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-   -   last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/last-minute-panic-can-we-use-brit-passport-879993/)

mmhendrie Jul 6th 2016 5:35 pm

last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 
Hi - hoping for some quick advice. Live in LA, just booked a trip to Mexico leaving 7/16. We realized yesterday my son's US passport has expired. We called yesterday to get an expedited passport done, but the only appointments they have at for 7/15 - the day before we leave - and we're worried if anything doesn't go to plan, we have no margin of error.

My son is 5yrs old, is a dual citizen, and has both US and Brit passports. His Brit passport is still valid. Can he travel to/from Mexico using the Brit one? Obviously if we were traveling from the UK this wouldn't be an issue, but I don't have US citizenship and am always asked for my green card when I present my Brit passport, so I'm thinking we wouldn't be able to use my son's British passport to leave/re-enter.

Can anyone provide any guidance on this? Perhaps another solution we haven't thought of?

thanks,
Matt

Pulaski Jul 6th 2016 5:39 pm

Re: last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 
US citizens are required to use a US passport leaving and entering the US. You might get away with taking your son on his British passport, but be prepared for some awkward questions on return if the US immigration officer notices that your son's place of birth is in the US.

tonrob Jul 6th 2016 6:39 pm

Re: last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11995622)
US citizens are required to use a US passport leaving and entering the US. You might get away with taking your son on his British passport, but be prepared for some awkward questions on return if the US immigration officer notices that your son's place of birth is in the US.

They can't refuse entry of course. I've never read what the actual sanction is for breaking this rule. Anyone?

sir_eccles Jul 6th 2016 6:58 pm

Re: last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 

Originally Posted by tonrob (Post 11995683)
They can't refuse entry of course. I've never read what the actual sanction is for breaking this rule. Anyone?

I vaguely recall looking for it once. I think in theory the legislation allows for a monetary fine but it is not set at a value so is probably $0.

Just a thought, fly or drive? To fly you'd have to sweet talk both airline and immigration to allow you in. Driving would be just immigration. Carry both passports and birth certificate and hope to charm an officer on a good day might be the best bet beyond trying to get a same day passport or changing the travel day.

Pulaski Jul 6th 2016 7:14 pm

Re: last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 

Originally Posted by tonrob (Post 11995683)
They can't refuse entry of course. I've never read what the actual sanction is for breaking this rule. Anyone?

Lansbury posted on the subject once, last winter I think, and it is a fine, that if not paid becomes a "tax" and is subject to the rules and penalties of non-payment of taxes, including eventually liens on assets and garnished wages, plus of course legal fees.

Giantaxe Jul 6th 2016 9:39 pm

Re: last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 
I've mentioned on here before that my daughter did a trip from the US to the UK on a British passport and an expired US passport. It did take a call from the airline to whoever at Heathrow before they would let her check in for the return flight. No issues on arrival, presumably because they already knew by that point that she was travelling on an expired passport.

Steve_ Jul 7th 2016 1:50 am

Re: last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 

Originally Posted by mmhendrie (Post 11995616)
My son is 5yrs old, is a dual citizen, and has both US and Brit passports. His Brit passport is still valid. Can he travel to/from Mexico using the Brit one? Obviously if we were traveling from the UK this wouldn't be an issue, but I don't have US citizenship and am always asked for my green card when I present my Brit passport, so I'm thinking we wouldn't be able to use my son's British passport to leave/re-enter.

Not enough information to answer the question. Are you entering the US by air or land? Children under the age of 16 don't require a passport to enter by land, any proof of citizenship is sufficient, e.g. birth certificate.

By air they're going to ask for ESTA or a visa on the way back before he even gets to the US, which he doesn't have I'm assuming (and you can't get it because he is a US citizen).

So basically, not a problem by land, but by air you have a problem on the way back.

lansbury Jul 8th 2016 1:43 am

Re: last minute panic - can we use a Brit passport
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11995703)
Lansbury posted on the subject once, last winter I think, and it is a fine, that if not paid becomes a "tax" and is subject to the rules and penalties of non-payment of taxes, including eventually liens on assets and garnished wages, plus of course legal fees.

The guy who went to Canada on his UK passport just after his oath ceremony was told the fine was $650 if it was levied.


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