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XP: Dual Nationality/Passport Question

Hi all, I'm hoping you might have some experience I can draw upon. I also posted this on the Travel board, but I'd like to get as many thoughts as possible.

I have dual citizenship for the US and Brazil. I recently booked a trip to Brazil with my husband (I have to go for work, so he is tagging along to sight-see). I just realized that I need to renew my Brazilian passport as it expires a week before our trip ( about bad timing!) My US passport has my married name on it, but I never changed my name on my Brazilian one. I am hoping they can renew it quickly if I go to the consulate tomorrow morning, but do you think I can keep my maiden name on there without running into issues?

The reason I ask is because in order to change my name on my Brazil passport I need to register my marriage (which requires a bunch of documents, one of which I can only get in Brazil--has to be picked up in person or sent to a Brazilian address), and then apply for a new passport.

Will they check if I change my plane ticket into Brazil to match a maiden-name Brazilian Passport, and then when I come back to the US I use my US passport with my married name? It would be so much easier if I just needed a visa to enter the country like DH!

I'm starting to freak out a little bit.

Thanks for your help!

Re: XP: Dual Nationality/Passport Question

  • That's a really tricky situation. Flying out, if you change your ticket to match your maiden name Brazilian passport, you should be fine. And coming back, US immigration doesn't need to see your ticket, so it shouldn't matter to them that the name doesn't match your US passport.

    However, you will be flying on a Brazilian passport name back to the US. There is a chance that the airline could refuse to let you board, because you don't have the valid visa for a Brazilian passport holder. Of course you have the valid US passport, but since it doesn't match the ticket, they might not go along with it. When you call to change the name on the ticket, I would explain the situation and see what the airline has to say.

    It also may be possible to get a "boarding letter" from the Department of Homeland Security that states officially that you have a right to enter the US and should be allowed to board the plane. We had to do this once when my XH's green card expired. If you apply before it expires, it's technically valid until they make a decision, even though you're past the date on the card. So they suggested we get a boarding letter in case the airline gave us problems, since it was an unusual and complicated situation.
  • Thanks for the ideas! I've never heard of a boarding letter before, but that is something I will store away for future reference in case I need it.

    I went to the consulate this morning and basically they said that the only way for me to change my name on my Brazilian passport was to get some paperwork from Brazil, but of course the paperwork can only be requested in person or sent to a Brazilian home address (in which case someone would have to forward that to me).

    What they suggested was to call the airline I'm flying to Brazil and ask them if they can change my last name on my ticket in to the country to reflect my maiden name. They said that if the airline can do that (just got off the phone with them, and they will!), or at least make a notation of the situation, then they would feel ok issuing me a Brazilian passport with my maiden name on it. While I'm in Brazil I can then go to the government office and request the documents needed and change the name on my passport once I return to the US.

    My return flight ticket was purchased separately but since it has my married name (which matches my US passport) I should be OK coming back into the country and leaving that as is, since those 2 documents match. I was advised to carry my marriage license and a certified copy of it with me while I travel just in case questions arrive, but they made it sound like lots of people have been through this exact thing.

    I just hope it works and I don't get stuck somewhere! :)
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