We get a lot of questions about "I have passports X and Y, how do I travel from A to B", and while the combinations are near-infinite, the basic answers boil down into a few possible scenarios.

Joel Spolsky's answer to this question is justly highly rated, but has not been anointed as the accepted answer and doesn't show up top. Also, while it mentions the common scenario where the traveler is hiding X's citizenship from Y, it doesn't offer suggestions for how to work around this.

Should we create a generic question with a definitive answer?

  • 2
    I will answer in a comment. I vote that you CONTRIVE a generic question making no secret that it is canonical. Put a bounty on it. Put your own answer in and let it sink or swim alongside organic answers. At the end, wikifie the right answer and come to meta and tell us what type of questions we should dup vote. I agree to dup vote in line
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 1:09
  • First shot at canonical Q&A written: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/52100/… Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 11:20
  • +1, I like it; there's a use case to be added but that's for later. Right now I am asking myself 'how do I find it after about two months from now'?
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 13:31
  • Can I add another answer, with a graphic flowchart, for the special case of US/UK duals? Even though it is covered in the abstract by your answer?
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 16:29
  • @GayotFow Happy to community wiki the answer if you think your edits would be useful to all, but what's special about US/UK duals? Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 22:16
  • @GayotFow About to head out, but I've wikied the answer, edit away. Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 23:24
  • There is no defect in your answer, and nothing particularly special about US/UK duals other than my comment above ('abstract'). After looking at it, I cannot edit the wiki answer for the special case. Instead, I have mounted a graphic on my wordpress blog. You can inspect it there and see if it's of any use. Again, no defects found in your answer and I'm grateful to you for having wiki'fied it.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 0:01
  • @GayotFow Got link? Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 5:21
  • Please see gayotfow.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/croppercapture4.jpg remembering that it does not corrrect anything in your answer. It's for those less able to follow the algebraic representation in the canonical answer.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


I agree there is an underlying ‘theme” to the various scenarios as I think they all render down to little more than a single factor. Basically “is the person currently to inspect the passport responsible for Immigration?”. If yes show them the one they want to see, if no show them the one (or both) you want them to see.

Perhaps a little more complex, given say a visa in one passport and a name that matches a booking in another, but that’s the sort of situation a canonical answer would cover.

I think generalization might help to extract the relevant considerations from an element of extraneous ones usually connected with a set of specific circumstances. Also that a few, perhaps colour-coded, diagrams would aid clarification while unlikely ever to be provided for the non-routine conditions that would have to be present for any further "two-passport" question to avoid being a duplicate.

What concerns me slightly is the we in “we create”. I have seen many good ideas proposed on metas that have not been carried through (but more on SO than TSE). I am not sure that advocating some work for someone when I don’t intend that ‘someone’ to be me is entirely appropriate.

In general, of course we want canonical answers – there should be no need to ask that! But if asking anyway is an implied request for assistance I don’t wish my agreement to imply much by way of practical support, in the matter of dual nationality.

Incidentally, I say ‘dual nationality’ rather than ‘multiple passports’ because I do not have dual nationality (hence not well qualified to help) but do have more than one passport. That raises issues but I think not ones that should be covered by the proposal above.

  • For clarity, I'm volunteering to write the initial Q&A, and community wiki it if that seems useful. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 0:09

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