Traveling with dual citizenship

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Chiclayo gringo
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Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby Chiclayo gringo » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:31 pm

If a person has both a Peruvian and United States passport, what is the procedure at the Lima airport immigration? Is only the Peruvian passport presented to the agent? And upon entering (and leaving) the United States, is only the US passport presented? Under that scenario, there are no ‘other country visited’ stamps on either passport. Does that raise questions or problems from immigration agents in either country?

What prompts this question is that last night I was denied permission to leave Peru, though under different circumstances. When Chiclayo immigration gave me the document approving my citizenship, they confiscated my carnet. RENIEC gave me a bar-coded document stating that the DNI was in process, and both immigration and RENIEC assured me that I could use that document in place of my carnet to leave and reenter Peru. Lima immigration flatly refused, saving “…you are a Peruvian and must travel on a Peruvian passport.”

So instead of landing at Milwaukee’s airport at 12:02pm today, we landed back at the Chiclayo airport at 7:00am this morning; about $2300 poorer and in the lowest spirits imaginable.

Anyway, assuming I change my mind about renouncing Peruvian citizenship and leaving this country forever, my opening question stands. What is the procedure with two passports?

Tom


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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby Remigius » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:41 pm

In order to get a Peruvian passport, to enter and leave Peru, you must have a DNI (some countries allow Peruvians to enter with their DNI -- Chile and Ecuador, for example). Should you leave Peru forever, you basically only use your Peruvian passport to enter Peru as a non-tourist, which also subsequently means you need a Peruvian passport when you want to leave again. Did you specify your travel destination to the immigration officer in Chiclayo?
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gerard
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby gerard » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:09 pm

You show your Peruvian passport at immigration in Lima and your US passport at immigration in the USA. They don't seem to care about stamps. I've been using two passports for 2 years and for most of that time they were actually two UK passports - one to leave Lima with and one to enter the US with, although I now have my Peruvian passport also.

For travel within the Andean nations you'd have probably been OK as you can do that with just a DNI, and I'd assume that is what RENIEC meant when they said the document they gave you was OK. What you probably needed was a "special permission to leave" letter from immigration which tells the guys at the airport that your paperwork is being sorted out so you have no carnet anymore. I had one of those while they processed my carnet and they can probably do the same while you get your DNI.
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby Remigius » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:32 pm

gerard wrote: What you probably needed was a "special permission to leave" letter from immigration which tells the guys at the airport that your paperwork is being sorted out so you have no carnet anymore. I had one of those while they processed my carnet and they can probably do the same while you get your DNI.


I doubt that, because with a carnet you'd still be travelling in and out of the country using your foreign passport, but in this case he became Peruvian, so automatically his foreign passport is of no use any more. He needs to get his Peruvian passport, which he can only get if he has his DNI. Perhaps a dispensation letter can help for domestic flights, but not international ones, and to obtain a Peruvian passport.
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby Chiclayo gringo » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:35 pm

I understand that I will need a Peruvian passport, and that to get a passport I need a DNI. Specific to the incident at the airport, both the immigration agent who took my carnet and the agent at RENIEC who gave me the document I mentioned were positive (and still are after talking with them today) that immigration at the Lima airport should have let me leave and re-enter the country on that document. Both of these people are personal friends and knew I was going to the US.

However the initial immigration official in Lima who rejected the document referred us to another who passed us further up the line (a total of four) and each time the answer was that without a Peruvian passport I wasn’t going anywhere. When I asked the question…”I have a ticket, I am an American with a valid United States passport – what stops me from getting on that plane?” the answer was “nothing but you won’t get back into the country because your passport says you have been issued a carnet that you don’t have.”

As I said, what I’m interested in is the procedure when I do have a Peruvian passport. Nearly every time I go back to the US I get grilled by US immigration (and once taken into an office) about why I have been out of the country so long. It’s hard for me to believe that these inquisitive agents won’t be even more intrigued by the lack of other country stamps on my passport. Why wouldn’t they ask “Where have you been, and why haven’t other countries stamped your passport? If I were an agent I would.

