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Bolivia: entry with one passport exit with another
Old 04-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #1
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Bolivia: entry with one passport exit with another

I'm a US/UK dual citizen. Bolivia requires a $135 visa for entry if you are a US citizen and no visa is required if a UK passport holder.
So can I enter Bolivia (by road from Peru) on my UK passport and fly back to the US (from La Paz) on my USA passport? Do the airport authorities in La Paz look for an entrance visa when they collect the exit tax? I know these are pretty specific questions, but there are many knowledgeable people on this forum and you never know if someone has done something similar...
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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I think you can enter on the UK passport and leave through the airport on the UK passport as well. Once you hit US immigration (at the port of entry) you can then switch to your US passport. The people checking for your exit tax will not be US immigrations officials.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:25 AM   #3
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Thanks photoguy. It looks like you are correct. This web link provides useful details and suggests it will work.
Step by Step Guide to Traveling with Two Passports - Style Hi Club
Although it doesn't address Bolivia specifically it does look at similar problems. I'll update when I return to help others with similar questions.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:54 AM   #4
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I regularly enter European countries with my UK passport and return to the USA using my USA passport. Some countries such as Australia and the USA require their citizens to enter and leave on their country's passport, others don't mind. (the UK prefer their citizens to enter on a UK passport but it is not required)
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:58 AM   #5
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I agree 100% with PhotoGuy. The only possible glitch that I see is that you will probably have to show your USA passport at the airline counter when you check in for your flight to the USA. Because I believe UK citizens need to have gotten a Visa Waiver online before flying to the USA (google USA visa waiver program). The airline probably would not let you board without that piece of paper printed out when you apply online for the visa waiver at least 72 hours before your flight. But you don't need that, of course, if you have a USA passport to show at the airline counter.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:15 AM   #6
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Alan, thanks for the article. I have had a few interesting experiences over the years. Once I travelled from Canada to Europe using my Irish passport and my return flight to Canada connected through Minneapolis. I had my Canadian citizenship card with me. I was stopped and made to apply for a visa before being allowed to proceed, because I should have had a visa to the US if traveling on an Irish passport, even if just in transit. Luckily I did not miss my connection. After that I decided that a Canadian passport was my document of choice when traveling to the US. I also avoid connections through the US when traveling to Europe.

On another occasion I went to Germany for a conference. I passed through EU immigration in Frankfurt on my Irish passport (saving myself a lot of time). When leaving Germany I showed my Canadian passport and was questioned as to why it did not gave an entry stamp. That suggested that I should have presented the EU passport on exiting Germany, but would it have complicated my entry to Canada? It is probably a better idea to just use one passport per trip. Immigration officials do not like complexity and they have the power to seriously inconvenience you.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
Alan, thanks for the article. I have had a few interesting experiences over the years. Once I travelled from Canada to Europe using my Irish passport and my return flight to Canada connected through Minneapolis. I had my Canadian citizenship card with me. I was stopped and made to apply for a visa before being allowed to proceed, because I should have had a visa to the US if traveling on an Irish passport, even if just in transit. Luckily I did not miss my connection. After that I decided that a Canadian passport was my document of choice when traveling to the US. I also avoid connections through the US when traveling to Europe.

