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HelenBarton

Dual Citizenship travel

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My partner and I are dual nationals with both British and Australian passports. Our son was born here and so also has dual nationality. We have an Australian passport for him but applying for a British passport is complicated given that we need to supply all of our partners certificates too. We can do this but not in time for this trip we are planning so my question is; is my son able to travel to and from the uk on his Australian passport without having a British one? Is he able to get a holiday visa. While he is technically eligible for British citizenship, we have never applied for this… anyone else been in this situation and not want to charge me 69p a minute for the answer?! 

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Until you apply for his citizenship by descent he is not technically British so no problem.


PR (100) moved to Perth September 2021

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We travelled to UK recently on our Australian passports even though we have British ones. You don’t need a visa, our passports were not even stamped at immigration as we went through smart gates.  


So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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We have only ever used Aussie passports to enter and leave the UK . We too are dual citizens and have never had an issue doing this.

       Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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Strictly speaking, if you are a British citizen, you are supposed to enter the UK on a British passport. 

In practice, if you just use your Australian passport and don't tell anyone you're British, no one will check.  You'll be allowed in for a holiday, like any other Australian.

The problem arises if you arrive at the UK Border and tell someone that you're a British citizen, then they get all funny about it. 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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It's not a problem. My daughter has an Australian passport only and we have travelled to UK on our Australian passports. We have entered the shorter British border control queue at arrival. I showed my British passport to border control but they stamped my Australian passport as that is the one I used to leave Australia.

 

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50 minutes ago, AltyMatt said:

 I showed my British passport to border control but they stamped my Australian passport as that is the one I used to leave Australia.

 

Why would they do that? Why would they even know you hold an Australian passport unless you had it in your hand or volunteered that information?

I have often left Australia on an Australian passport and entered the UK on a UK passport and never had my Aus passport stamped on entry to the UK.

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Strictly speaking, if you are a British citizen, you are supposed to enter the UK on a British passport. 

I think that’s another myth tbh, just like the one that you need an Aus passport to enter Australia.

Strictly speaking you don’t need any passport to enter a country of which you are citizen. It’s just a lot easier if you do have one.

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50 minutes ago, DIG85 said:

I think that’s another myth tbh, just like the one that you need an Aus passport to enter Australia.

Strictly speaking you don’t need any passport to enter a country of which you are citizen. It’s just a lot easier if you do have one.

I said " you are SUPPOSED to"  not "you HAVE to".   


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I said " you are SUPPOSED to"  not "you HAVE to".   

I am not sure there is any practical distinction between the two. Either you are required to or you are not.
 

There is nothing in statute or regulation AFAIK which requires a British citizen to enter the country on a British passport. 

Edited by DIG85
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6 minutes ago, DIG85 said:

I am not sure there is any practical distinction between the two. Either you are required to or you are not.
 

There is nothing in statute or regulation AFAIK which requires a British citizen to enter the country on a British passport. 

No but it would be up to you to prove you're a citizen.

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1 minute ago, welljock said:

No but it would be up to you to prove you're a citizen.

Or enter on a foreign passport. I have also entered UK on an Australian passport and been stamped for a 6 month stay which was fine.

Australia does openly say Australians must leave and enter Australia using an Australian passport, but i have not actually seen UK say the same. It is probably good practice though to do it.

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Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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18 hours ago, Jon the Hat said:

Until you apply for his citizenship by descent he is not technically British so no problem.

This is not actually true. British Citizenship is conferred automatically at birth.


Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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6 minutes ago, Parley said:

 

Australia does openly say Australians must leave and enter Australia using an Australian passport

It says “should” actually. No one has ever been able to point to statute or regulation making it a requirement.

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15 minutes ago, welljock said:

No but it would be up to you to prove you're a citizen.

Nope, there are several countries, citizens of which do not need a UK passport to enter the UK. Australia is one of them, as are EU countries.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DIG85 said:

I am not sure there is any practical distinction between the two. Either you are required to or you are not.
 

I said it clearly in my original post, I think.

If you are a British citizen, the UK government expects you to enter the UK on a UK passport, regardless of what other citizenship you hold.

This was confirmed by a member of these forums, who enquired at Immigration when arriving in the UK and was told they must use their UK passport not their Aussie one. We had a debate about it on these very forums, because some of us were surprised. I'm sure you can find the debate if you do a bit of searching.

However in practice, if (unlike that poster), you keep your mouth shut and just enter as if you were an Aussie citizen, there is no cross-checking, so no one is going to be any the wiser and you'll have no trouble.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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51 minutes ago, DIG85 said:

It says “should” actually. No one has ever been able to point to statute or regulation making it a requirement.

