dual citizenship

Do I Have to Apply for ETIAS if I Have Dual Citizenship?

The new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is expected to come into effect in 2021. From that moment, citizens of countries that can now travel to the Schengen area visa-free will need to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization in order to visit the Schengen territories, which include Italy.

Although the new ETIAS application process is designed to be completed entirely online in minutes there are still some doubts that international travelers have when it comes to obtaining an ETIAS visa waiver for Europe.

In an increasingly more globalized world, it’s not unusual to have dual citizenship for example. Many countries allow their citizens to hold two different passports at the same time. So what passport should you use to travel to Italy with an ETIAS, and do you need an ETIAS visa waiver in the first place if you already have dual citizenship? This page will answer these questions.

Which Countries Accepted the Policy of Dual Citizenship?

Italy is among the countries that allow dual citizenship. You can become an Italian citizen through residence, or by simply providing the Italian authorities with evidence of Italian ancestry and bloodline. They will issue you an Italian passport without asking you to renounce to your other current citizenship(s).

It’s therefore possible to be a U.S. citizen and an Italian citizen at the same time, for example.

Italy isn’t the only European country to allow its nationals to hold different passports. Other Schengen member states permit dual citizenship. These include:

  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany (but only with other countries within the EU and Switzerland)
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

How Can I Travel with Two Passports?

The decision on what passport(s) to use as you travel is entirely up to you. There may be many benefits associated with using one passport or the other. For example, depending on your passport and your destination, you may be able to travel visa-free to certain countries.

This would reduce not only the time dedicated to researching and applying for your visa but also the cost of the fees associated with it. And if you were intending to get a visa on arrival, you’ll skip the queue at the airport.

That’s why most dual citizens decide to travel with both their passports. They can decide to leave the U.S. with their American passport for example (the U.S. allows for dual citizenship too) and use their other passport to enter their destination. Of course, by doing so they may be giving up some rights that they would enjoy as American citizens on foreign soil.

Do I Need ETIAS If I Have Dual Citizenship?

Of course, this depends on your specific circumstances. The first question you should ask yourself is ‘Can I travel to Europe visa-free with my passport(s)?’. Be mindful that right now, there are over 60 nations whose citizens can travel to the Schengen area (including Italy) without a visa but that these will need an ETIAS visa waiver from 2021.

If neither of your passports was issued by an EU country, you’ll probably need to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver in order to travel to Italy and the rest of the Schengen area from 2021.

But if you hold an EU passport, you’ll be able to enter Italy visa-free and won’t need an ETIAS travel authorization.

How to Apply for ETIAS with Dual Citizenship

There will be no issues obtaining an ETIAS visa waiver with dual citizenship. The ETIAS entry requirements for Italy ask you to provide details of just one passport eligible for ETIAS (for example, an American passport). In the ETIAS application form, you’ll need to give passport information like the date and place of issue and the expiration date. Remember that the passport must be valid for at least 3 months from your expected date of departure.

All you’ll have to be careful about is being consistent: use the same passport you used in the ETIAS application to travel to Italy and cross the Schengen border. That’s because the information on your ETIAS authorization and the passport you’ll show the European border control officers must match.