Getting a Second Passport

Old Apr 2nd, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Getting a Second Passport

I'm considering getting a second passport, I am a US citizen so I have a US passport, but I'm eligible for an Irish passport as well, which I'm considering as there are a fair number of countries I want to travel to that have much higher visa requirements/fees for US passport holders vs. EU/other countries.

Any personal experiences with traveling on 2 passports? Anything issues I should be aware of?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2014, 03:47 PM
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I am a dual UK/US national. No issues that I have encountered. I leave and re-enter the US on my US passport. Whether I continue to travel on that passport or switch to my UK passport depends on where I'm going. Note that some countries will only issue you a visa in the US for your US passport. Also, you may need to show both passports to the airline check-in clerk to demonstrate that you will be admitted to the country you're flying to - for instance on my last trip I avoided visa and reciprocity fees in south America by traveling on my UK passport, but I needed to show it to the check-in clerk in the US to show that I would be admitted.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 09:49 AM
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There are no real problems with having 2 passports, only benefits.

Always enter and leave a country on the same passport is about the only rule. As noted, leave the US on your US passport and enter the US on it.

If flying to say an EU country you would leave the US on your US passport and enter the EU country on your Irish Passport. Leaving the EU you would leave on your Irish and if returning to the US, enter the US on your US passport.

The benefits are often shorter lines at Customs/Immigration and visa costs and/or requirements for one vs. the other.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 02:00 PM
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I've heard conflicting statements regarding embassies while abroad:
Let's say I go to China, and there is a riot/attack/etc... and I don't feel safe/comfortable/can't get home/etc- but I have entered on an Irish passport, can I still go to the US Embassy, with US passport in hand?
I read online (which is why I don't give it much credit) that if that did happen the US 'wouldn't be able to help me' only the Irish Embassy could- true?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 02:19 PM
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I have no idea, but provided one of them helps, why do you care which? You might well be better off trying to get to the Irish embassy rather than the US....

Prior to the Snowden leaks I would have figured the US embassy would not have known, but now I have to think that they might.

If you really care you could register your presence in the country on the Embassy website and see what happens. I prefer to keep a low profile.
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 09:48 AM
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Any embassy will provide whatever assistance they provide, to any citizen of their country. What you heard makes no sense foggybridges.

What you should know however is that the assistance an embassy can provide is often quite limited. In extreme cases they do make arrangements to fly people out of a war zone etc. But that happens only in extreme cases.

Often people think an embassy can and will help them when in fact they cannot and will not. For example, end up in a Thai jail for overstaying a visa and your embassy will bring you a toothbrush and that's about it. They have no say in the laws of another country. All they can do is try to insure that you are treated the same as anyone else according to the laws of that country.

End up somewhere and run out of money and the Embassy will NOT pay to fly you home. Many people believe that they will. At best they will let you make a phone call home to family/friends to have money sent to you. They will not pay for a place for you to stay or food for you to eat or anything else while you wait for money to arrive.

Generally speaking, an embassy can do very little for you and personally, I would not expect them to. When you travel, you are on your own. That means you rely on yourself and no one else. If you get into trouble, you figure out how to get yourself out of it. There ain't no calling for your mamma.
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 09:54 AM
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I'm reminded of the 'plane spotters' who got arrested in Greece back in 2001.

They were pursuing what they considered a harmless hobby. Nevertheless, they spent time in jail, went to court, were found guilty of spying etc.

Do some reading here foggybridges if you are not familiar with the story. https://www.google.ca/#q=plane+spott...iled+in+greece

Obviously, the embassy could no nothing for them.
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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Actually, the US embassy may be worse than most when it comes to helping out citizens. There were some very unhappy US citizens after the Costa Concordia sinking. Other countries sent representatives to the hotel where the survivors were staying to provide assistance, the US embassy made its citizens go TO the embassy, and didn't even provide help (e.g. taxi fare) in getting there. Take a look at cruisecritic.com...
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 02:41 PM
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dulciusexasperis - Thanks, no I have been to 40+ countries and never stepped foot in an embassy! The only thought I had in my mind was : I fly somewhere, while I'm there (which is never more than 2 weeks unfortunately) it turns into a war zone and the airports/trains are shut down and it's not safe to be 'alone' as a foreigner.
Chances of this happening? Very tiny. But I like to have all of my bases covered!

No worries, I've seen enough episodes of Locked Up Abroad to know that if you do something illegal while abroad, you're screwed!
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