I have two passports, both US and China. I want to visit China with my Chinese passport for its convenience. Therefore, when I book my round-trip ticket to China, I have to enter my Chinese passport info and show them to the airline staff. So here comes the questions:

  1. Since it was a round-trip ticket, my returning ticket also shows my Chinese passport info, if I show my green card to the airline staff, will they be able to verify the validity of my green card? (Since my green card automatically becomes invalid after I became a US citizen) In other words, will the APIS system verify visa/green card info other than just return a security clearance (check 'no-fly list' etc)?

  2. Since I already entered my Chinese passport info as the APIS record, when I enter the US immigration, I have to use my US passport, but obviously the passport information won't match with the APIS record, will CBP consider this as a big problem?

I know somebody will ask me to enter my US passport info for APIS record for both departure and arrival flights, but I'm worried that the airline will submit these information to Chinese authorities, then they will know I have a US passport, but I don't have Chinese visa on it, also they may confiscate my Chinese passport.

  • 11
    It seems you're trying to retain Chinese citizenship in violation of Chinese law. Why not just abide by the law, give up your Chinese citizenship, and get a Chinese visa in your US passport?
    – phoog
    Apr 16, 2016 at 22:01
  • 5
    @MichaelHampton I think OP could have been referred to the canonical before booking and the problem would have been solved, but alas OP didn't and now has this question. The canonical doesn't cover if there is anything you can do when you are set on flying directly. And I think OP could be fine with some passport and greencard juggling. Bottom line: the question is not a duplicate.
    – Belle
    Apr 17, 2016 at 0:56
  • 8
    I'm a UK citizen living in the USA. It took me a total of one day to get a visa for a visit to China. Are you sure the "convenience" of using the Chinese passport is worth the hassle of trying to hide your actual citizenship? May 3, 2016 at 13:58
  • 7
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about advice for circumventing the law. May 3, 2016 at 15:05
  • 6
    You've got a much bigger problem here: When you try to board the flight from China to the US you're stuck. You entered China on your Chinese passport so you must exit on your Chinese passport--but you can't exit on your Chinese passport because it doesn't show a visa for the US so they won't let you board. If you're trying to hide your dual nationality you must do it as two tickets going through a third country. May 3, 2016 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


There are at least four separate problems here. The following answer is speculative, but short of somebody working in Chinese immigration chiming in, you're unlikely to get a better answer.

Problem 1: Will the airline let you leave the US with a Chinese passport?

Likely answer: yes. In my experience, the US and its airlines understands the concept of multiple passports and are OK with it. If you show up at the US airport with a return trip to China and back and a Chinese passport, you'll be asked if you have a visa to return to the US: showing your American passport will easily solve this.

Now, it's possible they'll record your American passport details at this point and that those somehow filter down to somebody in China in a position to notice and care. However, on the occasions I've had to show multiple passports in the US, I don't think this has ever been the case. YMMV.

Problem 2: Will the airline in China let you board with a Chinese passport?

This is likely the most challenging bit. You'll need to show your green card or US passport to the airline at this point, and they will likely have to enter the details into the system so the US will let you in. Does this data also get piped to Chinese officials, and so fast that the immigration officer at the counter a few dozen meters away sees it? Seems unlikely, but China being a police state, who knows?

Problem 3: Will Chinese immigration let you through with an invalid green card?

Almost certainly yes. First, exit immigration is primarily concerned with whether you're a wanted criminal etc in China, whether you have a visa or not is a problem for the airline and not them. Even if they do check your green card, the US and China are not exactly best buddies, so I would be astonished if Chinese immigration had direct access to US immigration records.

Problem 4: Will the US let you in if your APIS data was with a Chinese passport?

This one there's no doubt: yes, they have to, you're an American citizen and have an absolute right to enter your own country.

So all in all, I'll go against prevailing opinion: I think your odds of pulling this off are fairly high. However, there is definitely a non-zero risk, and it would be safer to follow the process here to transit via a third country.

  • 8
    "Does this data also get piped to Chinese officials, and so fast that the immigration officer at the counter a few dozen meters away sees it?": if they get the data more slowly then the traveler will probably be able to retain the Chinese passport longer, but could be stripped of it on the next visit or could be unable to renew it when the time comes.
    – phoog
    May 4, 2016 at 4:07
  • 1
    @phoog Not outside the realm of possibility. May 4, 2016 at 4:11
  • you'll be asked if you have a visa to return to the US => you could also say 'no', they don't really care.
    – JonathanReez
    Jan 10 at 5:25

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