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Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Old Sep 6th 2016, 5:13 pm
  #1  
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Default Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Hi guys,

Although I'm a few years from being ready to do this, I intend to ultimately swap my green card for citizenship.

I know there are lots of pros/cons and various implications, but the one thing I've been confused about is passport use when traveling, so I was hoping you experts could help clarify

Upon naturalization, I'm aware that the U.S, sees you as a USC *only* and as such requires you to enter/leave the U.S with your U.S passport (which makes sense).

With this in mind, at the other end of the fight...

1) When visiting the UK, would I present both passports at border control upon arrival or just my UK one? When leaving, do I present both at the check-in counter? (To prove USC for advanced passenger information as well as so the UK side knows i've 'checked out' of the UK?).

2) When visiting a foreign (non UK/US) nation, would I get grief from CBP upon return to the US if they saw I entered it with my UK passport? (for example - Australia, to avoid paying visa fees). I heard that they check your US passport for stamps and can get upset if they don't see anything, but have no idea if that's false information, on a case-by-case situation or true.

TIA!
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by livinginnyc View Post
Hi guys,

Although I'm a few years from being ready to do this, I intend to ultimately swap my green card for citizenship.

I know there are lots of pros/cons and various implications, but the one thing I've been confused about is passport use when traveling, so I was hoping you experts could help clarify

Upon naturalization, I'm aware that the U.S, sees you as a USC *only* and as such requires you to enter/leave the U.S with your U.S passport (which makes sense).

With this in mind, at the other end of the fight...

1) When visiting the UK, would I present both passports at border control upon arrival or just my UK one? When leaving, do I present both at the check-in counter? (To prove USC for advanced passenger information as well as so the UK side knows i've 'checked out' of the UK?).

2) When visiting a foreign (non UK/US) nation, would I get grief from CBP upon return to the US if they saw I entered it with my UK passport? (for example - Australia, to avoid paying visa fees). I heard that they check your US passport for stamps and can get upset if they don't see anything, but have no idea if that's false information, on a case-by-case situation or true.

TIA!
1) Just UK one when arriving at the UK border. Just US one when checking in on the return.
2) No.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

1) You use only one passport. Most use the UK one as the lines are generally shorter.

2) You MUST enter the US using the US passport, no exceptions. CBP has no interest in what you used to enter or leave a foreign country (unless it's of special interest like Iraq, Iran, etc.).
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post

2) You MUST enter the US using the US passport, no exceptions. CBP has no interest in what you used to enter or leave a foreign country (unless it's of special interest like Iraq, Iran, etc.).
Even then, they don't seem to care. My USC Iranian husband goes to Iran every year and never has a problem entering the USA.

Rene
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Thanks for clarifying and confirming guys!

You've put my mind at ease for future globe trotting!
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

I just carry my US passport now, at Manchester the non EU passport line has been the quickest one every time. In fact in June there wasn't anyone else in that line when Mrs L and I got to it, and a massive scrum at the EU electronic control.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I just carry my US passport now, at Manchester the non EU passport line has been the quickest one every time. In fact in June there wasn't anyone else in that line when Mrs L and I got to it, and a massive scrum at the EU electronic control.
I have the opposite experience at Heathrow (T3 and T5) and London City (these being the places I enter the UK most often). While it's annoying when there's any queue at all for the eGates (especially when some of them aren't open), I've never had to queue more than minute to use them. As my UK passport doesn't weigh much I'll keep on carrying it.
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I just carry my US passport now, at Manchester the non EU passport line has been the quickest one every time. In fact in June there wasn't anyone else in that line when Mrs L and I got to it, and a massive scrum at the EU electronic control.
I do the same. I usually fly to Manchester or Dublin. Last 2 times I went through Heathrow and the non-EU line wasn't bad but, of course, it depends on when you land.
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
While it's annoying when there's any queue at all for the eGates (especially when some of them aren't open)
Interesting you mention egates, The only time they have ever opened up for me was when someone yelled in the border area so I had my face turned. The other times I've looked at where you're supposed to, and it's failed.

I always assumed the lines were empty as they were more hassle than they are worth, but if they've become more accurate, I'll try it next time I fly into the UK!
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by livinginnyc View Post
Interesting you mention egates, The only time they have ever opened up for me was when someone yelled in the border area so I had my face turned. The other times I've looked at where you're supposed to, and it's failed.

I always assumed the lines were empty as they were more hassle than they are worth, but if they've become more accurate, I'll try it next time I fly into the UK!
There's generally pretty reliable. I travel a lot with work, and visit the UK once every few weeks or so. From my own experiences and from observing others in front of me, they occasionally crap out for individuals but seem to be fine for most people most of the time. I can really get through T5 very fast nowadays, and have boarded the Heathrow Express in just under under 20 minutes from doors opening at the B or C satellite gates an a number of occasions (including picking up luggage) - that generally does involve fast walking and 'knowing the route' a bit though. The eGate bit merely involves breaking my stride for 20 seconds or so.
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
1) You use only one passport. Most use the UK one as the lines are generally shorter.

