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Dual Citizenship, US/UK

Edmonds, Washington
4 posts
Dual Citizenship, US/UK

I am a US Citizen, but after moving to England and marrying my British husband I acquired a UK one as well. We had a son in England, and were able to get him both UK and US citizenship. My son and I both now have two passports. We have recently moved to the states, and my husband now has a green card. I am nervous for our first trip back to England. What passport do I use? If the US finds out I have dual, and my husband is here on a green card can they deny us entry?

As far as I am aware I am supposed to use my Uk to enter England, and my US to enter the States. Do they not wonder where you have gone when you dont use the same to check in somewhere else? Also it states to use the correct passport when leaving, how does this get notified, is it when you check it to the airline? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

141 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
9,725 posts
49 reviews
1. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

Have you read the US Embassy/State Department sites?

Good place to start and I believe the rule is if you have both enter the US on your US passport and v.v. On the UK one.

Level Contributor
579 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

When you leave and enter the US, use your American passport. Upon entering and leaving the UK, use your British passport.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
5,739 posts
51 reviews
3. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

I do believe that if you have an American passport you have to use it to leave and enter the US. Not 100% sure but I have read it somewhere here...

As OP2002 says - do check with the relevant authorities. The Americans tend to be a bit funny about things like this even though they allow dual citizenship.

As far as the UK is concerned - I have dual Canadian/British citizenship and invariably use my British passport to enter the UK, simply because its easier. I don't think its mandated that you HAVE to though. I use my Canadian one to check in for the flight home and then to re-enter Canada.

It has never been a problem. Once when there was a cursory passport check after Security in T3 (it doesn't always happen) I presented my Canadian passport, and the guy sort of flipped through it and looked a bit bewildered because there was no entry stamp but I told him I came in on British and he just waved me through...didn't even ask to see it.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
33,931 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

I'm a dual US/UK citizen (UK by birth and US by naturalization).

You must use your US passport to enter and leave the US. It's mentioned in the second to last paragraph here - …state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html

There's no such requirement to use your UK passport to enter the UK. I choose to use my US passport when visiting the UK. The US is now my primary citizenship and country of residence, and it demonstrates that I am visiting the UK. I've had a few cases where I've been stopped by Customs (that camera bag with a DSLR and lenses looks inviting). When I only had a UK passport I had to prove that I was not just a US resident but an active one (open wallet, show driver's license and US bank and credit cards). With the US passport I'm just waved through as a visitor.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,129 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

The rule about using one's US passport when travelling or from the US has been relaxed, or at least isn't being taken as etched in stone by all border agents.

I've crossed land borders and airport checkpoints with a friend who holds US and Canadian citizenship. In the last 15 years he has not once used his US passport to travel to the States, and has never been questioned or refused entry when travelling on a Canadian passport.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
61,222 posts
171 reviews
6. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

Just use your US to enter the US, and UK to enter the UK. You can hold two passports in this case with no issues. Using the US passport to enter American and the UK passport to enter UK mean you will get through immigration much quicker.

Garden Bay, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
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10,348 posts
105 reviews
7. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

You are probably going to be going back and forth a fair amount over the years. Get Global Entry and both of you will be able to scoot through without worrying.

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1,370 posts
1 review
8. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

Intrigued by US BusinessTra comment. I was born in the UK and became a naturalized US citizen in 1973. At that time I had to swear to renounce all other nationalities. Have the rules changed? I know it's off-topic but would be interested to know if I could get a British pasport without putting into jeopardy my US citizenship.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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33,931 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK


The US rules are outlined in that link I posted in #4.

As far as the UK goes, you only renounce UK citizenship if you formally renounce it to the UK authorities. The words you state at your US citizenship ceremony aren't recognized by the UK. So, unless to formally applied to the UK authorities (the Home Office I think) to renounce, then you are still a British Citizen.

And although I don't use it, I've renewed my British passport since obtaining US. I have it as a backup, in case for example there's a family emergency in the UK while I'm in the middle of a visa application (I'll travel on my UK and have my company courier my US when it's received).

South Pole
Level Contributor
15,381 posts
35 reviews
10. Re: Dual Citizenship, US/UK

the deal now seems to be u have to give up your usa citizenship.....they cant take it off u or force u to give it up, so yes dual citizenship is possible.

we are currently going thru this with usa/aus dual citizenship.

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