US or Australian Passport?

Old Aug 13, 07, 2:57 am
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Cool US or Australian Passport?

My husband and I are traveling from Australia to the US next year. He is an Australian citizen so carries an Australian passport. I have dual nationality and have both an Australian and a US passport. Should we both go through customs into the US with Australian passports or can we both line up at the US line if I go through on my US passport. I continue to dither as to whether I should go with the Australian passport so I can stand in line with my husband! I'd appreciate advice on this. If I use the US passport to go into the US can I use my Australian passport to come back into Australia. If I just use the US one I will need a Visa to return to Australia and I don't want to do that. If I just use the Australian one I will not need a visa to come home to Australia - but perhaps stand in a very long line for a very long time going into the US.
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Old Aug 13, 07, 3:23 am
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Welcome to FlyerTalk. I would guess that your husband can go in the US Citizen line with you if you use your American passport to enter the US. Others here may be more certain in their answer.

As far as using one passport one way and the other passport the other way, there is nothing to stop you from doing that. You can, indeed, show your American passport when entering the US and your Australian passport when you enter Australia.
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Old Aug 13, 07, 3:25 am
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Originally Posted by Rose2455 View Post
My husband and I are traveling from Australia to the US next year. He is an Australian citizen so carries an Australian passport. I have dual nationality and have both an Australian and a US passport. Should we both go through customs into the US with Australian passports or can we both line up at the US line if I go through on my US passport. I continue to dither as to whether I should go with the Australian passport so I can stand in line with my husband! I'd appreciate advice on this. If I use the US passport to go into the US can I use my Australian passport to come back into Australia. If I just use the US one I will need a Visa to return to Australia and I don't want to do that. If I just use the Australian one I will not need a visa to come home to Australia - but perhaps stand in a very long line for a very long time going into the US.
I believe it is a law that you HAVE to use your US passport when entering the US and your Aussie passport to enter Australia.

In Australia use your Aussie passport to exit immigration, you should probably show your US passport at checkin too, otherwise they'll want addresses etc of where you will be in the US, like they ask everyone else entering. On arrival in the US go to the US citizen line, with your US passport and your husband (and his Aussie passport) together.

Now someone can correct me on this: At checkin upon departing the US use your US passport as that is what you entered on, but show you have an Aussie one so you don't need a visa. My theory is that if you just show your Aussie passport, they will require your entry forms for foreigners which as a US citizen you don't have.

And finally upon entry into Australia use your Aussie passports.


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Old Aug 13, 07, 3:30 am
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Thank You!!

I feel much better about this now. I will certainly carry both - when leaving Australia, Aussie passport on top, US on the bottom. When entering US, US on top, Aussie on the bottom etc. I will take your advice here and I'm sure I won't go wrong. Having both with me all the time will make it easier. I really appreciate the time people take to answer questions - much appreciated.
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Old Aug 13, 07, 4:10 am
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Originally Posted by Rose2455 View Post
My husband and I are traveling from Australia to the US next year. He is an Australian citizen so carries an Australian passport. I have dual nationality and have both an Australian and a US passport. Should we both go through customs into the US with Australian passports or can we both line up at the US line if I go through on my US passport. I continue to dither as to whether I should go with the Australian passport so I can stand in line with my husband! I'd appreciate advice on this. If I use the US passport to go into the US can I use my Australian passport to come back into Australia. If I just use the US one I will need a Visa to return to Australia and I don't want to do that. If I just use the Australian one I will not need a visa to come home to Australia - but perhaps stand in a very long line for a very long time going into the US.

Dual nationals of just about every country are obligated to enter with that country's passport, i.e., if you have both US and Australian you MUST enter the US with your American passport and you MUST enter Australia with your Australian passport. As for your Australia-only husband being able to join you in the faster US citizen lane, I suppose that is up to their discretion, but I suspect they will not have a problem with it; in fact, when he enters and explains he is travelling with an American spouse I suspect they will insist on interviewing both of you together.
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Old Aug 13, 07, 4:29 am
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Just as a PS, when i said to have both passports to show that you don't need visas etc, that's just at checkin. When actually going through immigration and CBP, just show the one passport.

goodo
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Old Aug 13, 07, 5:12 am
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Interviewed?

