How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen

I am privileged enough to become a dual citizen of the UK and the Philippines.

No, I’m not a spy nor a special agent that has multiple passports and identities (nope, not technically).

I can say that I have the best of both worlds (the East and West).

My Philippine citizenship is my birthright, and I acquired my UK citizenship through naturalisation.

How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Read More: How to Get A Balikbayan Visa for Foreign Spouse and Filipino Dual Citizen

Why I have to apply for second citizenship and passport?

The Philippine law mandates that since I have gained new citizenship from another country (The UK), my Filipino citizenship was automatically removed.

I would have to re-apply to reclaim it.

So, I did! You can check my blog post about it from the link below. As for British law, they let their citizens have multiple nationalities.

When I got the chance to process my dual citizenship, I passed the necessary requirements to have passports from the two countries. I thought this would enable me to have more flexibility in travelling.

The British passport is considered as one of the most powerful passports in the world according to passport index;

It enables its citizens to travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival in 159 countries in the world. On the other side, the visa fees for the British passport holders can be extortionately pricey.

How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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The Philippine passport holders can enable travel in 61 visa-free countries, the majority in Asia and South America. Moreover, as a Filipino citizen, I am also entitled to the perks that I can have as I mentioned from my previous blog post.

How many passports can you have from different countries?

Using two or multiple passports with the same identity is legal, as long as your country of citizenship allows you to have dual nationality.

This is a clear representation of you as a citizen of your country.

The perks of having two passports when you travel can give you an option on which passport will give you more benefit to enter the country of destination. I’m not suggesting any fraudulent act here, but this is something that people normally get confused or are unsure about.

You have to remember to use ONE passport to enter and exit one country. Make sure to do some research regarding the dual passport rules of the country you will be visiting.

I will share with you on how I travelled around Asia (Indochina, Singapore and UAE) using my Philippine and British passports.

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Read More: Complete List of UK Passport Visa Free Countries to Visit

Here’s how you can use two different passports when you travel: 

How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Departure: United Kingdom
Passport used: British

I used my British passport to leave the UK so I can establish my right to legally live in the country without asking for any visas or residence permit at the border.


How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Arrival: Philippines
Passport used: British

British passport holders are allowed to stay in the Philippines for 30 days (visa-free).  Since I am considered as “Balikbayan”, the Philippine Immigration gave me a one year stay in the Philippines without needing a visa also known as the Balikbayan visa.

Read More: DIY Travel Itinerary to Indochina (Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia)

How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Departure: Philippines
Passport used: British

Next stop, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Airline desk:  I showed my Philippine passport to prove that I can enter Cambodia visa-free.  I also showed my British passport that I used to enter the Philippines so they can waive my Philippine Travel Tax. As technically, I’m a British citizen in the Philippines.

PH Immigration: I showed my British passport as this was the passport that I used to enter the Philippines.


How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Ports of Arrival: Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia
Passport used: Philippines

I used my Philippine passport to enter these three countries to establish travel history, and of course, Philippine passport holders are visa-free in these countries.

In Malaysia, having dual citizenship is strictly regulated. Hence, I want to make sure that they can see my travel history in my Philippine passport.

I also give my Philippine passport on the immigration and airline desks when I departed these countries.

Read More: How to Plan a Thailand Cambodia Vietnam Tour

How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Arrival: Singapore
Passport used: British

Singapore Immigration:  Singapore is a visa-free country for Philippine and British passport holders. However, I used my British passport to avoid further questioning and delay in Singapore like what happened before when I used my Philippine passport when I first visited the country in 2011. Using my British passport, Singapore Immigration gave me a 90-day pass.


How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Departure: Singapore
Passport used: British

I used my British passport because this was the passport that I have used to enter Singapore.


How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Arrival: Philippines
Passport used: British

I used again my British passport to enter the Philippines. I got a 1-year Balikbayan visa stamp that enables me to stay in the Philippines for one year instead of 30 days only.

Note: If you are travelling with your spouse with a foreign (Non-Philippine) passport, you should come together at the PH Immigration desk. So your spouse can also enjoy the Balikbayan privileges to stay in the Philippines for one-year visa-free.


How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Departure: Philippines
Passport used: British

Airline desk: I gave my British passport to show that I am eligible to live and enter the UK without having any permit or visas.

