Dual passports

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Mr_Gimlet, Apr 13, 2007.

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  1. Mr_Gimlet

    Mr_Gimlet Member

    Jun 18, 2006
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    I have recently become an Australian citizen (yay) and now have both Aus and UK passports. I have been summoned to the UK in May - how do I exploit this to the best of queuing etc?
     

  2. spiggy_topes

    spiggy_topes Member

    Nov 9, 2006
    159
    1
    Sunshine Coast
    I'm in the same fortunate position, and have to visit the UK 4-5 times a year.

    I always enter and leave Australia on my Australian passport, and enter the UK with my British one - it's much quicker, UK immigration just check the expiration date and wave you through. Very handy too if you have to go to Europe - no visas required!
     
  3. Mr_Gimlet

    Mr_Gimlet Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    332
    14
    Thanks - so I go in/out of Aus on the Aus passport. When I check in, which do I give them, or do I just ask?

    PS Are you Spiggy Topes, the lead singer of The Turds...
     
  4. spiggy_topes

    spiggy_topes Member

    Nov 9, 2006
    159
    1
    Sunshine Coast
    That's right, Spigsimund Topes to be formal...

    When checking in at the Australian airport I just show my Australian passport.

    On the journey, it's probably best to swap passports at some point so you don't end up inadvertently showing both to the immigration officer when you arrive. While there is absolutely no problem with having two passports it might cause some raised eyebrows - especially in the US these days.

    I'm sure you wouldn't do this - but don't, ever, hand over both when you enter the country and ask them to take their pick. A friend of mine tried this once and it didn't go down well.
     
  5. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    843
    21
    Sydney
    While it's perfectly legal in both Aus and the UK to be a dual citizen, Immigration officials still seem to frown on it a bit so it's best to decide which one you're going to use to enter the country beforehand and keep the other out of sight.

    This becomes even more true in non-democratic countries where it's often illegal for their citizens to be dual nationals, having two passports in those countries will often cause problems, even if you aren't their citizen. In fact in Saudi Arabia if you are seen to have two passports they will consficate one.
    Travel Advice by Country*Foreign & Commonwealth Office
    Of course this generally isn't a problem in the EU where it's pretty common to be a dual national.
     
  6. d15.in.oz

    d15.in.oz Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    452
    0
    Also, be aware of countries that require airlines to pass on, advance passenger clearance information!

    In this situation, if you wish to enter the destination country as a nationality different from the one you are using (to leave the country you are in), ensure you advise the check-in agent! It takes a bit more of processing time for the poor person, but saves you hassles when you arrive.

    However, as pointed out this is not the case for a flight between the UK & Australia where you can change nationality mid way, simply by using a different passport.

    I remember once arriving into the EU, from the Bahamas, and decided to use a passport that had no stamps in it… It bemused the immigration officer for a few seconds, as he flicked through, then he asked where I had come from. Amazing really, I didn't think the staff in the European line ever talked; just looked, scanned, and waved.
     
  7. d15.in.oz

    d15.in.oz Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    452
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    Oh, and another thing to be aware of – the cost of a visa (where required) may differ between your nationalities. I was entering Zimbabwe last year with a Brit, who unfortunately on that day had to pay twice the price than I (with an Aussie passport) for a visa on arrival.
     
  8. mabunji

    mabunji Intern

    Nov 23, 2006
    75
    0
    I think UK immigration is much more relaxed.

    I have previously entered the UK on my British passport. On the return journey I used my Aussie passport at checkin, and then presented the same Aussie passport at immigration. He flicked through the pages, saw there was no visa / entry stamp and deduced that I must have dual citizenship. I provided my 2nd passport - all good natured, no hassles.

    (Yep, I suspect there would be a different response in the US).
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    And in some countries (eg in South America) it is the Aussie (and US) passports that have the higher costs.
     
  10. d15.in.oz

    d15.in.oz Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    452
    0
    #10 d15.in.oz, Apr 13, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
    Bloody Kiwis, no wonder your passports are the most prized of all!:p


    Well, other than Canadi*ns! ;)
     
  11. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    I should have said, aussie & US passports have an entry cost vs none if you have the right passport ;)
     
  12. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,761
    243
    Canberra / London
     
  13. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    In most countries, and certainly so for Australia, it is a legal requirement for citizens of the country to use that country's passport to enter and leave. So for leaving and entering Australia, if you have an Australian passport (or are an Australian citizen) you MUST use your Australian passport to enter and leave Australia.

