My trip to Russia was the first real test of Cyprus passport. I wondered how would it work out altogether…
At Larnaca’s passport control I showed my ticket and Russian passport first. The ticket was to my Russia passport, so that I could avoid getting visa to Russia. But my Russian passport in virgin clear – I got it here, in Cyprus, and it has no arrival or departure marks. Officer checked my passport, flipped through its pages, and than checked it in the computer. Obviously, it wasn’t there. He asked me, if I have my old passport with me. I replied negative. He looked puzzled.
I then said that I have Cyprus passport as well. Right at that moment his face lit with delight. He said something like “Why didn’t you mention that earlier, my friend?”. He took my Cyprus passport, run it through the computer and I was ready to go. No stamps or anything. He asked me if I wanted my Russian passport stamped with departure, and I said that I do. That was it.
I didn’t show my Cyprus passport upon the arrival to Russia as it wasn’t needed. Leaving from Russia though, I was asked about my visa by the airlines reprepsentative. I showed my Cyprus passport and that was enough.
When we arrived to Cyprus, everyone hurried to ‘All passports’ queue. Our flight came from Samara, and there were no Cypriots or EU citizens onboard. Except for me, of course. I took Cyprus passport out of the bag, joined it together with Olga’s Russian passport and Maxim’s birth certificate and went to the EU queue. Customers officer stamped Olga’s passport and we were through. The first and the only. That was SWEET!
The rest of the people saw that this queue worked also and rushed to join us, but they were all ordered back to the ‘All passports’ queue, unless they had EU or Cyprus passport. I still remember those envy looks behind my back…
But life is fair – we all had to wait together for one hour for our luggage to appear on the luggage belt. So, I got no practical benefit this time. Still, I’m glad I’ve tried it in and out.