2) You MUST enter the US using the US passport, no exceptions. CBP has no interest in what you used to enter or leave a foreign country (unless it's of special interest like Iraq, Iran, etc.).
This is not my experience - last time I did it (entering UK with my UK passport and re-entering US - at MCO, with my US passport) I got a bit of an interrogation because there was no record in my US passport of where I'd just been (no entry stamp). I was told in no uncertain terms, "You shouldn't do that and we'll call you out on it every time you do". Essentially, I interpret that as "There's nothing we can do to stop you doing it, but if you do, we're going to give you a hard time".
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
This is not my experience - last time I did it (entering UK with my UK passport and re-entering US - at MCO, with my US passport) I got a bit of an interrogation because there was no record in my US passport of where I'd just been (no entry stamp). I was told in no uncertain terms, "You shouldn't do that and we'll call you out on it every time you do". Essentially, I interpret that as "There's nothing we can do to stop you doing it, but if you do, we're going to give you a hard time".
That officer was just a moron or having a bad day. Unfortunately you get that alot with CBP. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use your UK passport to enter the UK.

I also think MCO is the problem. Had a CBP officer openly criticising "those black people" who came through before us and they aren't like "you nice Canadians" ... We just nodded and smiled because we didn't want to get deported from the US

Or get NEXUS/Global entry so you don't have to deal with them.

Someone on the Canada forum had a similar experience with a CBSA officer (although a little less arrogant) and Canada is fully OK with dual citizenship and you aren't technically obligated to enter on a Canadian passport like the US. (Although in practise now you do unless your other citizenship is US)
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by livinginnyc View Post
Hi guys,

Although I'm a few years from being ready to do this, I intend to ultimately swap my green card for citizenship.

I know there are lots of pros/cons and various implications, but the one thing I've been confused about is passport use when traveling, so I was hoping you experts could help clarify

Upon naturalization, I'm aware that the U.S, sees you as a USC *only* and as such requires you to enter/leave the U.S with your U.S passport (which makes sense).

With this in mind, at the other end of the fight...

1) When visiting the UK, would I present both passports at border control upon arrival or just my UK one? When leaving, do I present both at the check-in counter? (To prove USC for advanced passenger information as well as so the UK side knows i've 'checked out' of the UK?).
Present one passport.

Entering: You have a choice. If you have a UK passport, you might as well show that one when entering - especially if the EU immigration line is shorter. A couple of times when I was exiting the UK with my foreign passport, I was asked why there was no UK entry stamp in it. I explained that I had entered on my UK passport and I was then asked to show that. So if you're going to act like a dual citizen when travelling, make sure you have all passports handy in case you are ever asked to produce the other one. However, the UK does not require that its citizens use a UK passport to enter, so you could also just use the US passport (which is what I normally do). This can sometimes generate a friendly conversation with the immigration officer when he hears my accent or sees from my US passport that I was born in the UK but it doesn't cause any other issues.

Leaving: Use the US passport when checking in for a flight to the US.

Originally Posted by livinginnyc View Post
2) When visiting a foreign (non UK/US) nation, would I get grief from CBP upon return to the US if they saw I entered it with my UK passport? (for example - Australia, to avoid paying visa fees). I heard that they check your US passport for stamps and can get upset if they don't see anything, but have no idea if that's false information, on a case-by-case situation or true.
Never heard of that one. This is really no different to entering the UK using your UK passport and then returning to the US using your US passport.
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
This is not my experience - last time I did it (entering UK with my UK passport and re-entering US - at MCO, with my US passport) I got a bit of an interrogation because there was no record in my US passport of where I'd just been (no entry stamp). I was told in no uncertain terms, "You shouldn't do that and we'll call you out on it every time you do". Essentially, I interpret that as "There's nothing we can do to stop you doing it, but if you do, we're going to give you a hard time".
^^ Pretty much this exact story was told to me by a former colleague which prompted me to create this post.

Looks like you're OK unless you catch a CBP officer having a bad day?
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Dual Citizenship travel question(s)

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
This is not my experience - last time I did it (entering UK with my UK passport and re-entering US - at MCO, with my US passport) I got a bit of an interrogation because there was no record in my US passport of where I'd just been (no entry stamp). I was told in no uncertain terms, "You shouldn't do that and we'll call you out on it every time you do". Essentially, I interpret that as "There's nothing we can do to stop you doing it, but if you do, we're going to give you a hard time".
I think you just encountered an arsehole. I checked back, and I've entered the USA exactly 40 times since becoming a dual citizen in 2012, and never received a single remark about the complete absence of foreign stamps in my passport. I think if anyone gives you any lip about this on entry just smile, apologize, sigh inwardly and think "whatever...", and move on.

Quite frankly it's none of their frigging business which passport I decide to enter the UK on as a British citizen.

Last edited by tonrob; Sep 7th 2016 at 4:19 pm.
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