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Entering UK on a US passport Q

Entering UK on a US passport Q

Old Sep 9th 2012, 4:40 pm
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Default Entering UK on a US passport Q

Ok, so we've recently found out that the processing time for renewing a UK passport from the US is around 12weeks give or take. That was a big surprise. I got one answer about this Q in the MBTTUK forum, but I'd like to see if I get any other answers.

My OH's UK passport expires in Oct. If things go according to how we hope, we would be moving back to the UK sometime in December. That is a very tight time frame. We'd hate to buy plane tickets, and tell my OH's future employer he'll be there to start on a certain date, and then he's held up because of passport renewal problems.

Can he enter the UK on his US passport, and then just renew his passport once we get over there? Would there be any problems with him entering basically as a tourist? Obviously he could show the immigration officers at the POE that he has a UK passport, if that would make any difference.
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Old Sep 9th 2012, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
We'd hate to buy plane tickets, and tell my OH's future employer he'll be there to start on a certain date, and then he's held up because of passport renewal problems.
On the assumption that he's a UKC, he can work in the UK whether or not his passport is valid.


Can he enter the UK on his US passport, and then just renew his passport once we get over there?
Yes.


Would there be any problems with him entering basically as a tourist?
As a tourist, he's not allowed to work. As a UKC, he is. Even with an expired passport, he has the right of entry to the UK. He can show the expired passport to the officer at the border and he'll be fine... his passport, expired or not, is still proof of his status as a UKC.

He can use his US passport to leave the US and his expired UK passport to enter the UK. No need to make this more difficult than needed by showing his US passport to the UK border officers.

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Old Sep 9th 2012, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
On the assumption that he's a UKC, he can work in the UK whether or not his passport is valid.

Yes.

As a tourist, he's not allowed to work. As a UKC, he is. Even with an expired passport, he has the right of entry to the UK. He can show the expired passport to the officer at the border and he'll be fine... his passport, expired or not, is still proof of his status as a UKC.

He can use his US passport to leave the US and his expired UK passport to enter the UK. No need to make this more difficult than needed by showing his US passport to the UK border officers.

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Thanks for info Ian. We weren't sure if he'd be forced to leave in 6mo, if they considered him a tourist since he entered on the US pp. Or if he'd be allowed to work if he entered on his US passport. Our other concern was whether the airline would have an issue with flying him if his UK passport was expired; but I'm guessing that would only be a problem if we were trying to fly on a one-way ticket?

I certainly don't want to make anything more difficult, we just don't want to get caught out by an immigration situation.
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Old Sep 9th 2012, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

When you arrive just have him show his UK passport. When I was at Heathrow it happened occasionally. The rule is if he shows he is a UK citizen they cannot refuse him entry. Better to do that than use his US one. In fact if he said he was returning they would almost certainly ask for his UK passport and waive him through.
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Old Sep 9th 2012, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Using the US passport to enter as a tourist is just more hassle to sort status out later, especially for things like the NHS, though Scotland might be different there, I don't know.

As others suggested, use the US passport to travel, show the UK one to enter the UK and then renew it there, it'll be cheaper too.

Though time lines in the US thread on renewals for a UK passport seem to be around the 6 week mark.
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Old Sep 9th 2012, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Using the US passport to enter as a tourist is just more hassle to sort status out later, especially for things like the NHS, though Scotland might be different there, I don't know.

As others suggested, use the US passport to travel, show the UK one to enter the UK and then renew it there, it'll be cheaper too.

Though time lines in the US thread on renewals for a UK passport seem to be around the 6 week mark.
Really? I read a response on a thread in the MBTTUK that said it looked to be around 12weeks. But if its cheaper and easier to renew from Britain, and he won't have any problems entering on his expired UK PP that sounds like the route to go.
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Old Sep 9th 2012, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Using the US passport to enter as a tourist is just more hassle to sort status out later, especially for things like the NHS, though Scotland might be different there, I don't know.

As others suggested, use the US passport to travel, show the UK one to enter the UK and then renew it there, it'll be cheaper too.

Though time lines in the US thread on renewals for a UK passport seem to be around the 6 week mark.
Huh? What hassle later? Once through immigration, it doesn't matter how you entered if you're a UKC. As long as you can prove UK citizenship later, you're all set.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:12 am
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
Ok, so we've recently found out that the processing time for renewing a UK passport from the US is around 12weeks give or take. That was a big surprise.
To be fair to them, there were only three blokes left in the passport office after Cameron's cuts, so cut them some slack.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Huh? What hassle later? Once through immigration, it doesn't matter how you entered if you're a UKC. As long as you can prove UK citizenship later, you're all set.
If you read what I said: " Using the US passport to enter as a tourist is just more hassle to sort status out later..."

You'd then realise I was talking about if he had entered the UK using his US passport as a tourist as originally mentioned in the OP's first post.

I did not mention in that sentence entering the UK as a UKC, using his expired UK passport.

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Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:49 am
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
If you read what I said: " Using the US passport to enter as a tourist is just more hassle to sort status out later..."