The difference with Australia is that all non citizens require a visa to enter Australia and an Australian citizen cannot, by law, be granted an Australian visa. Therefore you cannot enter Australia on a foreign passport if you are an Australian citizen. They cannot turn you away if you are an Australian citizen and do not have an Australian passport but expect significant hassle with the airline and some time wasting at the border as your identity and status is confirmed. 

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____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. Any comments relate to legislation and policy at date of post. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

 

If you are a British citizen, the UK government expects you to enter the UK on a UK passport, regardless of what other citizenship you hold.

This was confirmed by a member of these forums, who enquired at Immigration when arriving in the UK and was told they must use their UK passport not their Aussie one. 

I recall that exchange. Another participant in that thread stated that, when asking an official which passport they should use to enter the UK, they received a non-committal answer.

I wouldn’t equate what the immigration official says with UK government policy or UK law. A lot of them don’t have a clue.

I cannot see anything online which suggests that the UK government “expects” a British citizen to enter the UK on a UK passport, let alone that they “should”, still less that they “must”.

 

 

Edited by DIG85

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10 minutes ago, paulhand said:

The difference with Australia is that all non citizens require a visa to enter Australia and an Australian citizen cannot, by law, be granted an Australian visa. Therefore you cannot enter Australia on a foreign passport if you are an Australian citizen. They cannot turn you away if you are an Australian citizen and do not have an Australian passport but expect significant hassle with the airline and some time wasting at the border as your identity and status is confirmed. 

I don’t disagree with anything you say. 


I have always been asked to provide an Australian passport at Heathrow when checking in to fly to Australia because by law the airline must satisfy itself that every passenger on the plane is entitled to enter Australia, on pain of severe financial penalties for the airline if it fails to do so.

I always travel with two passports because there is no reason not to, however most of what one reads about “must” use such and such a passport to enter such and such country is simply false.

 

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2 hours ago, Parley said:

Or enter on a foreign passport. I have also entered UK on an Australian passport and been stamped for a 6 month stay which was fine.

Australia does openly say Australians must leave and enter Australia using an Australian passport, but i have not actually seen UK say the same. It is probably good practice though to do it.

 

1 hour ago, DIG85 said:

Nope, there are several countries, citizens of which do not need a UK passport to enter the UK. Australia is one of them, as are EU countries.

Yes but I was responding to the bit you where you said "Strictly speaking you don’t need any passport to enter a country of which you are citizen. It’s just a lot easier if you do have one."

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British citizenship is only automatically passed on to children in some cases. Some children would need to be registered as British citizens first, and some children of British citizens may not be eligible to be British at all unless other hoops are jumped through.

 

Regarding entering the UK, firstly anyone who makes it through the e-gates at airports/Eurostar stations won't have any trouble.

I have made enquiries to UK immigration and the consensus answer was that they would prefer British citizens to enter on a British passport, but there was no requirement to. If coming to the UK on a holiday, it doesn't matter as you will be leaving within the 6 months stay "granted". If intending to stay longer then the foreign passport might be recorded as overstaying, which could lead to issues when using that passport to enter the UK in the future.

However, it's a bit of a mess because the UK has no departure emigration checks and instead collects API from airlines. But API is for entry to the destination country. For example, consider an Australian-American citizen who enters the UK using their Australian passport, then departs to the USA - their US passport details will be recorded in eBorders and there won't be a record of the Australian passport leaving.

Not really relevant to this forum, but if you're an British+EU/EEA/Swiss (except Irish) citizen, you may face trouble trying to enter the UK on your EU/EEA/Swiss passport, especially if you're travelling with a spouse/partner/children, because immigration would expect you to be on the EU settlement scheme.

 

Regarding entering Australia, I know of several Australian citizens who have lied to obtain tourist visas on their foreign passports, then entered using SmartGate without any problems. I don't believe there are any penalties for doing something like this, despite making the false declaration.

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15 minutes ago, Philip said:

I don't believe there are any penalties for doing something like this, despite making the false declaration.

Which kind of makes sense, because it is never illegal for an Australian citizen to enter Australia.

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2 minutes ago, DIG85 said:

Which kind of makes sense, because it is never illegal for an Australian citizen to enter Australia.

...except for a brief period in May (?) 2021 when it was illegal to travel from India to Australia...

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17 hours ago, Parley said:

This is not actually true. British Citizenship is conferred automatically at birth.

Theoretically yes, but in practical terms I think that is an entitlement not a fact until tested, either by registration or application of some kind?  How would they know you exist if your birth was registered in Australia.


PR (100) moved to Perth September 2021

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