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UK or US - which passport?

UK or US - which passport?

Old Sep 13th 2002, 3:15 am
  #1  
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Default UK or US - which passport?

my 18-yr old daughter, bn USA but now also w/ UK passport is about to spend her gap yr in UK. no one knows if she should leave on her US or US passport. she attends college in 2003. obviously the pport she leves on is the one she presents at LHR n the one she shows on her return. or how does this work? any tips gratefully rec'd. can mail me direct if inclined. thanks, all! C
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Old Sep 13th 2002, 7:31 am
  #2  
Rich Wales
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Default Re: UK or US - which passport?

"busker" wrote:

> my 18-yr old daughter, bn USA but now also w/ UK passport is about to spend her
> gap yr in UK. no one knows if she should leave on her US or US passport.

The above appears to contain at least one typo, but I think he's asking if his dual
US/UK citizen daughter should use her US passport or her UK passport when travelling
from the US to the UK and back.

My (layman, non-lawyer) understanding is that she should use both passports.
Specifically:

(1) She should take =both= passports with her on her trip.

(2) She should show her British (UK) passport to the airline people in the US when
she checks in for her outbound flight, as well as to the British immigration
people when she arrives in the UK.

(3) She should show her US passport to the airline people in the UK when she checks
in for her return flight, as well as to the US immigration people when she
arrives in the US.

Before someone objects that US law requires a dual US/other citizen to "leave the US
on a US passport" or some such, please note that what the law says [Immigration and
Nationality Act, sec. 215(b), 8 USC 1185(b)] is that a US citizen must "bear" a valid
US passport when leaving the US. As best I can tell, the law does =not= require a US
citizen to =show= his/her US passport to anyone when leaving the US. Nor does it
forbid a US citizen's showing a non-US passport to anyone as he/she leaves the US
(assuming, of course, that the person is a dual citizen and has a legal right to the
other passport). It only requires a US citizen to have his/her valid, unexpired US
pass- port in his/her physical possession when he/she leaves (and also when he/she
returns to the US).

The reason I believe one should show the airline people, when checking in at the
airport, the passport he/she will show to the immigration people upon arrival is that
the passengers' passport and visa info is likely to be sent on ahead (electronically)
to the immigration people at the destination airport -- and if one shows a different
passport upon arrival than was used at checkin, this is likely to raise red flags and
create unpleasant confusion.

For the same reason, when a dual US/UK citizen travels to the US, he/she really does
need to show a US passport to US immigration people -- which, in turn, would imply
that he/she should also show the US passport to the airline people in the UK when
checking in for the flight.

Now, to be sure, it is conceivable that the airline people in the US, upon being
shown a British passport, may get confused, assume the outbound traveller is a
citizen only of the UK, and ask either to collect his/her I-94 or see his/her "green
card" (the closest thing the US has to official "exit controls", though note that
these pro- cedures apply only to non-citizens). The right way to proceed in this
case would presumably be for the traveller -- if and only if presented with this kind
of request -- to state that he/she has dual US/UK citizenship. If (and, again, only
if) asked further to prove this claim, one might then show the airline people the US
passport -- though I believe such a followup query is unlikely, since the airline's
main reason for asking about passports and the like is to be sure that each passenger
will in fact be admitted by immigration officials at the flight's destination.

Similarly, if (and only if) immigration people at either end get confused because
they expected entry/exit stamps in the traveller's passport from the other country's
officials, it would be appropriate for the traveller to explain that he/she has dual
US/UK citizenship -- and if asked to prove this, to show the other passport to the
immigration people (but, again, only if specifically asked to do so).

Now, it should be pointed out that the UK isn't as hissy-fitty as the US is with
regard to the idea of dual UK/other citizens having to show their British passport
upon entry to the UK. If one is just going as a tourist, my understanding is that
it's OK for a dual UK/other citizen to enter the UK on their other (non-UK) passport.
However, if one is going to stay for an extended period of time, and/or work or study
in the UK, then one =should= identify oneself as a British citizen and show a British
passport to immigration.

