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Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:08 am
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Default Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Hello everyone,

I was born in the UK to a British father and American mother in 1981. My parents divorced when I was 9 months old and I came to the USA with my mother. I have dual citizenship.

I have lived in the USA for nearly all of my life (save some time in the UK to work on my Master's), and live there now. I am now married to an American and we have a son. Because I am a natural born UK citizen, my son is automatically granted citizenship to the UK as well.

I have a US passport and a UK passport. My wife has a US passport with a valid UK visa. My son only has a UK passport.

We are moving to Edinburgh next month. My question is this: does my son, who is also a dual US/UK citizen, require a US passport if we are going to leave the USA, or can he travel solely on his UK passport? The US State Department says "most" dual nationals need to leave and enter the US on a US passport, but I've read elsewhere that airlines will only want to see the passport that you will use in the destination country. Does anyone have any experience with this?
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:58 am
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

As a US citizen your son is required to enter and leave the US using a US passport.

You should, therefore, apply for a US passport for him before you leave.

There is, in practice, no passport control on leaving the US and the airline will be perfectly happy to fly him to the UK because he has a UK passport so from that perspective it wouldn't be a big problem if he didn't have a US passport when he left the US (although it would still be "wrong"). If, however, he comes back to the US either to visit or to live he will need a US passport so it would be much easier to get one now before you leave.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 3:02 am
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
As a US citizen your son is required to enter and leave the US using a US passport.

You should, therefore, apply for a US passport for him before you leave.

There is, in practice, no passport control on leaving the US and the airline will be perfectly happy to fly him to the UK because he has a UK passport so from that perspective it wouldn't be a big problem if he didn't have a US passport when he left the US (although it would still be "wrong"). If, however, he comes back to the US either to visit or to live he will need a US passport so it would be much easier to get one now before you leave.
Ah, there's the rub: we leave one week from tomorrow (Tuesday). Does anyone know what the processing time is for a US Passport if you actually go to one of the regional passport centers? All they say online is that if you will be traveling within two weeks, you need to go to a regional passport center. Does that mean they process them the same day?

P.S. - Thanks very much for the response!
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 3:10 am
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Same day processing is possible in "emergencies" (which usually means having to travel immediately because of a death or serious illness) not sure what the "normal" processing time is, but I think getting a passport in under a week should be possible.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 3:17 am
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

I received a child's passport in the same day (from San Francisco passport office). I booked an appointment, can't remember if I booked it online or over the phone, and got an appointment time about one week later.

Anyway, I turned up with all the documentation they required. I think that I had to turn up with my husband and the child in question too.

My morning appointment was around 9am and I was told to come back after 2pm to pick up the new passport. We boarded the flight later that night.

If you follow the instructions, it actually went very smoothly.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 4:13 am
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Google "passport expeditor". You'll find dozens with service from "same day" to 3 days to one week or whatever.

I've used these guys a couple times:

http://www.abriggs.com/
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 4:20 am
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
Google "passport expeditor". You'll find dozens with service from "same day" to 3 days to one week or whatever.

I've used these guys a couple times:

http://www.abriggs.com/
If he leaves with a UK passport they will pursue you to the ends of the earth and once they catch you, they'll.......... nevermind.......false alarm...... they won't do anything at all.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 11:52 am
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

I think we'll go with an expeditor and just hope it gets back to us in time.

In a worst-case scenario (i.e., the passport doesn't come in time), I want to make sure things will still work out. Just to be clear, if I show up at the ticket counter at the airport and present them with his UK passport, he'll get through security and be allowed on the plane, correct? What if my wife and I both give our US passports? Will that cause an issue as well? Perhaps I should present my UK passport?

I'm sorry to be such a pain, everyone. I know you've laid out the details quite clearly to me, but I don't want to get to the airport and be turned around because of this.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

He does not need a US passport, just to leave the Country.

As a US Citizen he cannot be denied entry into or out of this Country. You could, if necessary enter this Country on an expired US Passport.

He'll be just fine.

Good Luck!
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Ayrton - the key is to keep the "dual" knowledge to yourself... DO NOT share this with Passport Control on either side of the pond and you'll be fine.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Originally Posted by ayrton04 View Post
Ah, there's the rub: we leave one week from tomorrow (Tuesday). Does anyone know what the processing time is for a US Passport if you actually go to one of the regional passport centers? All they say online is that if you will be traveling within two weeks, you need to go to a regional passport center. Does that mean they process them the same day?

P.S. - Thanks very much for the response!
We did this, and got the passport the same day.

Originally Posted by Rougesvp View Post
He does not need a US passport, just to leave the Country.

As a US Citizen he cannot be denied entry into or out of this Country. You could, if necessary enter this Country on an expired US Passport.

He'll be just fine.

Good Luck!
Originally Posted by Rougesvp View Post
Ayrton - the key is to keep the "dual" knowledge to yourself... DO NOT share this with Passport Control on either side of the pond and you'll be fine.
Do you have any information to back up your statements? They are contrary to what the many dual citizens here know for facts.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Do you have any information to back up your statements? They are contrary to what the many dual citizens here know for facts.
I thought a dual cit was required to show all passports when going through passport control?
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Originally Posted by Rougesvp View Post
Ayrton - the key is to keep the "dual" knowledge to yourself... DO NOT share this with Passport Control on either side of the pond and you'll be fine.
So... what if they are asked? How far do you suggest someone take this "keeping it to themselves" plan of yours?

If the person has a passport of the country they are flying to, the airline shouldn't care. If they have the passport of the country they are arriving at, the border guards shouldn't care unless the country has a prohibition of some sort on dual nationality.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13 View Post
I thought a dual cit was required to show all passports when going through passport control?
no...
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: Tricky Dual Nationality Question

Originally Posted by crg View Post
So... what if they are asked? How far do you suggest someone take this "keeping it to themselves" plan of yours?

If the person has a passport of the country they are flying to, the airline shouldn't care. If they have the passport of the country they are arriving at, the border guards shouldn't care unless the country has a prohibition of some sort on dual nationality.
looking at it the other way round, a freind of mine was born in the USA and moved to the UK with his UKC mother when he was three y.o.

When he was in his 40s he went to Florida with his family and was given major grief by US immigration because he was US citizen travelling on a UK passport. Of course, as has been pointed out earlier, he is a USC and they cannot refuse him entry to his own country of citizenship no matter what travel documents he is using.

For dual citizens leaving the US - nobody cares what passport you use.

Entering the UK, you can use either. My daughter's UK passport is out of date - she has still used it to get in the UK. Last time she used her US passport because she couldn't be arsed listening to the lecture about keeping your documents up to date.

Entering the US - by law you have to use you US passport, but if you don't have one and can prove citizenship, then they have to let you in, but they will red-card you and you might sit in secondary for a while. Been there, done that - not fun.
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