Ask LH: Can I Travel Using Multiple Passports?

Dear Lifehacker, My husband and I both have Australian and EU passports. Next February we are traveling to Brazil, where Australian passport holders need a visa, but EU passport holders do not. Can we leave and enter Australia using our local passports, and use our EU passports to enter and leave Brazil, thus not needing visas? Cheers, Visa Value

Picture by Sean MacEntee

Dear VV,

We’ve actually addressed a similar question in the recent past. The consensus amongst multiple-passport-holding Lifehacker readers is that yes, you can absolutely do what you’ve described, and it’s a useful way of avoiding all-too-common visa charges (many countries make Australians apply for visas because Australia in turn demands that their citizens get visas). Just remember these two basic rules:

  • Make sure you enter and exit each country using the same passport. If you leave Australia by presenting your Australian passport, use that again when you return. (That’s the sensible thing to do anyway, as there’s a much shorter queue for locals.) The same applies in Brazil — enter and exit using your EU passport.
  • While that applies to dealing with customs officials, you may need to mention to airline check-in staff that you’ll be using a different passport, since they will often check to see you have an appropriate visa and may not let you check in if you don’t.

Enjoy your trip!


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