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-   -   Which passport do I travel on? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/citizenship-passports-spouse-family-visas-uk-196/passport-do-i-travel-250739/)

nun Aug 24th 2004 3:51 pm

Which passport do I travel on?
 
I'm a UK/US dual citizen living in the US. I travel on my US passport, even when I visit the UK as I think its bad to change passports somewhere over the North Atlantic. I'm going to be retiring back to the UK and plan to do all my traveling on my UK passport as that's where I'll be residing. What is US immigration's stance on a US dual citizen entering the US on their non US passport? Anyone with experience of this since the controls tightened up after 9/11?

Englishmum Aug 24th 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Which passport do I travel on?
 

Originally Posted by nun
I'm a UK/US dual citizen living in the US. I travel on my US passport, even when I visit the UK as I think its bad to change passports somewhere over the North Atlantic. I'm going to be retiring back to the UK and plan to do all my traveling on my UK passport as that's where I'll be residing. What is US immigration's stance on a US dual citizen entering the US on their non US passport? Anyone with experience of this since the controls tightened up after 9/11?

I'm not exactly sure how long US citizens get their passports stamped for when they visit the UK or other EEC country...but if you're going to be there for more than 90 days or 6 months then you will definitely need to enter the UK or EEC with your British passport..

nun Aug 24th 2004 4:20 pm

Re: Which passport do I travel on?
 

Originally Posted by Englishmum
I'm not exactly sure how long US citizens get their passports stamped for when they visit the UK or other EEC country...but if you're going to be there for more than 90 days or 6 months then you will definitely need to enter the UK or EEC with your British passport..

That's right, when I return to the UK to stay I'll enter the UK on my UK passport. What I'm interested in is US immigration's attitude to me if visit the US using my UK passport.

CPW Aug 24th 2004 4:53 pm

Re: Which passport do I travel on?
 

Originally Posted by nun
That's right, when I return to the UK to stay I'll enter the UK on my UK passport. What I'm interested in is US immigration's attitude to me if visit the US using my UK passport.

As I understand it, the US insists that its citizens enter the US on a US passport (and have a a US passport in their possession when they leave the US). I don't think that there is any way around that requirement.

Plenty of dual US-other citizens are in this position; the main point of possible confusion arises when you check in for a flight leaving the US, since the airline check-in staff also retrieve the immigration cards from visitors. You would need to check in with your British passport, since otherwise the check-in staff may refuse you boarding since your US passport will not allow you to remain in the UK for more than 6 months, and you will, presumably, be travelling on a UK-US-UK ticket (i.e. your ticketed trip will be ending in the UK).

I think what most dual US-British citizens do in this position do is to present their British passport at the airline check-in desk; if the airline person asks about the lack of any US immigration information in the British passport, they then say that they are also a US citizen; if the airline person then insists on seeing the US passport, they can then show it. Most airline staff probably won't do all this, since their primary concern is whether or not you will be admissible to the UK at the end of your journey.

(Note that the US requires that US citizens deal with US officials as a US citizen at all times - e.g. when entering the US you need to show your US passport to the US immigration officer. However, airline staff are not US officials, so there is no reason that you can't show them only your British passport.)

Another thing you could consider doing would be to have a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode placed in your US passport. You are entitled to this as a British citizen. This certificate confirms your right of abode in the UK, and with this certificate in your US passport you could pass through the British passport holders' gate at ports of entry into the UK in the same way as you would with a British passport. Then you would be able to travel solely on your US passport between the US and the UK, while of course using your British passport for all other trips if you want to. If you decide to take that route, the cost if you apply in the UK (via the Home Office in Liverpool) is £20, whereas the cost if you apply in the US (via the British Embassy or a British consular office) is considerably more, at $209. However, you might consider that the cost difference is small in the overall scheme of life. If you are in the US you would need to apply there; you can apply via the Home Office only if you are in the UK.

Websites:

The British Embassy in Washington: http://www.britainusa.com/visas/othe...5&Other_ID=317

The Home Office:
http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/ind..._of_abode.html

nun Aug 24th 2004 5:35 pm

Re: Which passport do I travel on?
 

Originally Posted by CPW
As I understand it, the US insists that its citizens enter the US on a US passport (and have a a US passport in their possession when they leave the US). I don't think that there is any way around that requirement.

Plenty of dual US-other citizens are in this position; the main point of possible confusion arises when you check in for a flight leaving the US, since the airline check-in staff also retrieve the immigration cards from visitors. You would need to check in with your British passport, since otherwise the check-in staff may refuse you boarding since your US passport will not allow you to remain in the UK for more than 6 months, and you will, presumably, be travelling on a UK-US-UK ticket (i.e. your ticketed trip will be ending in the UK).

I think what most dual US-British citizens do in this position do is to present their British passport at the airline check-in desk; if the airline person asks about the lack of any US immigration information in the British passport, they then say that they are also a US citizen; if the airline person then insists on seeing the US passport, they can then show it. Most airline staff probably won't do all this, since their primary concern is whether or not you will be admissible to the UK at the end of your journey.

(Note that the US requires that US citizens deal with US officials as a US citizen at all times - e.g. when entering the US you need to show your US passport to the US immigration officer. However, airline staff are not US officials, so there is no reason that you can't show them only your British passport.)

Another thing you could consider doing would be to have a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode placed in your US passport. You are entitled to this as a British citizen. This certificate confirms your right of abode in the UK, and with this certificate in your US passport you could pass through the British passport holders' gate at ports of entry into the UK in the same way as you would with a British passport. Then you would be able to travel solely on your US passport between the US and the UK, while of course using your British passport for all other trips if you want to. If you decide to take that route, the cost if you apply in the UK (via the Home Office in Liverpool) is £20, whereas the cost if you apply in the US (via the British Embassy or a British consular office) is considerably more, at $209. However, you might consider that the cost difference is small in the overall scheme of life. If you are in the US you would need to apply there; you can apply via the Home Office only if you are in the UK.

Websites:

The British Embassy in Washington: http://www.britainusa.com/visas/othe...5&Other_ID=317

The Home Office:
http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/ind..._of_abode.html

Thanks for the great information!

I don't think I'll do the "Right of Abode" thing as as a UK citizen by birth I already have that
and it might just confuse things more. Also I'm not going to represent myself to the UK government as a US citizen as that might affect my UK status. I think the path of least resistance is to be a US citizen when dealing with US immigration and a UK citizen for all other circumstances. This may cause some confusion, and require me to carry both passports, which I generally don't do, but it seems like the most sensible option given the US law.

CPW Aug 24th 2004 9:19 pm

Re: Which passport do I travel on?
 
That's fine! But a right of abode certificate wouldn't jeopardise your status as a British citizen in any way - it merely confirms that you are free of UK immigration control. (Incidentally, it is applicable in the UK only - not in the rest of the EU or the EEA.) As to passing through UK immigration, unlike the US, the UK merely asks that the documentation that one presents should be sufficient for the purpose of one's visit; if one is living in the UK (as opposed to visiting), then obviously an unendorsed US passport is not sufficient.

Originally Posted by nun
Thanks for the great information!

I don't think I'll do the "Right of Abode" thing as as a UK citizen by birth I already have that
and it might just confuse things more. Also I'm not going to represent myself to the UK government as a US citizen as that might affect my UK status. I think the path of least resistance is to be a US citizen when dealing with US immigration and a UK citizen for all other circumstances. This may cause some confusion, and require me to carry both passports, which I generally don't do, but it seems like the most sensible option given the US law.



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