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Returning UK Expat: Can my child enter UK on AU passport?

Returning UK Expat: Can my child enter UK on AU passport?

Old Sep 29th 2023, 11:59 pm
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Default Returning UK Expat: Can my child enter UK on AU passport?

Hi,

My wife and I are British expats living in Sydney Australia. We are having a baby next year, after which we plan to return to the UK. The child will automatically be a UK citizen by descent.

I'm trying to work out if I should...
  • Apply for a UK passport for my child before travelling back, and enter the UK with all 3 of us on British passports
  • Apply for an AU passport and then enter the UK with the child on an AU passport, and my wife and I using our British passports
My thinking is that it is faster and easier to get an AU passport for my child therefore we can move home sooner after the birth.

Google however leads me to believe that entering the UK with an AU child passport may create complications at border patrol. It also may prevent the child from being able to access the NHS healthcare system.

Does anyone have experience of this / advice that they can share?

Thank you in advance
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Old Sep 30th 2023, 1:24 am
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Default Re: Returning UK Expat: Can my child enter UK on AU passport?

Always better to enter the UK, if returning permanently, with a British passport.
Having said that your child can enter the UK on an Australian passport, as long as you have proof that he/she is your child i.e your and theirs birth certificates.
You will probably be told to get his/her UK passport asap, he/she will be stamped in as a visitor and theoretically he/she will not be eligible for NHS services.
(If going through the automatic gates, probably none of above would occur ??)
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Old Sep 30th 2023, 9:14 am
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Default Re: Returning UK Expat: Can my child enter UK on AU passport?

Better to get the British passport for the reasons SDG set out. An Australian passport holder will be treated as a visitor whether entering via the ePassport gates or speaking to an immigration officer although under 10s can’t use the ePassport gates.

Another factor to consider would be that someone travelling on an Australian passport will need an ETA by the end of 2024 which will be £10 so the cost difference between applying for a British passport from Australia vs the UK becomes minimal.
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Old Oct 4th 2023, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Returning UK Expat: Can my child enter UK on AU passport?

Our family had the exact same situation albeit our son was born in the US and was a US citizen by birth and a UK citizen by descent.

Getting his British Passport from the US was proving to be a huge time suck. They demanded the birth certificates of our son, my wife, my birth certificate and the birth certificates of all 4 grand parents.

We decided in the end to just apply for his US passport, have him travel on that and then apply for his British passport on arrival back in the UK.

Our experience at border control at Heathrow airport couldn't have been simpler.

We were directed into the families with young children queue.

A border force officer checked all three of our passports and waved us through in about 2 minutes. Our son was assumed to be a citizen, we did not have to provide birth certificates (although we had these with us just incase) and his US passport was not stamped, nor was he treated as a visitor.

When we applied for his british passport a few months later they only needed his birth certificate and mine and my wife's. Grandparents birth certificates were not required when applying from the UK. Although we did have to send off his US passport too which was returned to us.
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