Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Old Dec 17th 2004, 4:20 am
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Exclamation Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Hello, I have a question that you can hopefully answer. I am a citizen of the UK and US and hold passports to the two countries (birth in the UK prior to 1983, and naturalized as a US citizen through my parents) and as of writing this I am in the United States residing for the time being. The last time I have resided in the UK was when I was between one to two years old and have lived in the US continuously since, I'm in my twenties now. My question is that will immigration question me as do I still maintain close ties with the UK; since I have been away from the country for so long.

Do immigration people take a dim view of dual citizens and would they further question as to why I hold two passports. I have read of cases where those with two passports have had one confiscated and the person detained for interrogation. What would the procedure be for handing my passports to the immigration people as on departure and arrival in both the US and UK? Somebody told me that I should present both passports to the official and let them take of it from there.

Thank to those who reply to this post. I really appreciate you taking your time and answering my questions. See you later.
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Old Dec 17th 2004, 5:37 am
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Default Re: Dual Citizen Uk And Us

I'm a dual US/UK citizen myself. I show my US passport for identification when departing the US, and my UK passport when arriving in the UK. On the return leg I do it all in reverse...UK passport for identification when leaving the UK, US passport to immigration in the US. I've not had any problems whatsoever. (And I like being able to go through the "short" line at immigration both directions! )
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Old Dec 17th 2004, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Originally Posted by uk2006
Hello, I have a question that you can hopefully answer. I am a citizen of the UK and US and hold passports to the two countries (birth in the UK prior to 1983, and naturalized as a US citizen through my parents) and as of writing this I am in the United States residing for the time being. The last time I have resided in the UK was when I was between one to two years old and have lived in the US continuously since, I'm in my twenties now. My question is that will immigration question me as do I still maintain close ties with the UK; since I have been away from the country for so long.
As long as you have a valid British citizen passport, they will neither ask about, nor care about, what ties you have maintained in the UK.

If you have children born outside the UK, be aware they will be British citizens by descent, or eligible to be registered as citizens, depending on circumstances.

Do immigration people take a dim view of dual citizens and would they further question as to why I hold two passports. I have read of cases where those with two passports have had one confiscated and the person detained for interrogation.
Some of these are urban myths. You should be aware that a passport remains the property of the issuing government and if another government 'confiscated' it then the Embassy would be very interested to have it back.

The UK has no problem with dual citizenship. Nor has the US provided you always deal with US officials as a US citizen.

What would the procedure be for handing my passports to the immigration people as on departure and arrival in both the US and UK? Somebody told me that I should present both passports to the official and let them take of it from there.
Don't do that!

Always present a US passport and only a US passport to American officials. If they ask specifically about any other passport (unlikely) then by all means tell them about your UK passport, but presenting two passports to immigration officials up-front is never a good idea.

When entering the UK, the rule is not quite as strict. If you are planning to do anything more than vacation, then use a UK passport. If it's just a vacation then a US passport is ok but you'll have to line up in the 'foreigners' queue.

Have a look at http://www.richw.org/dualcit/ for the US view on dual citizenship.

Also be aware that even if you live outside the US you need to keep filing US tax returns annually (even if you don't have to pay anything to the US) and you still need to be registered with Selective Service if liable - see http://www.sss.gov

Jeremy

Last edited by JAJ; Dec 17th 2004 at 10:45 am.
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Old Dec 19th 2004, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Originally Posted by uk2006
.... will immigration question me as do I still maintain close ties with the UK [?]....
The only thing I can add to JAJ's very comprehensive reponse is that on arrival in the UK on a British passport, if you hold your passport open at the details/ photo page and offer it to the immigration officer as you walk towards them in my experience you won't even have to actually stop, much less answer any questions, they'll just wave you through.
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Old Dec 19th 2004, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Originally Posted by Pulaski
The only thing I can add to JAJ's very comprehensive reponse is that on arrival in the UK on a British passport, if you hold your passport open at the details/ photo page and offer it to the immigration officer as you walk towards them in my experience you won't even have to actually stop, much less answer any questions, they'll just wave you through.
They are getting stricter now in the UK - last time I entered the country my passport was checked and scanned. Not before time either.

Jeremy
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Old Dec 19th 2004, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Originally Posted by closet.hippie
I'm a dual US/UK citizen myself. I show my US passport for identification when departing the US, and my UK passport when arriving in the UK. On the return leg I do it all in reverse...UK passport for identification when leaving the UK, US passport to immigration in the US. I've not had any problems whatsoever. (And I like being able to go through the "short" line at immigration both directions! )
You may be asked why you do not have a UK stamp in your US passport when you return.
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Old Dec 19th 2004, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Originally Posted by cov60
You may be asked why you do not have a UK stamp in your US passport when you return.

By US immigration? Unlikely, because they are more concerned about whether you have the right to enter the US or not.

But if they *do* ask then tell the truth, and explain you also have British citizenship. It's nothing to lie about or conceal, it's just that if you flash two passports in front of an immigration officer straight away it will confuse things at best, and freak him out at worst.

Jeremy
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Old Dec 22nd 2004, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Dual Citizen Uk And Us

Originally Posted by JAJ
By US immigration? Unlikely, because they are more concerned about whether you have the right to enter the US or not.

But if they *do* ask then tell the truth, and explain you also have British citizenship. It's nothing to lie about or conceal, it's just that if you flash two passports in front of an immigration officer straight away it will confuse things at best, and freak him out at worst.

Jeremy
Bottomline is that with dual UK/US citizenship you are in a great position, except for having to file IRS 1040s for the rest of your life. To reitterate comments form above here is my experience traveling between the US and the UK.

1) Remember its ok to be a UK/US dual citizen, don't let any immigration official tell you otherwise. You are not doing anything wrong in chosing which passport to show.
2) Travel with both passports, but don't show them to an official together unless specifically asked.
3) When you leave the US use your US passport as if you present your UK passport without the required re-entry visa in it there will be questions.
4) As soon as you're on the plane think of yourself as a UK citizen, so no need to fill out immigration forms and enter the UK on your UK passport.
5) When you leave the UK do it as a US citizen, why? Because the airline won't let you travel if you don't have the right visa in your UK passport.
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