Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Canada
Reload this Page >

API and dual citizenship

API and dual citizenship

Old Jun 3, 18, 2:06 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 8
API and dual citizenship

Hello folks,

I have a dual citizenship of Canada and Country-A in Asia. Country-A doesn't allow dual citizenship, but nevertheless, I'm trying to see if I could hold both citizenship discreetly. Now, I'm planning to go back to Country-A this summer (with Air Canada) for a vacation using the following plan:

Departure:
1) Canada --> Country-A (with some airport transit in another country in between, no visa required since I'm just going to be stuck in the airport)

Return:
1) Country-A --> Country-B (Country-B does not require visa for citizens of Country-A)
2) Country-B --> Canada

I think I'm covered since I would never have to show my Canadian passport in Country-A at any time at all. However, I have some doubt about checking in with Air Canada (AC) for my departure:
1) If I use my Country-A passport (does not have any visa/PR card/permit for staying in Canada) for departure check-in, would AC staffs ask me for a valid residency permit in Canada (e.g. passport)?
2) If I use my Canadian passport for checking in, or if AC staffs demand that I show my Canadian passport, would they use that Canadian passport info for my API and send the API to Country-A border immigration?

Thanks in advance for any help/opinion/suggestion!
mh1993 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 2:56 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: YYC
Posts: 22,470
Interesting scenario.

I would enter information about country A in the Air Canada password information. That will (1) take you to Country A with no problem. (2) also take you back to country B.

However when checking in for the leg back from B to Canada, you give them the Canadian passport. At which point you are already out of A, but that will also allow you to reenter Canada.
Stranger is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 3:18 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 16,544
The documents you show to airlines and the documents you show to immigration authorities do not need to be the same.
Where a country does not allow dual citizenship, need to be aware of what will happen if they discover you have dual citizenship (passports?)
ffsim likes this.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 3:28 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: YVR
Programs: UA Premier Platinum
Posts: 3,571
I'm not really sure what you gain here by obscuring the countries, but it's possible that you'd need to present valid travel docs for Canada when checking in for the first flight of your return itinerary, even though that flight isn't to Canada. It's normal to check docs for the entire trip at the first point of embarkation to avoid having travellers stranded or denied boarding midway through a trip (and then incurring costs to the airline to return them).

As far as whether countries check API data to find dual citizenship violators, that's a question that's really beyond the scope of FlyerTalk.
ffsim likes this.
eigenvector is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 3:49 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: YYC
Posts: 22,470
Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
I'm not really sure what you gain here by obscuring the countries, but it's possible that you'd need to present valid travel docs for Canada when checking in for the first flight of your return itinerary, even though that flight isn't to Canada. It's normal to check docs for the entire trip at the first point of embarkation to avoid having travellers stranded or denied boarding midway through a trip (and then incurring costs to the airline to return them).
That would be true for a connection. But in the OP's case, there is a stopover. So whatever airline takes him there should be off the hook as far as his return to Canada is concerned.

As far as whether countries check API data to find dual citizenship violators, that's a question that's really beyond the scope of FlyerTalk.
Not more, or less than other document issue. Of course, whether anyone around has the information is a different question. This said, AC ought to be able to tell which countries they pass information to. But again, in the OP's case, it does not look like the airline taking him to country A is AC. Mind you, that airline might well have the information from AC.

There is also the issue of which country would be going to extremes in identifying people with additional citizenships. But eh, bullies are bullies. . And lately, there even seems to have been cases of attempting to mix up ethnicities with citizenship.
Stranger is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 5:24 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 8
Thanks for the inputs folks.
For the return flight, I'm planning to get a separate tickets from A->B and B->Canada. And the passport switcheroo will be done in B. So, I should be OK there.

What worries me is the departure. And yup, the airline to country A will not be Air Canada. AC is only going to fly me to Vancouver, and then their Asian partner (ANA, Eva Air, etc.) will take me to country A. Usually the check-in for all boarding passes (including the flight to Country A) will be conducted by Air Canada in Canada. So it's possible for AC to forward my API info (with Canadian passport) to the Asian airlines as well.

I guess the safest bet for me is to use country B as a proxy for departure as well.
mh1993 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 5:33 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ZOA, SFO, HKG
Programs: UA 1K 0.9MM, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Hertz PC, SBux Gold, TSA Pre✓
Posts: 12,631
Originally Posted by mh1993 View Post
1) If I use my Country-A passport (does not have any visa/PR card/permit for staying in Canada) for departure check-in, would AC staffs ask me for a valid residency permit in Canada (e.g. passport)?
Yes.

Originally Posted by mh1993 View Post
2) If I use my Canadian passport for checking in, or if AC staffs demand that I show my Canadian passport, would they use that Canadian passport info for my API and send the API to Country-A border immigration?
It is impossible to tell unless you define Country-A.

Bottom line - when multiple citizenships are involved in a situation when dual citizenship is not possible, it is always the safest bet to go somewhere else and take the flight. For example - I always tell my friend flying from Hong Kong instead of Guangzhou because of the exact same issue.
garykung is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 6:16 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: YYC
Posts: 22,470
Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Yes.
However presumably they can only enter one passport info in the system. In that case, if you show both, they will typically let you board even if the passport in the system is not suitable without a visa to enter at country of destination.