Tom
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby gerard » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:52 pm

It’s hard for me to believe that these inquisitive agents won’t be even more intrigued by the lack of other country stamps on my passport. Why wouldn’t they ask “Where have you been, and why haven’t other countries stamped your passport? If I were an agent I would.


So you tell them you live in Peru and show them your Peruvian passport if they ask. I see lots of people with dual nationality on the plane every time I travel and none of them seem to have any problems.

But in general you enter and leave each country as a resident of that country, or the most convenient alternate citizinship you might hold.
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby Remigius » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:18 pm

“nothing but you won’t get back into the country because your passport says you have been issued a carnet that you don’t have.”


Yes, because you try to get back into a country using a status you don't have. You get in the US with your US passport and upon arrival in Peru you show your Peruvian passport. I think there's little you can do to stop US immigration from bugging you (they've always been a pain in the rear end). You come from a South-American country and that makes red lights go off everywhere, but explaining that you've got a double nationality might help.
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby jude » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:41 pm

I think there's little you can do to stop US immigration from bugging you (they've always been a pain in the rear end). You come from a South-American country and that makes red lights go off everywhere, but explaining that you've got a double nationality might help.

It seem luck of the draw when dealing with US immigration. I'm English, have permanent residency in the US and have flown into the US from South America at least once a year for the past five years. They've never hassled me, if anything sometimes they've been over friendly.
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby blankita » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:29 pm

I agree with others' posts. I travel between Peru and the US about twice a year with my Peruvian-born daughter who has dual citizenship. I always have to present her Peruvian passport upon leaving immigrations in Lima. Then I show the US passport when entering the US. I basically keep this rule in mind: "Present the passport for whatever country you are in." It's interesting because she has an uneven number of entry and exit stamps in both of her passports. Perhaps they don't care too much because she is a child.

Nonetheless, the first time I left the country with her was a nightmare. Since I travelled without my husband I had to have a special, notarized letter saying he approved the trip. However, when I got to customs I learned that my letter was in the wrong format (not on notary letterhead - would have been nice if the notary let me know that before stamping the pre-printed letter I presented). As my Spanish was not so strong, I ended up crying and told them (in English!) that I have to leave the country that night. The customs agent had pity on me and sent me to her supervisor who said I could leave if I paid a "fine" for the wrong letter (which ended up being $30, all I had in my wallet after paying the exit tax at the airport). I hate to suggest paying a bribe, but it worked for me. Of course you can never rely on this and $2000 dollars is a lot to lose for these kinds of issues. Seems like you could try again and just show the Peruvian passport on your way out. Next time you should consider using your US passport to come back in the country though.

By the way, I was also harrassed in Houston the first time I entered the US with my daughter. They asked the exact questions you suggested: "When was the last time you were here? Where have you been? Why were you gone so long?" I got a dirty look and I swear he wanted to search me, but my daughter was crying so he let me go. I guess crying, on my end or my daughter's, has been critical in these situations!
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship (HELP!)

Postby ardilla » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:32 pm

Hello, has anyone who is a dual citizen (Peru and another nationality) recently traveled to Peru and presented a non-Peruvian passport when entering the country via air?

My husband's peruvian passport recently expired. He can present his US passport as it is current. However, we don't know what type of issues this may raise at inmigraciones (Jorge Chavez Int'l Airport).

Can anyone offer us advice about how to proceed at inmigraciones? He was planning to present his US passport at entry (and obviously at exit). But, given that he was born in Peru, we realized just now that this may present some difficulties.

Any tips on what to do (or not do) would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Re: Traveling with dual citizenship

Postby fanning » Sun May 01, 2011 8:08 am

If you just travel as a tourist to Peru, you can travel without problems with your foreign passport. But you are then a tourist in Peru, and if you decide to stay, you face potential problems with fines for overstaying your tourist visa.
My wife travelled several times as a tourist on her Dutch passport without problems.
( In the time that we lived in Holland and visited Peru as tourists )

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