You'd then realise I was talking about if he had entered the UK using his US passport as a tourist as originally mentioned in the OP's first post.

I did not mention in that sentence entering the UK as a UKC, using his expired UK passport.

That's exactly the scenario I was talking about. It does not matter if he enters the UK on a US passport "as a tourist". There's nothing to sort out later. If you're a UKC, you're a UKC and entitled to live and work in the UK as long as you can prove it. What happens at the airport is totally irrelevant. Whatever his US passport contains is trumped by his ability to prove his UK citizenship (e.g. with a UK birth cert or UK passport).

Last edited by MarylandNed; Sep 10th 2012 at 12:53 am.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
Really? I read a response on a thread in the MBTTUK that said it looked to be around 12weeks. But if its cheaper and easier to renew from Britain, and he won't have any problems entering on his expired UK PP that sounds like the route to go.
I got my passport a few days ago. I took 20 days from fee being taken to receiving it. Cheaper to do it in the uk?yes. But If you start the process now you almost definitely will get the passport in less than 6 weeks. not 12.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
That's exactly the scenario I was talking about. It does not matter if he enters the UK on a US passport "as a tourist". There's nothing to sort out later. If you're a UKC, you're a UKC and entitled to live and work in the UK as long as you can prove it. What happens at the airport is totally irrelevant. Whatever his US passport contains is trumped by his ability to prove his UK citizenship (e.g. with a UK birth cert or UK passport).
In theory I guess there could end up being a mismatch in the records. Say you enter on a US passport, stay for a while (longer than you can for a tourist, is it 6 months?) leave and for some reason re-enter on the US passport again it would indicate some sort of overstay or something.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
In theory I guess there could end up being a mismatch in the records. Say you enter on a US passport, stay for a while (longer than you can for a tourist, is it 6 months?) leave and for some reason re-enter on the US passport again it would indicate some sort of overstay or something.
If you're a UKC, you can't "overstay". Like I said earlier, being able to prove you have UK citizenship trumps everything else and makes this a moot point. Who cares what is stamped in the US passport or what the "records" indicate as long as you can prove you're a UKC?

Besides, how does the person in the above scenario leave the UK? With a UK passport? And then he enters the UK with a US passport again in future? Yeah that may or may not create an issue at the airport on the 2nd entry but, again, that's handled by proving UK citizenship (e.g. with the UK passport he left the country with in the first place in your scenario).

My point is that inside or outside the airport, there are no immigration status or "right of abode" issues that can't be solved by simply proving UK citizenship. For example, if you're a UKC and can prove it, the NHS (or an employer, etc) doesn't care whether you used a US passport to enter the UK as a "tourist". I see this brought up as an issue on forums periodically - it's not an issue. I actually know people who went back to the UK as "tourists" using foreign passports and decided to stay. They had no issues at all obtaining government services simply because they could prove UK citizenship (e.g. by obtaining UK passports).

Now if you're going back INTENDING to stay in the UK, having a UK passport certainly makes your life easier at the POE. Even then the absence of a UK passport is not insurmountable (as I know from my own experience).

Last edited by MarylandNed; Sep 10th 2012 at 5:16 pm.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
If you're a UKC, you can't "overstay". Like I said earlier, being able to prove you have UK citizenship trumps everything else and makes this a moot point. Who cares what is stamped in the US passport or what the "records" indicate as long as you can prove you're a UKC?

Besides, how does the person in the above scenario leave the UK? With a UK passport? And then he enters the UK with a US passport again in future? Yeah that may or may not create an issue at the airport on the 2nd entry but, again, that's handled by proving UK citizenship (e.g. with the UK passport he left the country with in the first place in your scenario).

My point is that inside or outside the airport, there are no issues that can't be solved by simply proving UK citizenship. For example, if you're a UKC and can prove it, the NHS (or an employer, etc) doesn't care whether you used a US passport to enter the UK as a "tourist". I see this brought up as an issue on forums periodically - it's not an issue. I actually know people who went back to the UK as "tourists" and decided to stay. They had no issues at all obtaining government services simply because they could prove UK citizenship (e.g. by obtaining UK passports).
You're missing the point of my somewhat unlikely scenario.

The record at UK immigration may indicate that someone using a US passport overstayed, that record may not indicate that the said someone is a UKC. This may be a slight annoyance the next time the US passport is used to enter the country irrespective of how you left the country.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Entering UK on a US passport Q

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
You're missing the point of my somewhat unlikely scenario.

The record at UK immigration may indicate that someone using a US passport overstayed, that record may not indicate that the said someone is a UKC. This may be a slight annoyance the next time the US passport is used to enter the country irrespective of how you left the country.
Well, if you're going to present unlikely scenarios at least go to the trouble to think it through. It does depend on how he left. If he left on a US passport, there is no false "overstay" because they know he left (unless he really did "overstay" in which case he might be caught on exit and have to explain that he's actually a UKC.) So it would seem that your scenario only arises if he left on a UK passport.
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