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Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Old Oct 27th 2016, 8:56 pm
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Default Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Hello lovely people Any of you dual UK/US citizens and have you travelled to the UK recently?

Myself and my four year old daughter are dual US/UK citizens and will be soon be travelling from the US where we live, to the UK to visit family for a few weeks. I'm really anxious as I still have some unanswered questions I am hoping you guys can help me with. I know it is mandatory to exit and enter the US on US passports but I am not sure which passport to use to enter the UK

It makes sense to use our UK passports but I read that the airline carrier sends our passport info electronically to Border Force so if we enter using our UK passports will they think we have vanished? I'm not sure how that works. I'm also wondering about having no entry/exit stamps?

Second question, when asked which citizenship we are on landing cards/customs forms and airline carrier info, should I state US or UK or can I state dual US/UK?

Third question, does the UK still use paper landing cards or is there kiosks like the US has now?

Speaking of APC kiosks which I read about yesterday (it is years since I have travelled!) Do young children have to have biometric fingerprints/photos done? My child is 4.

Should I take my child's birth certificate with me? Any other documents I should take?

Is there anything else I should be aware of? I don't have to do an ESTA, is there anything else I don't know about have forgotten or overlooked?

We will be travelling from LAX to Heathrow. Any tips/advice much appreciated!
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Old Oct 27th 2016, 10:14 pm
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Default Q

Originally Posted by Faery View Post
Hello lovely people Any of you dual UK/US citizens and have you travelled to the UK recently?

Myself and my four year old daughter are dual US/UK citizens and will be soon be travelling from the US where we live, to the UK to visit family for a few weeks. I'm really anxious as I still have some unanswered questions I am hoping you guys can help me with. I know it is mandatory to exit and enter the US on US passports but I am not sure which passport to use to enter the UK
Use your UK passports. You don't have to, but why queue?

It makes sense to use our UK passports but I read that the airline carrier sends our passport info electronically to Border Force so if we enter using our UK passports will they think we have vanished? I'm not sure how that works. I'm also wondering about having no entry/exit stamps?
Doesn't matter - pretty sure eBorders isn't that wired up yet, if it ever will be, and in any case they can't stop a UK citizen from entering on a UK passport. I don't ever recall having my UK passport inspected by UK immigration for stamps, and if they do just tell them you're a dual citizen.

Second question, when asked which citizenship we are on landing cards/customs forms and airline carrier info, should I state US or UK or can I state dual US/UK?
On the US customs form just state US. You won't need to fill out any UK forms if entering on a UK passport.

Third question, does the UK still use paper landing cards or is there kiosks like the US has now?
Yes they still have landing cards, but only for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens. If you enter on a biometric UK (or EU/EEA/Swiss) passport you can use the new ePassport gates but I think these are for adults only.

Speaking of APC kiosks which I read about yesterday (it is years since I have travelled!) Do young children have to have biometric fingerprints/photos done? My child is 4.
If you mean the US APC kiosks on your return, not sure if they can be used by children. No-one needs extra biometrics to use them if they have a qualifying biometric passport.

Should I take my child's birth certificate with me? Any other documents I should take?
If you're not travelling with the child's other parent then yes you should take the child's birth certificate and a letter from the other parent stating they're OK for you to take the child abroad.

Is there anything else I should be aware of? I don't have to do an ESTA, is there anything else I don't know about have forgotten or overlooked?
No ESTA as you're both US citizens.

We will be travelling from LAX to Heathrow. Any tips/advice much appreciated!

Last edited by rpjs; Oct 27th 2016 at 10:20 pm.
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Old Oct 28th 2016, 4:22 am
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

You can enter the UK on either passport. If you enter on the UK passport, you may be asked why there isn't an entry stamp in your US passport on the way back to the US (this has happened to me at least twice). If so, make sure you have your UK passport handy in case you need to produce it. Nowadays I usually just use my US passport for the entire trip.

If you are not travelling with the child's other parent, I would get a letter from the other parent stating that (s)he knows about the trip and is OK with you taking the child out of the country. Make sure the letter includes contact info (preferably a cell phone number) and a copy of the parent's photo id (passport or driver's license). This may not be needed but it's better to have it in case you are asked if you have permission from the other parent to take the child out of the country.
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Old Oct 28th 2016, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

My Trip in September all 3 of the Chog family went through on our US passports, it just seemed easier than splitting up and one of us having to small person wrangle alone. If it's just you and your daughter then I would take both passports and use whichever line seems shorter

Returning to the US Mr Chog and I used the APC screens at JFK but our 3 year old was asleep on her dads shoulder and we didn't wake her to try and get her through the APC kiosk - they sent us to one of the desks and the guy looked at her smushed little sleeping face and let us through. Other more awake children were using the screens though

We did need to be inspected anyway though as we had been on a farm during our trip
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Old Nov 18th 2016, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Thank you so much rpjs, MarylandNed and BubbleChog for responding to my questions, your replies were helpful and appreciated

BubbleChog, can I ask what what the inspection consisted of? As I might be visiting a farm also.
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Old Nov 18th 2016, 1:38 am
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

You just use your US passports at every point, check-in, gate, etc., the only exception is at UK border control where you pull out your British passports.

