Many Americans with a legal right to dual nationality do not pursue it for fear of losing their US citizenship. However, this myth could not be further from the truth. In fact, dual UK-US citizens, who hold UK as well as US nationality, have the privilege of using both of their passports during international travel. But if you are a dual UK-US citizen in possession of two passports, which passport should you use when entering and exiting America? Does it matter which passport you use?
UK-US citizens Entering and Exiting America
According to the U.S. Department of State: “Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country”.
This applies to UK-US citizens who travel between the UK and the US. Dual UK-US citizens should have both of their passports in their possession along with their tickets, boarding passes and other travel documents as they prepare to board the plane. Dual UK-US citizens must present their US passport when they exit and enter America. Those who attempt to use their UK passport to enter or exit America risk being denied boarding.
UK-US Citizens Entering and Exiting the UK
When dual UK-US citizens enter the UK, they are at liberty to enter and exit the country on their UK-issued passport. According to Bates Wells & Braithwaite, UK Solicitors: “A British citizen seeking entry to the UK has an unrestricted right of admission to the UK as a British citizen is not subject to immigration control at the UK port of entry other than to identify that the individual pictured on the passport is of the presenting individual. If that individual also holds multiple nationalities it will not detract from his/her right of entry.” But make sure that you still have proof of your dual citizenship with you at the port of entry when you arrive in the UK.
Dual UK-US citizen citizens who travel between the US and the UK must remember to always carry both their UK and US-issued passports with them and to ensure that they use the right passport depending on which country they are in at the time. Each passport must be valid for travel, so be sure to check the validity of each passport before you leave the country, or you face being denied boarding.
U.S. Department of State
Bates Wells & Braithwaite Solicitors