Until recent years, dual citizenship was an anomaly as the nationality used to be a singular characteristic. Today, dual citizenship has become a fact of globalization. Vazir Group, the UAE-based immigration advisory boutique with its headquarters in Dubai, has listed out its top tips and guidelines for people with dual citizenship to avoid confusion or uncertainty as to how to travel with two passports.
What is dual citizenship and what are the benefits?
The concept of dual citizenship simply means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time and has legal rights and responsibilities in both countries.
Having two passports comes with certain benefits and advantages such as political and social rights, easy and visa-free travel, own properties in either or both countries, security and safety of the family, more business opportunities only open to citizens, access to top education and also benefit from your citizen tuition rate which can help families with kids studying abroad making important savings. The high standards of healthcare can have a high impact on individuals as well.
For example, if you are a citizen in Canada and Cyprus, that means you hold two valid passports at once and benefit of free movement in almost 200 countries, right to live and work in the European Union and in Canada, free healthcare and studies and all the other benefits that Canada and European Union grant to their citizens in the same time.
Practicalities of traveling with two passports
When booking a ticket, one key point to remember for dual nationals traveling to one of their countries, is to enter and exit the country on that passport. This is important in order to not cause any confusion amongst the airport staff with regards to how you were able to enter the country without a visa as well as delay other passengers checking at the airport. For example, if you are a citizen of Canada and Cyprus and you are traveling from Canada to Cyprus, you should book your flight with the Cypriot passport. If you would book and present your Canadian passport you can be considered as a “foreigner” in your own country.
If you are traveling to a third country (not any of the ones you are a citizen of), you can choose which passport you want to use but should check the visa requirements – i.e which passport grants you the best access and do you require a visa for your trip? For instance, if you are a Canadian-Cypriot citizen, you can enter the USA with your Canadian passport as it doesn’t require a visa.
It is also recommended to carry both passports at all time when traveling as you never know when it might come in handy. As an Australian-German dual citizen departing from Australia on a one-way ticket to France, you can easily show the airline your German passport since being a part of the EU, a visa and return ticket is not required. Otherwise, Australian nationals are eligible to enter France for 90 days visa-free, meaning a return ticket or a visa is required when checking in.