Personally I used to think it was quicker to use the non-UK line but since ePassports came in, that line is the fastest in the UK.

If you use the regular UK line sometimes the border person quizzes you over which flight you came in on as it can cause a flight manifest problem for them.

You won't use the UK landing card. On the US customs card just put US citizen.
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Old Nov 20th 2016, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

I'll just share a quick story about my recent trip to Australia. I entered on my British passport, because no visa or fee was required. I left on my US passport as I was returning to the US.

Well, that caused no end of problems because they match arriving passports to departing passports and mine didn't match. I wasn't able to check in online or using a kiosk. When I got to the agent it took her about 30 minutes to fix it. But whatever she did it didn't stick because I got stopped again at AUS immigration before boarding the plane. Took another 20 minutes to clear up.

Luckily I had budgeted plenty of time for the flight, and still made it, but so easily could have not.
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Old Nov 20th 2016, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Originally Posted by ScousePete View Post
I'll just share a quick story about my recent trip to Australia. I entered on my British passport, because no visa or fee was required. I left on my US passport as I was returning to the US.

Well, that caused no end of problems because they match arriving passports to departing passports and mine didn't match. I wasn't able to check in online or using a kiosk. When I got to the agent it took her about 30 minutes to fix it. But whatever she did it didn't stick because I got stopped again at AUS immigration before boarding the plane. Took another 20 minutes to clear up.

Luckily I had budgeted plenty of time for the flight, and still made it, but so easily could have not.
Wow ScousePete! This is exactly what I was wondering might happen, how stressful that must have been. Thank you for sharing what happened, I was planning to enter the UK with our British passports but now I will just use our US passports the entire trip.
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Old Nov 20th 2016, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
You just use your US passports at every point, check-in, gate, etc., the only exception is at UK border control where you pull out your British passports.

Personally I used to think it was quicker to use the non-UK line but since ePassports came in, that line is the fastest in the UK.

If you use the regular UK line sometimes the border person quizzes you over which flight you came in on as it can cause a flight manifest problem for them.

You won't use the UK landing card. On the US customs card just put US citizen.
Thanks for your reply Steve. I can't use the ePassports line because that is only for over 18s and I'm travelling with a 4 year old. After reading the above reply I think I'm just going to use our US passports!
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Old Nov 20th 2016, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Originally Posted by Faery View Post
Wow ScousePete! This is exactly what I was wondering might happen, how stressful that must have been. Thank you for sharing what happened, I was planning to enter the UK with our British passports but now I will just use our US passports the entire trip.
The UK and Australian systems aren't comparable. You won't have the same problem on a UK trip especially as a British citizen. Take both sets of passports and just use whichever queue is quickest at the UK border.
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Old Nov 21st 2016, 6:57 am
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Every single trip I have made as a dual citizen, I have used my UK passport to enter the UK and my US passport at all other times. I find this is the path of least resistance in terms of filling out cards, queuing at immigration etc. etc. I've never once been questioned about anything.

At the end of the day, if you're anxious about using 2 different passports, just go ahead and use your US passport at all times - whichever is easier for you
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Old Nov 21st 2016, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Originally Posted by Faery View Post
Wow ScousePete! This is exactly what I was wondering might happen, how stressful that must have been. Thank you for sharing what happened, I was planning to enter the UK with our British passports but now I will just use our US passports the entire trip.
Australian immigration is uniquely pedantic, and is nothing like the UK and you will not have the same problem (as I see BiP has also said). You'll be fine using the UK one to enter and leave the UK.
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Old Nov 21st 2016, 11:23 am
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Yes, I think my Australian experience was unique to Australia. When I arrive in the UK I always use my British passport.

I'm a big believer in using whichever passport is cheaper or easier. For example, when I went to Brazil a couple of years ago, entering the country using a British passport was free. Using a US passport required a visa at a cost of $100+
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Old Nov 23rd 2016, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Originally Posted by Faery View Post
Thank you so much rpjs, MarylandNed and BubbleChog for responding to my questions, your replies were helpful and appreciated

BubbleChog, can I ask what what the inspection consisted of? As I might be visiting a farm also.
Sorry for the delay.

They looked at the bottom of our shoes. It was a very cursory inspection and they didn;t bother to look at SmallChogs wellies which were in the suitcase
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Old Nov 25th 2016, 3:23 am
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Default Re: Questions re: Travelling as a dual citizen

Originally Posted by BubbleChog View Post
Sorry for the delay.

They looked at the bottom of our shoes. It was a very cursory inspection and they didn;t bother to look at SmallChogs wellies which were in the suitcase
Thanks BubbleChog, good to know
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