Allegra – Grüazi and hello!
So, I just saw an entry in my journal and remembered an episode of my trip that happened at the Swiss airport, in Zurich, to be exact. Passports are an issue when travelling, I am sure everyone who has travelled abroad knows that and probably quite some people have their own story. I just rememberd entering Bahrain, I had done quite some paperwork beforehand, plus had an invitation of a friend from Saudi Arabia, which is another story. But when I was at the passport control they stopped me and made me wait for quite a while and I was worried and wondering if they would actually let me in. They did, in the end and were even friendly, so all went well. Though it did make me be cautious with everything. For example not taking photos of everything and everyone. Anyway, drifting off. I thought leaving Switzerland wouldn’t be a problem, they just don’t like people coming in. But… as you might have seen, I do have two nationalities, that is New Zealand and Swiss.
So for my trip to New Zealand I decided to travel with my New Zealand passport, also as I hadn’t any fixed plan on how long I would stay. I did have an idea, but you never know, right? So, off I went, ticket booked, passports checked and up to date. So no, that was not the problem. After being on time at the airport at first, saying goodbye and then anyway having to rush, I arrived at the passport control station. With a smile I showed my New Zealand passport to the man behind the glass counter. He didn’t smile back. Well, he wasn’t going on holidays or flying away, after all. He looked through the pages, to and forth… silently. After a while he asked me: „And where is the stamp when you entered?“. Then I explained I was a dual resident. The man became angry and scoffed me off, but let me through. I could barely just not reply in an insulting way. It did bother me though, how was I supposed to know what he was looking for? And I did worry: Would I have a similar problem entering New Zealand? What about when I returned to Switzerland? Some people had asked me if I would actually return, my answer was basically yes, but one never knows. Now this answer had a different dimension. Anyway, I thought I should have done some more research in regard to this and wondered if other people had similar problems. There must be a group or some place to pose such questions?
As mentioned in the other blog, I did find groups in Facebook where I could share my travel stories, tips and concerns… and find other travellers. I also found an expat group, though I haven’t connected with people from that group and also don’t think someone has the same situation. Maybe similar. Anyway, when I returned all went well. Until… you guess. This time I had a friendly police woman. I showed her the New Zealand passport, she asked me a few questions when I finally said I am also Swiss. Then she gave me the following advice: „For check-in you can use the New Zealand passport. For the border respective passport control you can use your Swiss passport or identification documents“. Or was it the other way round? Not sure anymore. Anyway, next time I will ask someone before I set off on such an adventure. Don’t have to challenge things too much. Or I will try and find that kind police woman.
Anyone else had a similar experience or other passport problems? Let me know and also what kind of advice you have. Happy travels!