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Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Old Feb 16th 2022, 4:53 pm
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Default Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Hi.
I am originally a UK citizen with an in date British passport. I became a US Citizen about a year ago and have a USA passport. When I have traveled abroad recently I have used exclusively my USA passport. However, I am planning on going to the UK for the first time in a long time in the Summer. When presenting passports at check-in / boarding / arriving at UK immigration - which passport should I use ? I think it's clear when returning to the USA, I should only use the USA passport. But not sure for the outgoing leg.

The rest of my family all hold USA passports.
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

You must leave and enter the US using your US PP. You can either enter the UK as a visitor using your US PP, or as a UK citizen using your UK PP.
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

USA, all the way, there and back is the easiest if you only want to carry one passport, assuming you are only visiting the UK for 6 months or less.

I usually take my British passport to give me the option to enter the UK using that if the lines are shorter for British passport holders (they usually are, but not always). But that is really the only time on a USA-UK-USA round trip that it makes any sense to show your British passport.

On one occasion when I did enter the UK using my US passport I got a wry smile from the immigration offiicer as I am very obviously "not American" due to my accent, and of course my US passport showing my place of birth (in the UK), but I was asked no questions and there wasn't even a verbal comment, just the wry smile when he handed back my US passport, as he said "enjoy your stay".

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 16th 2022 at 7:02 pm.
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

The last time we used our US PP to enter the UK at Heathrow, we were over 1 hour waiting to get through immigration. Daughter and Canadian husband went straight through UK Immigration and had to wait for us! Swore that was the last time I would use my US PP.
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
On one occasion when I did enter the UK using my US passport I got a wry smile from the immigration offiicer as I am very obviously "not American" due to my accent, but I was asked no questions and there wasn't even a verbal comment, just the wry smile when he handed back my US passport, and said "enjoy your stay".

Your US passport does show your place of birth, so it's pretty easy to figure out . . .
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Thanks for the replies. This is helpful. Yes, my last visit to Heathrow T5, I was in the non-EU line with my wife and daughter and one of the officials caught site of my maroon passport and let us all into the much shorter UK line.
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Originally Posted by oriole View Post
Thanks for the replies. This is helpful. Yes, my last visit to Heathrow T5, I was in the non-EU line with my wife and daughter and one of the officials caught site of my maroon passport and let us all into the much shorter UK line.
I also didn’t like the Immigration Officer asking me what was the reason for my visit, when I entered on my US PP. I’m not visiting…the UK will always be my home.
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
USA, all the way, there and back is the easiest if you only want to carry one passport, assuming you are only visiting the UK for 6 months or less.

I usually take my British passport to give me the option to enter the UK using that if the lines are shorter for British passport holders (they usually are, but not always). But that is really the only time on a USA-UK-USA round trip that it makes any sense to show your British passport.

On one occasion when I did enter the UK using my US passport I got a wry smile from the immigration offiicer as I am very obviously "not American" due to my accent, and of course my US passport showing my place of birth (in the UK), but I was asked no questions and there wasn't even a verbal comment, just the wry smile when he handed back my US passport, as he said "enjoy your stay".
If memory serves me correct, UK passports show the city of birth. Brother-in-law is naturalized UK and his passport shows birth in Newark. Not the one in Nottinghamshire.
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Old Feb 16th 2022, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Originally Posted by oriole View Post
Thanks for the replies. This is helpful. Yes, my last visit to Heathrow T5, I was in the non-EU line with my wife and daughter and one of the officials caught site of my maroon passport and let us all into the much shorter UK line.
They have 3 lines now? UK, EU and non-EU? I assumed with Brexit it would be UK and Rest of the world.
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Old Feb 17th 2022, 1:57 am
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

I went to the UK for Christmas. I planned on using my US passport to clear security here at the airport and then using my British passport to enter the UK. However, my British passport was still in my married name whilst my US passport had my maiden name which I had reverted to using at naturalization. Anyway - all the covid testing stuff had my maiden name on it which had to match the passport and the plane ticket. So, I used my US passport to enter the UK. At T5 There are those automatic reading machines with cameras and then a gate which I used. No problems and no queue either.

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Old Feb 17th 2022, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Originally Posted by tht View Post
They have 3 lines now? UK, EU and non-EU? I assumed with Brexit it would be UK and Rest of the world.
I presume that is so they can assign the fewest officers to the EU line, to make them wait longer than the non-EU visitors.
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Old Feb 17th 2022, 8:39 am
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

My daughter will be using her UK passport to enter when she arrives here on Sunday. Last time she was with her Aus/USA partner and their flight was delayed long enough to miss their connecting flight in Heathrow and she was through Customs and Immigration and had booked seats on the last flight to Newcastle at the BA desk long before he got through. Even that flight was badly delayed and they didn't get to Newcastle until 11:30pm

Looks like high winds on Sunday so she may be delayed again....
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Old Feb 18th 2022, 4:00 am
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Place of birth on the passport doesn’t necessarily indicate citizenship.

One question I have. What happens if you overstay as a dual citizen entering on a non UK passport?

I know some countries fine their citizens for overstaying an entry on their other passport.
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Old Feb 18th 2022, 4:35 am
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

Originally Posted by Ling_Noi View Post
.... I know some countries fine their citizens for overstaying an entry on their other passport.
The UK is not one of them.
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Old Feb 18th 2022, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Which passport to use traveling USA -> UK

If you have E -passport then UK and US passport holders now use the same electronic gates, so no difference now, which is great.
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