I have not traveled internationally since 1995! I had no idea that we would be interviewed. Can you please explain the procedure? I would also like to be very clear on our carry on baggage. I understand that I must bring all liquids in a small clip lock clear plastic bag - our only requirements will be something like chapstick, eye drops, moisturiser. My husband and I will need to bring at least 2 days supply of medication and will carry prescriptions (will I be able to fill an Australian prescription in the US?) in case of lost bags. Do these medications need to be in the original box with the chemist labels on them? Can we both take a bag on board (of a predetermined size) as well as my handbag? Can we take any food on board (Qantas is not known for their superior cuisine - I'm only talking muesli bars type things). Anything else I should be aware of? I will buy locks for our bags (the kind airports have keys for) - I presume they will be thoroughly searched as will any carry on bags if we are allowed any. Once we get through the airports I'm hoping to have a great 5 weeks holiday!!
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Old Aug 13, 07, 5:30 am
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By interview he didn't mean interviewed. It's just you'll be processed together, passports swiped etc. It'll just be a casual how long are you staying etc, a question or 2. Unless they find something suspicious.

re: liquids, only liquids allowed in bottles of less than 3.4 oz (~100ml) all into one quart sized (~1L) plastic bag. Only bring what you'll need on the plane, as well as any medicine you may need. I'm not sure if you would be able to fill an Aussie prescription in the US. I think though, even if you were able to, it would be full priced, and quite expensive. Better to fill them at home before you leave.

As to whether they need to be in an original box, that i'm not sure about, and I'm sure someone else will chime in with an answer. I would think though as long as you're not bringing in a huge quantity, you should be ok without the boxes.

QF allows 1 carry on bag plus a personal item such as a handbag. Check their website and the QF forum for more info.

You certainly can take food on board, just make sure it isn't liquid. Someone else can tell you what to expect foodwise on QF.

I don't use locks, I'm not saying i don't recommend locks, i just don't bother because i'm pretty sure that even if its one of the airport approved ones that they supposedly have keys to, it will still be broken. There's no reason to assume your bags will be throughly searched. Carryon will be xrayed like normal and occasionally they may want to do a physical search or a swab test. You may find somewhere on your trip when you open up your suitcase a pamphlet from the TSA informing you that you bag had been searched. No biggie really, although I wouldn't put anything expensive/valuable/extremely fragile in my checked baggage.

Your holiday can begin even before you start packing. Just remember to have fun!

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Old Aug 13, 07, 5:35 am
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Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to explain - sounds like the process I went through the last time I went to the US - a couple of questions and a 'Welcome Home' - I know I live in Australia and am Australian too now but it still sounds good to hear those words!
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Old Aug 13, 07, 5:52 am
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The passport issue having been well covered, here is my advice about prescription medicine. First, put in your carry-on, not checked luggage.

Second, just in case of a US Customs check, it is ideal to: a) have original packaging with the name of the medicine, the chemists, your name, dosage, etc. all printed out AND b) either a copy of the original prescription or a doctor's letter. Less necessary for a week's worth of antibiotics but a good idea for something like xanax or strong painkillers.

I don't know about filling foreign prescriptions in the US. I guess, again, a simple antibiotic would be no problem (but cost you 10x as much), while "listed drugs" or whatever the term is would be quite difficult. As said above, seems better to bring what you will need.
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Old Aug 13, 07, 6:09 am
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Most helpful

This has all been very helpful and has led me to do more research. I feel fairly confident that all will be well. I'll take all our medications, in original boxes, in carry on bag as well as Dr letter and spare prescriptions but won't plan to fill any in the US. I found the size of carry bag for international flights - looks like all my questions are answered for the moment. I certainly know where to come for quick reliable answers. It's all very well to go to the airline sites but so very much more helpful to have people who travel the airlines and have in air experience. Thanks again!
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Old Aug 13, 07, 6:41 am
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Won't Oz husband be suspected of wanting to overstay (and probably WORK illegally) if he announces that he'd married to an Honest God Fearing American Woman?

Perhaps they should book separate tickets?
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Old Aug 13, 07, 7:52 am
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A further recommendation:

I do not know the specifics (my memory is fuzzy) but at a meeting at a North American consulate a few months back discussing passports and visas, it was noted that it is a lesser known Australian Immigration idiom that it is illegal to exit Australia, if holding dual nationalities such as yourself, on the non-Australian passport - you must exit Australia on your Australian passport.

It was noted that it is not known how often this law/rule/requirement is actually utilised/asserted but I thought the information might be handy.
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Old Aug 13, 07, 8:20 am
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I didn't know that that was the law, but when you think of it, it kind of makes sense and would be impossible to do otherwise. If you tried to exit on your foreign passport, they would have no record of you having entered the country. You would then produce your Aussie passport.

goodo
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Old Aug 13, 07, 8:35 am
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I don't know specifically whether it is law verbatim (like I said, I'm fuzzy of the details because they didn't apply to me).

However, the man who told me (second in charge after the consulate-general - can't remember his official title), mentioned how unknown it was but made it seem as though it was an uniquely Australian requirement.
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