in one passport and an exit one in another may be inconvenient.


10 years ago I was traveling from country A to country B, country A is my so-called home country. Like I explained in an other question it's one of the most corrupted countries.

The officer insisted on knowing how am I going to enter country B. $50 dollars done the trick and he stamped passport A not my British passport.

Country B had no problem with granting me a visa upon arrival as soon as I showed the British passport.

I spent a day in country B, I wanted to go back to country A A MISTAKE a very fortunate mistake for me! made the officer stamp my British passport with an "Allowed to leave" stamp. Yes there is such thing, I was not allowed to leave because I have came from country A Her supervisor gone crazy but he said he will let it go because the damage has been done. However she should have never done that and allow me to leave back to country A and I should have flew from country B to an other destination but not go back to country A

When I arrived at the boarder between country A and B at the B side I have been questioned lots about why I am going back to country A The concluded that I have missed my flight and I agreed obviously for the sake of going back to country A

There is still more to the story....

A week later I decided to leave country A forever and I had to go to country B and fly from there to the UK. The officer insisted this time that he has to examine my British passport and stamp it else I would be allowed by the boarder control of country B to enter country B. He did it and I was not willing to pay this time

The guys at country B made a big deal out of the stamp on my British passport and I almost refused entry.

Is that enough? I also have a similar story about my sister and her problem is not solved yet

  • But this would fall back under the "countries wish special restrictions" case, and I do understand why you want to show one passport instead of another one. What I'm asking, is why everyone seems to be concerned with that, even when neither of their countries has such restrictions.
    – o0'.
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:12
  • No special restrictions in my case, country A is corrupted, country B suppose to be among the first 80 countries on this list
    – Ulkoma
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:16
  • I appreciate your story, maybe I wasn't clear enough, but "country is corrupt" counts as "special restrictions", as far as this question is concerned. I.e. I want to know why people feel the need to do that anyway even if neither country is "corrupt".
    – o0'.
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:48
  • @"I almost refused entry." when I had my British passport stamped at country A, in spite of the agreement between country B and the UK. I should not have showed it
    – Ulkoma
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:49
  • @Lohoris country B is far from being corrupt yet they can't stand the stamp of country A even on a British passport.
    – Ulkoma
    Aug 1, 2015 at 15:49

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