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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
Photo by Hubert Kriegel, of Jean-Louis Grauby, Dades Gorge, Morocco, during the 8th year of 'thetimelessride'. Ten years on the road on his 2008 Ural Sportsman

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Hubert Kriegel, of Jean-Louis Grauby, Dades Gorge, Morocco, during the 8th year of 'thetimelessride'. Ten years on the road on his 2008 Ural Sportsman.

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Old 22 Aug 2023
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Handling multiple passports (of the same country)

Hello everyone (but mainly Germans),

as you might know, under special conditions it's legal to have two German passports. Can anybody share their knowledge on how to handle those in case of overland travel?

I'm trying to figure out where the best place is to switch between them. If I switch after exiting A and before entering B, the border guard might ask me where the exit stamp of A is. If I switch inside a country, before exiting it, they might ask where my entry stamp is.

The problem is that as long as I'm not in the EU, there's basically a "chain of stamps", since the stamps also include which border checkpoint I crossed.

I was told in Kazakhstan it's illegal to have two passports and one would get confiscated.

I was told in Russia you can ask them to put the stamp in one passport even if the visa is in the other passport.

Does anybody know:
- where is it illegal to bring multiple passports?
- where is it legal?
- which countries don't like each other so I should switch between them? (China/Türkiye; Israel/Saudi Arabia)

Thank you in advance for taking your time to read and answer

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Old 22 Aug 2023
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I have two UK passports and try to use just one and keep the other out of the way for just in case, I have never seen anything about who does or does not allow or like them but if an immigration officer spotted something that did not add up it could make your life difficult.
I do use the second if the first has stamps from countries the place I am entering does not like but usually on a separate trip.
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Old 22 Aug 2023
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My current real life example is the following: currently in Kazakhstan with one passport, which contains the Russian visa. I'll enter Russia in the next days, then Mongolia, from which I continue to China. The Chinese visa is in the other passport.

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Old 22 Aug 2023
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Concurrent passports

Hello Pakohan,

good question you have and a real paper problem entering China with your concurrent second passport.

I have traveled a lot with two concurrent passport (yes, German) and I change from one passport to the other when I fly from one country to another, as in airports the immigration officers dont usually check the exit stamp of the country you just left.

As Mark Manley said above, *but if an immigration officer spotted something that did not add up it could make your life difficult.* I have never showed two passports at any border crossing, for this reason.

You will cross overland into China. When I crossed overland into China from Russia in 2015, the Chinese immigration officer took a long time to check my passport.

Hard to say what I would do in your situation, but I think I would take good color copies of the passport with the Mongolian visa/entry stamps and if asked by the Chinese immigration for the missing Mongolian stamps I would first show the copies ... and only if he asks more questions and insists I would show the second passport. Maybe print something out from the internet beforehand that two concurrent passports are legal in your home country. Maybe try to change over to the second passport already when you enter Mongolia overland.

Enjoy your ride.

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Old 23 Aug 2023
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Your suggestion of having color copies of the passport with the relevant entry stamps and visas, as well as being prepared to explain the legality of concurrent passports, is a proactive way to address any potential questions from immigration officers.
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Old 24 Aug 2023
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Originally Posted by pakohan View Post
...under special conditions it's legal to have two German passports.
I think that the answer to your question can be found by looking carefully at exactly what the "special conditions" that allow for a person to hold two passports are, and why the provision to have two passports was enabled.

As I understand it, some countries (not many) allow their citizens to hold two passports at the same time so that one of them may be away getting a visa attached to it by a foreign country, but the citizen still has the ability to travel on the second passport.

I don't think any country that will issue two passports recommends (or even foresees) that their citizen will travel with both of them in their possession. There is no good reason (in the mind of the issuing country) for a citizen to do this, unless it is to be able to drop one off at a consulate somewhere to get a visa inserted.

My suggestion to you, to avoid grief, is that you only switch from one to another if the one you are switching to has a visa in it that was just recently issued during the period of time that you were travelling on the other passport. That is something you can explain to curious immigration officials. Any other "swapping" of passports enroute would be quite difficult to justify and, depending on where you are, could cause you a lot of difficulty.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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I know that there is a problem entering the USA if you have been to Iran and, I think, Cuba (I may be many years out of date on that).

Israel is a no-no for many Islamic countries but you hear of people that get away with it by not having the Israeli stamps in the actual passport.

I have two passports - Irish and British- and had wondered about by timing the swaps as well. I had got it down to when I could have gone back to the UK by some means - flight or by sea - so not being able to execute the change at land borders.
You will have to do without pocket handkerchiefs, and a great many other things, before we reach our journey's end, Bilbo Baggins. You were born to the rolling hills and little rivers of the Shire, but home is now behind you. The world is ahead.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago
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I tried it out while leaving Russia: I presented both passports and asked whether I could get the stamp in the blank one. She asked another officer that was standing close by something about it. Then she asked me what I'm using two passports for and I gave her the same reason I provided while applying for it in Germany. She stamped the one I didn't want to have the stamp in and told me she had to stamp the one where the visa is inside.

Of course I then used the stamped one to get into Mongolia since it's illegal to have multiple citizenships and thus having two passports there. I didn't want to show the other one. I also plan to use that one to leave and present the blank one with the Chinese visa to enter China. The tour provider I'm going there with said they don't care. I'll keep you posted.

But would it actually be possible to enter the duty free area in an airport with one passport without a plane ticket, go "shopping for parfume" and re-enter the country using the other one?

P.S.: when exiting Russia I didn't get my passports back immediately and had to wait for two hours. Since another German had to wait as well I'm sure it's unrelated. I guess they just check the ones from the unfriendly countries more in detail.

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Old 1 Week Ago
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Originally Posted by pakohan View Post
My current real life example is the following: currently in Kazakhstan with one passport, which contains the Russian visa. I'll enter Russia in the next days, then Mongolia, from which I continue to China. The Chinese visa is in the other passport.

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I'd say the best place to switch would be at Mongolian border, you check out on one passport and get in on another one. Having entry stamp in one passport and exit stamp in another won't happen if border guards attentive and it can create all kinds of problems down the road. With potentially forced deportation and 5 years restriction on reentry.

As for having 2 passports being illegal they have no jurisdiction over your passports, so tell them to stuff it. Kaz has particular rules about showing the exit visa from the country you came from, but it isn't universally enforced and can be avoided, especially if you come/leave through different points or fly by the plane good luck.

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Old 1 Week Ago
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dual passports

I knew a Aussie in Colombia born in Australia raised in Australia and had a mother of Canadian nationality and a father of American Nationality
this guy attained a couple of passports .
He started to abuse the system by switching passports to get more time in Colombia and he actually obtained temporary residents visas
The Colombian Migration eventually caught up with him right after the covid pandemic and figured out that he had spent 4 years illegally in Colombia and they deported him and gave him a option if he wanted to return as a tourist. for a 90 day permit the fine was about 3 thousand dollars , is this a small price to pay after spending 10 years in Colombia or is it large This dude had a YouTube channel real estate ventures Everything and seemed like he was living in Heaven
but it all came crashing down on him in the end I would Not Fork with Migration no matter where you are
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