Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

Old Dec 6th 2013, 9:23 am
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Default Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

Hiya All.
I am posting this here in the hopes that it might ease someone's mind or answer a question if the same thing happens to you.
I am British born but moved to the US 23 years ago. Obtained US citizenship. Then I decided I wanted to return to UK. Whole other story, the travails of which are listed on this very website somewhere!
I moved back to UK 2 years ago. I have a husband in US who I visit frequently. Yesterday I was returning to the UK after one of those visits, when I noticed upon doing online check in for the airport in the US that my British passport expired 7 months ago!!!

Now without calling me stupid, I was stupid enough to book a flight in the UK to the US, not even noticing my UK passport was expired. I flew to the US on my US passport and entered of course on the US passport. However on prior visits I have always left the US on my UK passport and entered England, of course, on the UK passport.
12 hours before leaving the US and returning to the UK I noticed my UK passport was a dead one. I was freaking out thinking they would not let me in the UK, or if I came in on my US one I would be an overstayer if I stayed here in the UK on the US one. Not knowing what to do I just went for it and flew back here to the UK on my American passport.
Upon landing I went to the UK citizens passport control with my expired UK passport and held my breath.

To my surprise and relief the guy looked at my passport and just asked me for other forms of identity because my passport had expired. I told him him I had dual citizenship with the US, so he asked to see the US passport, asked me where I was actually living at present and then let me through, mentioning I should renew dead passport if I intended to travel back and forth in the future!

I had read horror stories of being questioned in the UK, not being allowed in, or a million other things happening. None of those happened. I flew in on American passport. Entered UK on 7 months expired UK passport.

Maybe it will help someone to know that. Maybe it won't!
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Old Dec 6th 2013, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

I think this happens more than many imagine. People lose track of expiration deadlines, especially duals who have two sets of validity dates to keep track of. And the UK is definitely more easy-going about its citizens entering on expired passorts than the US would be. The US has a legal requirement that ALL its citizens must enter on the American passport, the UK doesn't.

I think your UK passport was not so long expired that the photo and stamp still identified you clearly. So not a big deal. It's lucky your passport was valid when you flew in to settle back in the UK two years back, though. According to some here, that might have taken more explaining, and got you more of a lecture....

Last edited by WEBlue; Dec 6th 2013 at 2:47 pm.
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Old Dec 6th 2013, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

To be honest, I expected (and deserved) a tougher time. Plus the photo doesn't look anything like me as I am today. In the photo I had very short spiky hair, and now I have past shoulder length hair. Both passports are the same. US actually mentioned it when I left the States on Wednesday. I just said 'Yep, I decided to grow it' and they just smiled. So, I suppose it must still look like me but I don't think it does!
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Old Dec 6th 2013, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

Your experience is not uncommon.

As long as you have your expired British passport, the Immigration Authorities will allow you entry with a few questions and the advice to "get your passport renewed"

The problem arises where a British citizen but without a British passport (even an expired one) tries to enter on a foreign passport by exclaiming "but I was born in Britain and lived here for x number of years"

How is the Immigration Official to know that the person standing in front of him/her really is a British citizen?
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Old Dec 6th 2013, 5:47 pm
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Smile Re: Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

I read that they could still give me a tough time. Even my daughter who lives here in the UK texted me to say she thought I would have trouble getting through. So I was pleasantly surprised after fearing the worst,
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Old Dec 7th 2013, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

Seven months isn't too much of a problem especially if you have a valid foreign passport. Something issued that recently would have an electronic record which can be verified. It's when people try to enter on an old blue passport that you will have serious problems.
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Old Jun 10th 2014, 12:06 am
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Default Re: Into England with an expired passport. Dual citizen.

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Seven months isn't too much of a problem especially if you have a valid foreign passport. Something issued that recently would have an electronic record which can be verified. It's when people try to enter on an old blue passport that you will have serious problems.
Uh oh!!!!! I don't need "serious problems"!!
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