When going to Brazil, my wife enters her Canadian passport in the sytem. When checking in, she shows the agent that she has a Brazilian passport so she does not require a visa. I do the same with an EU passport too BTW.
Stranger is offline  
Old Jun 3, 18, 7:03 pm
  #9  
889
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,654
Bear in mind that if Country A has its suspicions, they can easily enough thumb through your passport when you enter, notice the lack of recent stamps indicating entry or exit elsewhere and ask where -- and how -- you've been spending your time since you last left Country A on that passport. Ditto on departure. "And your final destination is?" Again, only if they want to be suspicious. And it's well known that officials of some Country A's in Asia are suspicious, precisely because the dual passport problem has become so widespread there.
889 is offline  
Old Jun 4, 18, 12:06 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6,098
The "safest" way is to book two separate nested itineraries. Assuming you're a Singaporean citizen, you'd book the following (e.g, and replace with relevant nationality Malaysian, Indonesian etc.):

Vancouver - Hong Kong - Vancouver (depart Jun 21, return Aug 15)
Hong Kong - Singapore - Hong Kong (depart Jun 22, return Aug 15)

On the outbound, this would turn into YVR-HKG-SIN: YVR-HKG with your CA passport, and HKG-SIN with your SG passport. Hong Kong doesn't require a visa for either citizenships. On both sides, it looks like you're just going to/from HK for a long stay (depending on where you're resident) and there's no need to display both passports on either ticket. Hong Kong doesn't stamp passports either, so it makes it a little easier to explain the lack of stamps. Of course, you'll need something else for any further questions.
mh1993 likes this.

Last edited by yerffej201; Jun 4, 18 at 12:12 am
yerffej201 is offline  
Old Jun 4, 18, 12:22 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 28,636
Originally Posted by mh1993 View Post
I have a dual citizenship of Canada and Country-A in Asia. Country-A doesn't allow dual citizenship, but nevertheless, I'm trying to see if I could hold both citizenship discreetly.
Actually, you probably don't. It is generally the case for countries that don't allow the voluntary acquisition of a second citizenship that such an act immediately removes your first citizenship. In other words, if you voluntarily acquired Canadian citizenship, your Country-A citizenship would have been revoked when this happened. That Country-A might not know about this yet, or that you still have the passport, doesn't matter.

You don't specify A, nor do you describe which citizenships you acquired how, but I think you might have a bigger problem on your hands than you suspect, and may have self-revoked your A citizenship.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Jun 4, 18, 1:37 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
You don't specify A, nor do you describe which citizenships you acquired how, but I think you might have a bigger problem on your hands than you suspect, and may have self-revoked your A citizenship.
If Country-A was the second citizenship, then their naturalization probably required proof the first citizenship was renounced. However if Country-A was the first citizenship, then whether they found out or not would depend on whether Canada systematically shares citizenship/naturalization data with Country-A. If it does not (and I believe that is the case) then op may be in a state where he/she has legally lost citizenship in Country-A but could continue to enjoy the benefits of citizenship discreetly until Country-A finds out. That might explain the cautious attitude.

Last edited by jashsu; Jun 4, 18 at 1:37 am Reason: typo
jashsu is offline  
Old Jun 4, 18, 3:04 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: ZRH / YUL
Programs: UA, TK , Starwood > Marriott
Posts: 6,724
Originally Posted by mh1993 View Post
What worries me is the departure
When you are in Canada, checking in for a flight leaving Canada, AC or any other airline really doesn't give a damn about whether you are in Canada legally or not, how you have entered the country etc.

They will not want to see documentation of your status in Canada. They need to see valid, admissible ID for the destination they are sending you to.

As a dual citizen, I always leave Canada on my overseas passport if I travel to my other home country. That overseas passport does not have the required ETA, visa etc. to justify my presence in Canada. No airline ever had a problem with it.
KDS777 and mh1993 like this.
airoli is offline  
Old Jun 4, 18, 3:07 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: ZRH / YUL
Programs: UA, TK , Starwood > Marriott
Posts: 6,724
1) If I use my Country-A passport (does not have any visa/PR card/permit for staying in Canada) for departure check-in, would AC staffs ask me for a valid residency permit in Canada (e.g. passport)?
Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Yes.
No. Personal experience. Several years. They don't. Nor should they. You are already in Canada. An airline is not doing immigration enforcement at departure for people who may or may not have entered Canada illegally.
airoli is offline  
Old Jun 4, 18, 5:52 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Earth. Residency:HKG formerly:YYZ Business: ATL, PVG, PEK, CAN, SZX, MNL, SIN, KUL, BKK, SGN, CPT, UIO
Programs: CX, DL, Nexus/GE, APEC
Posts: 10,260
Look, just book ticket from Canada to SIN and then buy a separate ticket or drive/bus into Malaysia.
mh1993 likes this.
tentseller is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: