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Dual Nationality - Different Surnames on Passports

(12 Posts)
CrispyCrochet Mon 03-Feb-14 10:21:41

Hello oh knowledgable and helpful fellow mumsnetters!

I recently posted in living overseas trying to get advice about travelling to America with my new DS as we both have dual nationality blah blah blah - it is so complicated...

So I've applied for and received my DS's British passport. Fine, he is sorted (as I've decided he doesn't need to worry about the US passport just yet).

I also recently got married and applied for and received my British passport in my new married name. I have not yet changed my US passport to my married name.

Is this going to be a problem?

Which name do I book the ticket in - married or maiden?

I'm hoping to travel at the end of March so probably have time to apply for and change my US passport - but I would be scared to book the tickets before getting it back in the post (in case it didn't turn up) but then I would be leaving it only a couple of weeks before travelling to book my tickets - is this going to make the cost significantly more?

Thanks in advance.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 03-Feb-14 11:03:53

Congratulations on your recent marriage.

I would book the tickets in your married name and travel on your British passport showing your married name (also name of ticket has to match name on passport).

I would also give the US Embassy a call to find out how long it would take to get your US passport reissued in your married name as that may take a few weeks.

(As you are an American citizen by birth anyway, can you not use the US citizens line on arrival into the US in any event even though you now have dual nationality)

AphraBane Mon 03-Feb-14 11:16:04

You really really need to contact the US embassy to answer these questions.

But for now, why don't you find out how much your airline would charge for a later name change to the ticket? Some airlines will do this for no or minimal cost, others will charge through the nose for it. Some airlines even have a clause whereby you can pay a small amount extra at booking as 'insurance' for changing later details.
If you can do that, you could book under your married name but then change it back if necessary before flying.

What I would be more worried about - disclaimer: this info is completely unofficial and might be wrong, hence the need to get it checked by the embassy - is that I understood US authorities were quite strict about the idea that if you hold an American passport, you use that passport to travel to and from the US. You are not supposed to use any other passport you might hold for US travel. So you might have decided you don't need to worry about the American passport for your son, but the US authorities might see it differently. There might even be advice on the US embassy website about the matter. Apologies if I'm just scaremongering, but I'd feel bad if I didn't mention it and it later turned out to be a problem.

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 03-Feb-14 11:19:43

Yes, sharing her disclaimer, I thought that too, that if you had a US ppt, when you entered the US that was the one you had to use.

I don't know for sure though. But they are v strict aren't they on immigration stuff, so I would check with them.

CrispyCrochet Mon 03-Feb-14 11:39:19

Hi all, thanks for your advice so far. My DH has been insisting I call the embassy for advice so maybe I just need to do that (dreading being on hold for hours are £1 a minute or whatever!)

You are correct that US citizens must legally use their US passport to enter and exit America. I am American by birth as I was born in America but my son was born in the UK & therefore has to choose to become American. So it is my understanding that as he has not yet chosen to be American (he may never choose this in theory) that he can travel in & out of the US on his British passport. If you think about it there will be plenty of people who have the right to American citizenship who have never applied for a passport yet travel to America for holidays and such on their foreign passports.

I think that really it should be fine to travel with my different names - if I carry my marriage cert with me that way I could prove to anyone that I am both Maiden surname and Married surname person. But I know that logic isn't always key when travelling.

It is my worst fear to land in America and them to go "Nope, sorry, get out" and send me back on a flight - esp with my tiny baby. Not only would it be horrendous because of the travel time but also that I would just lose all that money on airfare. I doubt this could really happen as I am American and have an American passport. Megh - this dual nationality malarkey - feels like more hassle than it is worth!!!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 03-Feb-14 13:48:34

I would have the authorities change your US passport to reflect your married name asap.

lljkk Sat 08-Feb-14 19:13:46

Read here for procedure, takes a few weeks to come back from DC so don't delay.

Guy at the US embassy yesterday insisted that the UKBA would give us & my children grief if they didn't travel in & out of the UK on Uk passports; he insisted this was a regulation of international law.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that the UKBA doesn't really care!!

I am sure if you have documents linking the names that you can manage; have you found the email address for the Embassy, yet? I wasn't aware of any phone line, new one on me!! It takes up to two weeks for the passports to come back now, assuming you don't need to travel to the

whatsagoodusername Sat 08-Feb-14 20:03:11

I do this regularly. I have dual American/Canadian and live in the UK on my Canadian passport/visa.

I changed my American passport when I got married, but the Canadian one stayed in maiden name. I always book my tickets in my married (American) name and just hand over my US passport at check-in desks. I've never had a problem doing it this way, but I do carry my marriage certificate with me just in case - have never needed to show it.

The UK doesn't ask for your boarding pass, so they don't know/care what name was on the ticket. Just use the American passport as your identification for everything but coming back through the UK border.

Book the tickets in your American name and sort your passport when you come back.

Alternatively, if you can get to the Embassy, I have found the service to be very quick for a new passport/registering babies as citizens and obtaining passports for them.

minipie Wed 12-Feb-14 14:47:40

Am I missing something? Why don't you just do everything using your maiden name and your US passport? Why does your married name need to come into it at all?

As a US citizen, you need to use your US passport to go into and out of the US (I have dual nationality, I tried using my UK passport to get into the US and ended up being questioned by the military...)

But they don't know and don't care that you have recently married and changed your name. So just do everything in your maiden name. Then passport and ticket will match. The UK authorities will be happy for you to leave and return on either passport.

The only concern I guess is that your DS will have a different name. So maybe take his birth cert with you as his mother, just to prove you're not abducting him (never heard of anyone having to prove this mind you but just to be safe).

sleepdodger Sun 23-Feb-14 21:45:49

I know nothing about this but
Could you travel on uk passport and then hand over USA passport at immigration?

sleepdodger Sun 23-Feb-14 21:46:23

Also poss check re children travelling in different names to adults- might be worth taking birth cert?

carolinecupcake Sun 23-Feb-14 22:52:48

I have a different surname to my children - they have their father's Greek surname even though we all have British passports. I was once advised at passport control at Gatwick to carry a copy of their birth certificates but have never been asked to show them.

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