Immigration Officer: I showed my British passport because this is the one I’ve used to enter the Philippines.


How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Arrival: Dubai, UAE
Passport used: British

I used my British passport to visit Dubai for my connecting flight. Philippine passport holders would require securing a visa prior to entering Dubai. Here’s a guide on how to apply for a Dubai Tourist Visa.

I also used my British passport on my way back to catch my next flight back to the UK.


How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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Port of Arrival: UK
Passport used: British

Home Sweet Home.


Always remember to use the same passport upon entering and exiting the country to avoid trouble and confusion.

Some people would argue that it is pointless to get a second passport when you already have the “powerful passport”, in this case, the British passport.

Having a Dual Nationality is a special privilege so why not use it to your advantage especially when you are travelling and save yourself some extra cash and hassle.

Are you also a dual citizen?
Share your travel experience when travelling with two different passports.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio
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Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her on travelling around the globe with a mission to share the best of the world.

How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen
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80 thoughts on “How To Travel With Two Different Passports As A Dual Citizen”

  1. Interesting read. I’ve always wondered how traveling with a dual passport would work and what the perks are! Turns out there are quite a lot!

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  2. I’m a British passport holder and I agree we are incredibly fortunate to have visa-free access to such a wealth of countries. How this will change within Europe now we have shot ourselves in the foot and voted to leave the EU, I don’t know. If I could get a second passport, I would opt for a Canadian one, cos who doesn’t love a Canadian?

    Reply
    • Haha!! I totally agree Mike! It breaks my heart to hear this Brexit thing everytime.

      And yes, I actually initially planned to go and migrate in Canada before but end up in Britain. lol! Maybe a chance for a 3rd passport!

      Reply
    • You get visa free travel due to the British passport, not because of the EU. Other countries in the EU usually have much less visa free travel. So Brexit wont make a difference!

      Reply
  3. I enjoyed reading the post, and couldn’t help but feel jealous of the privileges that come with a UK passport – 159 countries! Wow!

    But it’s really nice to have your Philippine passport as well…allows you to stay connected with the country of your birth and also gives you a few extra privileges – win win!

    Reply
  4. That’s pretty cool to be able to use two passports. Some of the visa fees are ridiculously much as I love India I’ve vowed not to go back for now as I refuse to pay over £150 for entry. It’s ridiculous

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  5. wow there is a lot more to it than I had thought. I love how you went into detail and explained it so well. I only have one passport so it is a lot more simple for me

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  6. I did not know Philippines alowed dual citizenship. Yes, British passport is one of the “Golden” passport that allow free travel to majority of countries. I guess having a dual passport is definitely a privilege accorded to a fraction of the world citizens 🙂

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  7. Very interesting! I’ve always wondered how it works to travel with multiple passports. Dual citizenship definitely has its benefits. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. That is a very interesting post. I have a dual citizenship too Greek and Australian but I haven’t used them both yet as I didn’t have to. Your post gave me many ideas on how to use my dual citizenship and benefit

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  9. Such and interesting post – thanks for sharing your experiences. I hope to acquire another passport and it is helpful to hear how you handle arrivals and departures.

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  10. Hi, I have dual citizenship, Filipino and British, and I am traveling from Cayman Islands to USA on my Philippines passport with BI/B2 VISA. My next flight going to Philippines is via Paris and Amsterdam then Taipei. I don’t have a transit VISA for France and Amsterdam. What passport do I have to use leaving the USA and leaving Philippines on my flight back? Thanks in advance on your assistance on this.

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    • Hi Francis, As what I have mentioned in the blog post, use one passport for entering and leaving the destination country. In your case, I think you’ll be ok just using your British passport. I’m not sure why you bothered using your PH passport with the visa if your British passport will let you into the US just by online registration in ESTA.

      The only thing here is the PH travel tax, once you entered the Philippines using your PH passport, you have to pay for the PH travel tax when you leave the country.

      Reply
  11. It is great to have two passports and the perks that come with it. It makes me wonder though about taxes. Does the Philippines requires you to file your “foreign” income and tax you accordingly? If you enter the countries with your Philippine passport, you are entering as a Filipino citizen. In times of consular needs or assistance, can you bank on the Philippine government to bail you out?