    I also believe this is the case in the UK. So you need to carry both and use the correct one for entering and leaving each country.

    The only time you have a choice is when entering and leaving a country for which you do not hold citizenship. Note that is is wise to use the same passport to leave as you used to enter.
     
  14. Sequel

    Sequel Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    475
    54
    Brisbane
    If you are using the same passport to enter and leave a country, then you will have to enter the country on the passport that is required for re-entry to your original/final destination port. I belive airlines have an obligation not to let you board if you dont have the right visa for your destination. So while it may be cheaper to use passport A to enter a county, you will need to provide passport B on departure as you are traveling to country B and passport A doesn't have the required visa. As pointed out before, local imigration may not see to lightly to be shown 2 passports.
     
  15. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    That's interesting NM, and I'm wondering where I sit in this scenario.

    Born in UK, lobbed here in Oz at age 3 and travelled quite a lot on a UK passport till late teens, when I took out Oz citizenship. Let the UK passport expire long ago (it's still sitting in a drawer or cupboard somewhere) and have travelled exclusively on Oz passport since, including a couple of UK trips.

    Now I've always assumed I'm still a UK citizen (don't recall renouncing it or anything like that) and have on a couple of occasions considered obtaining a new UK passport for potential work reasons but never did.

    So it looks like the key difference to the scenario you outlined is that I've entered and departed the UK, multiple times, on an Oz passport, as a UK citizen, but not as a current UK passport-holder. Have I snuck under some radar here, or is the key bit being a UK passport-holder rather than a UK citizen? Or am I officially not a citizen unless I have a passport? And if so, how does that work for someone born in UK who has never owned a passport?

    All a bit much for a Monday morning. :shock:

    Cheers.

    PS. The price of getting a UK p/p here ($310) alone is enough to put one off.
     
  16. d15.in.oz

    d15.in.oz Member

    Nov 28, 2006
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    Also consider my Aussie friend, born and bred here, with a Greek heritage. He never considered himself a Greek citizen, perhaps a Greek-Australian, but only ever had an Aussie passport. Now being from a traditionally big Greek family, he decided to do the full-on Greece trip one (Aussie) winter…

    He entered Greece, no problems, on his Aussie passport, as a tourist for 90days without a visa, on an open dated return ticket. Unfortunately, he was having such a good time over summer, meeting all his distant rellies; he forgot to leave Greece at the 90 day mark.

    Interestingly what happened then was – Greece reassessed his immigration status. At which point, instead of being considered an Aussie on an overstay, he become a Greek National (given his heritage). And as soon as this updated in the computer system, he was compulsorily (given his age) drafted!

    It was a long hard road, to get him out of this predicament and 6 months in the Greek Army at the end of his holiday!
     
  17. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    21
    Sydney
    NM, unless you've actually renounced your UK citizenship then you still have it. But if you're a regular traveller to the UK you might find it a lot easier to apply for a new passport while you're there, rather than doing it here.

    In addition to the possibility of being drafted, I've heard that some countries do not recognise divorces performed in Australia:
    Dual Nationality - Travel information - Consular services - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    I haven't heard of anyone running into this problem, but I'm sure it could be very messy as well.
     
  18. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    If you are a "citizen" of the UK, you are one whether you have a passport or do not. I am not aware of there being a UK law which requires entry to the UK on a UK passport if a UK "citizen"

    Dave
     
  19. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thanks Dave.
     
  20. NM

    NM
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    I would suggest that you didn't enter the UK as a UK citizen, but in fact entered as an Australian citizen. The UK landing card does ask for your "Nationality". What did you write there? I assume you wrote Australian since writing British or UK would have the immigration agent asking to see your UK passport.

    In this case you have not informed the UK immigration folks that you are indeed a UK citizen, so as far as they are concerned, you have entered the UK as an Australian citizen.
     
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