On another occasion I went to Germany for a conference. I passed through EU immigration in Frankfurt on my Irish passport (saving myself a lot of time). When leaving Germany I showed my Canadian passport and was questioned as to why it did not gave an entry stamp. That suggested that I should have presented the EU passport on exiting Germany, but would it have complicated my entry to Canada? It is probably a better idea to just use one passport per trip. Immigration officials do not like complexity and they have the power to seriously inconvenience you.
The article linked above gives advice that I had not seen before in that when going through border control while leaving a country, they expect to see the passport that gives you permission to be in the country you are currently in, not the country of your destination. In your case above you should have presented your EU passport to the border officials when leaving Germany but your Canadian passport to the airline, since it is the airline's responsibility to validate documents for your destination country, not the border authorities of the country you are leaving from.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
The article linked above gives advice that I had not seen before in that when going through border control while leaving a country, they expect to see the passport that gives you permission to be in the country you are currently in, not the country of your destination. In your case above you should have presented your EU passport to the border officials when leaving Germany but your Canadian passport to the airline, since it is the airline's responsibility to validate documents for your destination country, not the border authorities of the country you are leaving from.
Yes, I see that now, but the article gas not been written at the time of my trip to Germany!
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:34 AM   #9
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I was once traveling to Switzerland on business with my boss and we had to change planes in Frankfurt. To stay with my boss I was traveling on my US passport, but we had to go through immigration in Frankfurt to catch our connecting flight and the officer gave my boss a really hard time so when I stepped up I handed over my UK/EU passport and the officer told me I was in the wrong line (non-EU passport holders), so I explained that I was with my boss, and the officer said he felt sorry for me and waved me through.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:36 AM   #10
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The article linked above gives advice that I had not seen before in that when going through border control while leaving a country, they expect to see the passport that gives you permission to be in the country you are currently in, not the country of your destination.
The advice in the article coincides with our experience, which is to enter and leave a country with the passport that governs the stay in that country.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:21 PM   #11
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On a related note: Having an entry/exit stamp from Israel in your passport (anywhere) can cause you problems when entering some countries in the Middle East--you can be turned away on the spot. Israeli authorities know and understand this, and will issue a separate paper slip (showing your entry/exit) to be kept in your passport as long as needed. US citizens can avoid some of these pitfalls by getting and using a duplicate passport for trip itineraries that include Israel--but these duplicate passports are only good for two years.

All preceding is based on what I recall, be sure to confirm all before actually traveling.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:23 PM   #12
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I have used my EU passport several times for trips to Latin America since it saves so much money on visas. I used that passport to enter and exit the country I was visiting but then used my U.S. passport to show to the airline on my return trip and to enter the U.S.

I only had a U.S. immigration official question this once since he asked me where I had been but then couldn't find the stamps from the Latin American countries I had visited. I told him I had entered those countries on a different passport and he nodded and seemed fine with it and did not ask to see my second passport.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by fosterscik View Post
I'm a US/UK dual citizen. Bolivia requires a $135 visa for entry if you are a US citizen and no visa is required if a UK passport holder.
So can I enter Bolivia (by road from Peru) on my UK passport and fly back to the US (from La Paz) on my USA passport? Do the airport authorities in La Paz look for an entrance visa when they collect the exit tax? I know these are pretty specific questions, but there are many knowledgeable people on this forum and you never know if someone has done something similar...
On our exit from Bolivia (by road to Peru) a few months back, Bolivian officials did check if we had a visa (US passport) / entrance stamp that we got at LaPaz airport.
Don't know anything about dual citizenship though. We did the reverse trip - fly into LaPaz, go by road to Peru and fly out of Lima. Acclimatization was a challenge, we should have done Peru followed by Bolivia.
Unsolicited advice Don't miss Uyuni Salt flats if you have a few days in Bolivia. Copacabana was much nicer than Puno.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:59 AM   #14
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Thanks pixelville & inky - it's great to hear you've successfully used your passports this way. it gives me confidence that I will have a hassle free experience.

Alan & Meadbh: I've traveled to the UK and then onto France before and have had no trouble entering the eurozone on a UK passport. Perhaps got lucky but I don't recall if I showed my UK or US to the airline on leaving France. I will be much more careful in the future and found the article I posted to be a very clear explanation of what I should do in the future.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:59 AM   #15
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I just returned from my Peru/Bolivia trip yesterday. I entered Peru with my UK passport and then used it to enter into Bolivia saving the US$135 visa fee. No problems whatsoever. My wife was travelling on her US passport (her Canadian passport had expired and she didn't have time to renew it).

I was a bit worried when I left Bolivia because the airline insisted that I use my UK passport to depart (rather than my US passport as suggested in the online article). Perhaps I had a lax immigration agent, but I had no problems when returning to Miami. He said "welcome back", didn't look for any stamps in my US passport (which of course were absent) and didn't even give me or my wife the usual US entrance stamps!
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:12 PM   #16
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Glad everything went OK!
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He said "welcome back", didn't look for any stamps in my US passport (which of course were absent) and didn't even give me or my wife the usual US entrance stamps!
I have never gotten any US stamp in my passport based on many journeys back and forth (my current US passport has over 40 jam-packed pages filled up).
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