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    • Hi Belinda, I’m not aware of any PH taxation rules that require me to pay another income tax in the Philippines whilst working abroad. In case you’d need a consular assistance abroad as a Filipino citizen, technically speaking, yes the PH government should bail you out. But this is not always guaranteed due to financial and resources factor that the PH government might have.

      Reply
  12. Hi! Such a helpful post! If you don’t mind me asking, have you ever travelled with your Philippine passport expired/expiring? I’m due to travel to Australia, and the DFA is fully booked. My other passport, however, is up and ready. I’m worried immigration won’t let me back in the Philippines.

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    • Hi Andy, I never tried it. I always make sure that my passport has a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of my departure. You should be more concern that the PH Immigration might not let you out of the PH or Australian Immigration might not let you thru or you have to go thru extra passport security or process.

      Reply
  13. I have philippine and US pasport. Staying in Philippines and Its my first time going to USA..Which pasport wil i use going to AMERICA?.and what else documents i need to present..pls help. Thanks

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  14. Still confused 🙁

    I have both Australian and Philippine passport (just got my Philippine passport this month). I’ll be traveling to South Korea where Filipinos are required to get a visa. Which passport do I use and what is the sequence of use? Appreciate the help! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Hi

    My wife has dual Philippines and UK citizenship. If she uses her UK passport to enter Philippines as you suggest, is she then restricted to one year in Philippines as a ‘balikbayan’?

    Also, you mention above that Dubai require a visa for Pilippine citizen passing through on connecting flights, but this is not the experience of my wife when she first came to UK on her Philippines passport.

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    • Hi Paul, As for your first question, Yes, the balikbayan option for the returning previous Filipinos can have a 1 year visa free stay in the Philippines oppose to 30 days.

      For the second question, If you are only getting the connecting flights via Dubai Airport, no need to have a Dubai Visa for PH passport holder. However, if you want to go outside of the Dubai Airport, you have to secure a Dubai visa. I hope that makes it clear. 🙂

      Reply
  16. I have a non expired Philippine passport and I became a US citizen a year ago and have a US passport. I have not been able to to reapply for my Philippine citizenship since my naturalization.. but I will be traveling to Bolivia, which is visa free for a filipino citizen. Will I be able to present my Philippine passport upon entering Bolivia, or will it automatically deny it because it’s technically not valid by philippine law once you are naturalized?

    Reply
    • Hi Vee, That is a tricky question, because we don’t know what they have in Bolivia to check if your passport will be deemed as ok to travel. The US immigration might have notified the PH embassy about your new citizenship. Personally, I would get my passport renewed / re-acquire my PH citizenship before I travel. I do have a blog post about that here (see the related links within this post)! 🙂 Good luck on your trip.

      Reply
  17. HI,

    I am a dual national, (British and Malaysian). I will be doing to 3 years degree couse in Netherlands. I plan to leave Malaysia, with my Malaysian passport. Arrive Netherlands with my British Passport, study for 3 years. Returning I will produce my British Passport in the immigration in Netherlands, arrive Malaysia wth my Malaysian passport. Is that possible? Is 3 years too long? Will Malaysia get suspivcious? If so what must I do to get away for 3 years with my British Passport.

    Reply
    • Hi Cambel, I wonder if you enter Malaysia using your Malaysian passport? I can’t really say it for definite that they will get suspicious about it because you are a Malaysian citizen anyway and have every right to be in Malaysia.

      Reply
  18. Hi, I am a dual citizen to the US and Germany. I currently have a tourist visa on my US Passport to China which lasts 10 years, this is a privilege that I believe is only available to US citizens. That being said, I am likely going to study abroad to china next semester and don’t want the 10 year visa to be overwritten by the X2 student visa. So I plan to apply for the student visa with my German passport. Do you have any idea about whether that will give me trouble or less likely of a chance to get the student visa?

    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
  19. This is so interesting! I am a trip cit! I have only ever used my British passport to travel around and have actually allowed my other 2 to expire. I also hold a French passport and a US passport. Up until now, I had never thought the French to be particularly useful but with Brexit I guess I’ll still get to be European 🙂 I want to get them renewed once I’m finished travelling Asia & I love the idea that I can up and move to the US!

