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Applying for British passport from US, child already holds US passport

(14 Posts)
hoppityhoppity Mon 24-Feb-14 22:31:19

I was wondering if anyone could help me. Our DD was born in the US and holds a US passport. We want to get her a British one too as have been told when we move back to the UK permanently she needs to travel in on a British passport (is this true?). I have looked at the website and have seen that I need to send her US passport in with the application, will she lose it when she gets a British passport? We would like her to have both. Does anyone have any experience of their children holding both UK and US passports?

LinzerTorte Tue 25-Feb-14 07:42:23

Hi hoppity, DD1 was born in the USA 13 years ago and held both British and US passports until they expired when she was 5 (we'd moved back to Europe in the meantime so haven't bothered renewing her US passport).

I can't actually remember sending in her US passport when we applied for a British one for her, but I know that the application procedure has changed now - hopefully someone with more up-to-date information will be along soon. Unless things have changed, she won't lose her US passport when you get her a British one - and AFAIK if she was born in the United States, she'll need to have an American passport (or to have renounced her citizenship) to enter the USA, even if you're just visiting.

I'm not sure about needing a British passport when you move back to the UK. DD1 travelled in on her US passport the first time we came back to Europe with her and I don't remember being questioned too closely, but she had a British passport by the time we moved back to Europe and I showed that when we entered the UK as it just seemed easier.

Taz1212 Tue 25-Feb-14 14:16:40

My DC have both (born in UK, I have dual US/UK citizenship). They enter the UK on their UK passport and enter the US (when visiting) on their US one. It's straightforward enough but a bit of a nuisance for the double fees plus renewing the US ones can be a bit of a pain - until they are 16(?) both parents have to attend the passport renewal appointment at the consulate/embassy and if they were under 5(?) when they first got their US passport you have to bring annual photographic evidence of them growing up.

vulgarwretch Tue 25-Feb-14 14:23:24

I don't think it is true that your dd needs to enter the UK on a British passport. It is true for the US, if you are entitled to a US passport you are supposed to enter on a US passport. So I think maybe someone has got confused and misled you. But you should check with the UK passport office rather than take my word for it!

If you don't need a UK passport now, I would suggest waiting until you get there before you apply for one. It will be much simpler than sending all the paperwork to the Embassy. We are British, living in the US, and always do passport renewals on visits to the UK.

Crowler Tue 25-Feb-14 16:41:39

Generally if you're a citizen of a country, you should enter with the same passport. My children are also dual US/UK citizens and they were fairly laid back at UK immigration about them entering with a US passport but eventually they started to say with consistency that I should get UK passports for them. I did before it became an issue, & we had been living in the UK for years when I finally got one for my oldest son.

hoppityhoppity Wed 26-Feb-14 13:00:03

Thanks so much everyone, that has reassured me a lot. I will check if she needs a UK one before we move back, otherwise I'll just do it when we get there.
Thanks again

eightandthreequarters Wed 26-Feb-14 13:08:54

Yes, the rules are that she needs a UK passport to enter the UK. I doubt, in reality, that the immigration officers at Heathrow would send her back! So it's required, but in actual fact probably not necessary. It's easy to sort, however, so you should sort it. Get onto the embassy website and print off the forms. Simple.

Yes, you can hold both UK and US passports. They will not confiscate her US passport.

mumbaisapphirebluespruce Thu 27-Feb-14 13:07:04

I'm in Canada and also moving back. We have applied for our DDs UK passport as I was also advised we should enter the UK on UK/EU passports. Essentially if they enter on a US or Canadian, their passports are stamped allowing entry for 6 months, and no recourse to public funds etc. having said that, if you apply as soon as you are back then I don't see it as an issue. I don't think you will be refused entry, but by having the UK passport it is the neatest option with regard to their status etc. Passport applications for US and Canada are all now online and processed via Durham UK. I just submitted mine about 3 weeks ago.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 03-Mar-14 04:34:59

We plan to get DC2's UK passport on the one day service when we next go back (he was born in the US). It's a total pain to get the British one from overseas now as you do have to send in the US one at the same time. The main reason I got the US passport so quickly was that as I'm breastfeeding, if (God forbid) there was a family emergency and I needed to get back to the UK quickly, I could just go, and not have to leave DC2 behind. That's not going to be possible for a few weeks if we've sent in his US passport and the goverment website currently says to allow 'at least six weeks' for processing...

Technically he'll enter the UK as a tourist but most of our British friends here have done the same (unless they're embassy, in which case they've usually got the British passports pretty swiftly or are on diplomatic visas and hence not eligible for a US passport in the first place). We have got a British birth certificate from the embassy - don't know if it makes a blind bit of difference but I think it will be useful if we have any issues.

sadandverymad Fri 07-Mar-14 07:58:43

Completely false that a dual national British / other must ALWAYS travel to the UK presenting only their British passport. I despair of the number of times I read this and the number of people who believe this falsehood.

Of course if you cannot prove your British citizenship with a British passport or naturalisation certificate (virtually the only 2 means proving this) and your other nationality is a visa national, then you are not going to be able to travel, but if you have a US passport only and know you are also a British citizen but do not hold a valid British passport yet, you simply travel on the US passport, you get conditions in the US passport and told to prove nationality within a timeframe. If on holidaya in the UK, you simply state the truth, you're on holiday, you get given a visito stamp.

LIZS Fri 07-Mar-14 08:53:06

wibbly I think they've stopped doing one-day service for first passports.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 09-Mar-14 00:52:52

Ooh, I'd better look into that - thanks!

hoppityhoppity Mon 10-Mar-14 18:09:28

OK, another question
I am filling in the passport application on the website and it asks if DD was 'a British national at birth', does anyone know what this is? I am not sure if it refers to people born in Hong Kong? The 'help' box is no help. Parents are both British but I think that means she is a British citizen not a British national, argh, why so complicated??

paddyclampo Tue 11-Mar-14 13:29:52

I'm a dual US / UK citizen. If you or your DH were born in the UK she was a British national at birth.

People who naturalize as UK citizens weren't UK citizens at birth.

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