Rich Wales [email protected]
http://www.richw.org/dualcit/ *DISCLAIMER:
I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant, or consular officer. My
comments are for discussion purposes only and are not intended to be relied upon as
legal or professional advice.
 
Old Oct 8th 2002, 9:55 pm
  #3  
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Default Re: UK or US - which passport?

Total success: Rich's advice spot on.
My daughter duly left Seattle, UK Passport at the ready but with US passport at hand to show if requested.
At the first check-in - the ticket counter - they insisted on her using her *US* passport, altho' sans explanation.
We obviously couldn't accompany Georgina thru to Immigration, but I told her to stick to the UK passport ploy, and this worked a treat: sailed thru, no questions asked and no stamp either, oddly. Nor were there probs at the UK end, of course, since she simply went thru the EU gate with no questions.
So - she appears to have crossed the Atlantic without any indication in either passport that he has even left these shores; hmm.
But huge thanks to this channel for being such a source of info'. CH
Originally posted by busker:
my 18-yr old daughter, bn USA but now also w/ UK passport is about to spend her gap yr in UK. no one knows if she should leave on her US or US passport. she attends college in 2003. obviously the pport she leves on is the one she presents at LHR n the one she shows on her return. or how does this work? any tips gratefully rec'd. can mail me direct if inclined. thanks, all! C
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Old Oct 8th 2002, 11:55 pm
  #4  
Mark Carroll
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Default Re: UK or US - which passport?

In article ,
Rich Wales wrote:
(snip)
    >people upon arrival is that the passengers' passport and visa info is
    >likely to be sent on ahead (electronically) to the immigration people
    >at the destination airport -- and if one shows a different passport
    >upon arrival than was used at checkin, this is likely to raise red
    >flags and create unpleasant confusion.

Although I concur with your advice, FWIW I have experimentally tried
showing different passports for departure and arrival and it doesn't
seem to have caused any problems yet.

(snip)
    >their British passport upon entry to the UK. If one is just going as
    >a tourist, my understanding is that it's OK for a dual UK/other citizen
    >to enter the UK on their other (non-UK) passport. However, if one is
    >going to stay for an extended period of time, and/or work or study in
    >the UK, then one =should= identify oneself as a British citizen and
    >show a British passport to immigration.
(snip)

Of course, you can get a yellow "right of abode" stamp from the Home
Office for your US passport.

-- Mark
 
Old Oct 10th 2002, 12:21 pm
  #5  
Stephen Gallagher
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Default Re: UK or US - which passport?

    > Total success: Rich's advice spot on.
    > My daughter duly left Seattle, UK Passport at the ready but with US
    > passport at hand to show if requested.
    > At the first check-in - the ticket counter - they insisted on her using
    > her *US* passport, altho' sans explanation.

How did the check-in people know she had two passports?
Did she hold them both up, or have both visible? I'm
wondering if they did what Rich suggested might happen
(ie. that they would be looking for an I-94 or ask
for a Green Card), or did they simply see her holding
her British passport.

    > We obviously couldn't accompany Georgina thru to Immigration, but I told
    > her to stick to the UK passport ploy, and this worked a treat: sailed
    > thru, no questions asked and no stamp either, oddly.

This is a little puzzling. There is no formal immigration
inspection when leaving the US, so I'm not sure what you're
referring to. There are, of course, several spots where
you could be asked to show photo ID between check-in
and the gate, but it's more for identification purposes,
not an immigration inspection.

    > Nor were there
    > probs at the UK end, of course, since she simply went thru the EU gate
    > with no questions.

That's about right.
Based on my observations with members of my family
who have entered the UK on British passports,
the immigration inspector would simply open up the
passport, compare the person to the photo, and hand
it back, no questions asked.

    > So - she appears to have crossed the Atlantic without any indication in
    > either passport that he has even left these shores; hmm.

That's about right. When she returns to the US,
she probably won't be questioned by US immigration
over the lack of any British stamps in her US
passport. But if they did, she can honestly answer
that she's also a British citizen, and if asked to
show proof she can then also show her British passport.

When she returns to the US, she may or may not get
a stamp from the INS in her US passport. In my
experience, sometimes the INS does stamp US passports
and sometimes they don't.

Stephen Gallagher
 

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