    Reply
  20. I have a version of this with the USA but I born in the USA so I am a dual citizen by birth. I plan on using my Philippine passport to become Spanish

    Reply
  21. Hi, just came across this post. I’m also traveling to SE Asia and the Philippines with a US and Philippine passport. Why did you decide to get the balikbayan stamp on your UK passport when entering the Philippines instead of just using your Philippine passport to enter?

    Reply
  22. Hello! I’m currently here in Belgium, I have an ID here, the green card which is valid from 2013-2018, my nationality in this ID is still a Filipino. I’m not staying here because I’m still studying in the Philippines. It’s my third time to come back here (2013, 2016 & 2018), I came back here because I will renew my ID but due to some reasons I will not renew it anymore. My question is can I come back to the Philippines with just a PH passport, my ID here is expiring this month?

    Reply
  23. Very informative. I have both Greek and Filipino nationalities, and I live in the UK. I work here using my Greek passport because of the EU right and benefit. Does the UK government ‘care’ that I have a non-EU passport? Or as long as I have a Greek passport (thus EU citizen and legal in UK), they don’t care what other passport I carry? Is that right?

    Reply
  24. Hi Ryazan,

    Great post on travelling with the two passports.

    Quick question, when arriving in the Philippines, you said you used the UK passport (so I’m assuming you lined up at the foreign passport lane). When the immigration officer checked your docs, did you also show your Philippine passport or not (to get the 1-year balkbayan visa). Was it the same on the way out?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi SJ, No, I only showed my British passport on my arrival in PH. The immigration officer can sure tell that I’m a Filipina (based on my looks & I can speak the language etc.)

      On my departure in PH, I also used my British passport and also queued in the Foreign passport lane.

      Reply
      • Hi Ryazan,

        Oh ok, thanks!

        I was curious because the last time I went to the Philippines (I’m also a dual France-Philippines), I didn’t have my new Philippine passport yet and the immigration officer asked me for it (but I only had my French one).

        I also read in other blogs that sometimes they ask for and stamp both passports (but if I don’t have to pay the travel tax, all the better, haha).

        Thanks!

        Reply
  25. first of all I should say that it is so informative for me
    Actually, I have an question about dual citizenship
    I have heard it doesn’t possible to have dual citizenship from some countries?! as far as I remember Austria for example
    Is that true? How can find those countries?

    Reply
  26. I’m a dual UK/Irish citizen. I’m currently in the process of applying for an Irish passport.

    The main reason for this is so I can still travel freely around the EU using my Irish passport.

    What i want to know is can I leave the UK using my UK passport and enter Spain using my Irish passport? Or would I be best leaving the UK and entering Spain with my Irish passport?

    Reply
  27. Ryazan –

    Thank you for such an informative & itemized post! Your blog is amazing!

    It seems you have scores of readers needing your advice, perhaps you can give me your two cents?

    I was born in the US, have a US passport, but also have a Philippine passport through my mom. I am traveling to Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil in November and am a bit conflicted. Peru is visa free for US passports, but the latter two are not and cost USD$160 per application. However, Bolivia and Brazil are visa free for Philippine passports – but I’ve been trying to rack my brain, maybe even overthinking that customs would see my place of birth on both passports as United States and give me problems with not trying to enter using a US passport.

    What do you think? Am I being overly paranoid? Thanks again!

    Reply
    • I think it should be alright. 🙂 Just make sure to use the correct passport at the border. I don’t think they will question you because of your birthplace. My British passport has the Philippines as my birthplace and I didn’t have any issues when I crossed borders. Good luck!

      Reply
  28. Hi just want to ask my child has dual citizenship Italian-Philippines born in Italy . Is it possible he can use Philippine passport depart and return in Italy?. Will planning traveling soon and can’t wait to get his italian passport appointment by the end of this year. Very urgent

    Reply
  29. hello i noticed you said you never paid aiport tax on leaving philippines how did you do that. i am british hold uk passport and still paid 750peso to leave the country admittedly this was nearl 5 years ago now but every time i went before that i had to pay. so has it now stopped and when did it stop.

    Reply
    • Hi Adi, it’s the Philippine Travel Tax. Airport tax is different from the PH travel tax. Some airline tickets are including the airport tax on your airfare hence you don’t have to pay it. The airline or immigration guys will tell you otherwise if you need to pay the airport tax if its not included on your airfare.

      Reply
  30. Hi Ryazan ,

    I’m a dual Citizen ( British & Filipino ). I’m currently living in the Philippines since 2013 & have never been back to Uk since. Now, I’m planning to go back to Uk early next year. But my problem is my Filipino passport is already expired & planning to apply for a renewal in the Uk instead. When I checked my both passport it got stamped when I entered the Philippines in 2013. Do i have to show my both passport in the Airport?

    Many Thanks,
    Charlyn

    Reply
  31. Hello,
    I’m a dual citizen (British and Filipino).
    I was just wondering, I’ve stayed here in the Philippines for more than 3 years now (family issues) and I’m planning to move back to the U.K. this January, will I have any problem entering the U.K. again using my British passport after 3 years of being gone?

    Reply
  32. Mabuhay! I am a Portuguese-Brazilian citizen who is looking to travel to your beautiful country. I am planning to depart from Lisbon (Portugal). Is it possible to show my Brazilian passport in the arrival at NAIA? And what about the exit? What passport should I show in the customs in the Philippines and in Portugal? Despite the biggest advantages from the Portuguese passport, the Brazilian one offer bigger time stay than the former (59 days vs. 30 days). Maraming salamat po sa attention!

    Reply
    • Hi Pedro, Yes, use your Portugal passport on your departure in Portugal and use your Brazilian passport on arrival in the Philippines. Then on your exit in the PHILIPPINES, you need to use your BRAZILIAN passport again. THEN, on your arrival back in Portugal, you have to show our PORTUGUESE passport. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  33. Mabuhay! I am a Portuguese-Brazilian citizen who is looking to travel to your beautiful country. I am planning to depart from Lisbon (Portugal). Is it possible to show my Brazilian passport in the arrival at NAIA? And what about the exit? What passport should I show in the customs in the Philippines and in Portugal? Despite the biggest advantages from the Portuguese passport, the Brazilian one offer bigger time stay than the former (59 days vs. 30 days). Maraming salamat po sa attention!

    Reply
  34. Hello, I am a Dual-Citizen (British Citizen & Hong Kong SAR) holding both passports*, need to travel to Russia via UK due to transit (need to enter UK for a stopover). However, Hong Kong SAR passport enables one to visit Russia for 14 days. How should I plan the usage of passports?
    *: holding both passports = no consular protection in China PRC, Hong Kong, Macau due to interpretation of National People’s Congress in 1996, whilst having Right of Abode in Hong Kong
    tentative trip plan:
    Hong Kong -> London (Heathrow)
    London (Heathrow) -> Saint Petersburg
    Moscow DME -> London (Heathrow)
    London (Heathrow) -> Hong Kong

    Reply
  35. Hi,
    You mentioned that in Malaysia dual citizenship is strictly regulated. My question is if you hold PH and British passports, how does that concern Malaysia? Does a third country actually care what passports you hold?

    Reply
    • They are trying to make sure that you will represent the nationality that you say you are. To avoid any hassle in case of emergency and assistance from your home country. Plus, to avoid human trafficking too.

      Reply
  36. Hi,

    What are your thoughts on booking all flights using one of the dual passports, but getting the visa on a the second one. will this cause any issue?
    the reason I am asking is that I booked my trip/flights tickets to Turkey using my Canadian passport a while ago(I live in Canada). Now that I am applying online for a visa I realized that the cost is $60 USD for Canadians, but its only $20 USD if I use my Belgium passport. the rest of my family who will be traveling with me only have Canadian passports, is it worth the savings, or will this cause me issues upon arriving to Turkey?

    Thank you

    Reply
  37. Hi,

    What are your thoughts on booking all flights using one of the dual passports, but getting the visa on a the second one. will this cause any issue?
    the reason I am asking is that I booked my trip/flights tickets to Turkey using my Canadian passport a while ago(I live in Canada). Now that I am applying online for a visa I realized that the cost is $60 USD for Canadians, but its only $20 USD if I use my Belgium passport. the rest of my family who will be traveling with me only have Canadian passports, is it worth the savings, or will this cause me issues upon arriving to Turkey?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Andy, I don’t think it could cause an issue on the immigration/border part unless the officer would decide to check your hotel/flight return info. The airline could also check your Turkish visa upon boarding, you just have to show them your other passport in this case.

      Reply

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