Lost passport! Travel on non-UK one?

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  • If its helpful for future reference I took my daughter overseas on her foreign passport and travelled back to the UK using the same (as her UK passport had expired). Never really thought twice about it but maybe should have. 

    We got a talking to from UK Border bods and told not to do it again, but had no issues with boarding the flight.

    Caveats:

    1. Her foreign passport allowed visa free entry to the UK anyway
    2. She was about 6 or 7 at the time and I was with her travelling on my UK passport
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,933 Ambassador
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    edited 12 November 2023 at 9:47AM
    If its helpful for future reference I took my daughter overseas on her foreign passport and travelled back to the UK using the same (as her UK passport had expired). Never really thought twice about it but maybe should have. 

    We got a talking to from UK Border bods and told not to do it again, but had no issues with boarding the flight.

    Caveats:

    1. Her foreign passport allowed visa free entry to the UK anyway
    2. She was about 6 or 7 at the time and I was with her travelling on my UK passport
    Obviously not relevant for children, but the reason it is frowned upon is that your  (UK) passport can be used as evidence of the time you were in the UK. So for people who emigrate to avoid UK taxes, there are set limits on how long they can stay in the UK without incurring UK tax liabilities. An easy way to track this is by entry records on passports.

    This also happens in other countries, for tax reasons, access to care, proving residency or even being called for military service.
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  • NoodleDoodleMan
    NoodleDoodleMan Posts: 3,336 Forumite
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    edited 12 November 2023 at 10:53AM
    As noted, I am from N Ireland so myself and my children are entitled to hold both British and Irish passports. I just ordered my long form birth certificate as it was needed for her application. It came on Friday (the day we moved house!) and I put it somewhere. So hoping I can find it! 
    I'm excited to see it as I have only ever had the wee short form one and thought that was all there was!
    Hope you didn't leave it with your daughter for safekeeping !!!
    :)
    "This also happens in other countries, for tax reasons, access to care, proving residency or even being called for military service."
    I know of somebody who settled in the UK to run a business, retaining his passport.
    He was called up for National Service in the "old country" but bodyswerved the 2 year conscription.
    The result was that he was effectively barred from returning home as he would have been arrested and imprisoned.
    That lasted for more than a few years until he was allowed back without sanctions.


  • jimi_man
    jimi_man Posts: 1,097 Forumite
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    edited 12 November 2023 at 11:41AM
    silvercar said:
    If its helpful for future reference I took my daughter overseas on her foreign passport and travelled back to the UK using the same (as her UK passport had expired). Never really thought twice about it but maybe should have. 

    We got a talking to from UK Border bods and told not to do it again, but had no issues with boarding the flight.

    Caveats:

    1. Her foreign passport allowed visa free entry to the UK anyway
    2. She was about 6 or 7 at the time and I was with her travelling on my UK passport
    Obviously not relevant for children, but the reason it is frowned upon is that your  (UK) passport can be used as evidence of the time you were in the UK. So for people who emigrate to avoid UK taxes, there are set limits on how long they can stay in the UK without incurring UK tax liabilities. An easy way to track this is by entry records on passports.

    This also happens in other countries, for tax reasons, access to care, proving residency or even being called for military service.
    Actually that isn't strictly correct. It may well be a (minor) factor, but if it is then it's becoming increasingly less so as fewer and fewer countries stamp foreign passports (UK included). We went to Australia, Singapore and the US this year, none of whom stamped our passports. The number of people that might abuse this type of tax issue is rather small - certainly not enough to warrant that.

    The reason it is frowned upon - and I should stress that if you are a dual national then you're perfectly entitled to use a (valid) non UK passport to enter - is that it generally makes it far easier for both the individual involved and BF.

    UK passport holders have an absolute right of abode and so leave to enter is not required. With other passports (Irish are a little different, there is no right of abode but they don't require leave to enter) then leave to enter needs to be granted. In most cases this will be as a visitor - for six months, no work and no access to public services - and at the border questions will need to be asked to establish this.

    What usually happens is that when questions are asked ('how long, what's the purpose of the visit' etc) the usual response is 'I'm British I just don't have my UK passport', then the BF officer needs to establish the UK identity and all this takes time and unnecessary delay. So the advice is to use the UK Passport to enter. If for any reason the person doesn't have it with them (expired, lost etc) then always take a photo of the MRZ page and keep it on the phone. Then the BF officer can use that to establish UK identity and input the details onto the machine. 

    From the airlines point of view, as long as the passport is valid for travel to the requisite country with the necessary visas if needed then they have satisfied the carriers liability. 

    Of course if you use the egates (passport allowing) then none of this applies. But if you get rejected then people may get asked. 
  • silvercar said:
    If its helpful for future reference I took my daughter overseas on her foreign passport and travelled back to the UK using the same (as her UK passport had expired). Never really thought twice about it but maybe should have. 

    We got a talking to from UK Border bods and told not to do it again, but had no issues with boarding the flight.

    Caveats:

    1. Her foreign passport allowed visa free entry to the UK anyway
    2. She was about 6 or 7 at the time and I was with her travelling on my UK passport
    Obviously not relevant for children, but the reason it is frowned upon is that your  (UK) passport can be used as evidence of the time you were in the UK. So for people who emigrate to avoid UK taxes, there are set limits on how long they can stay in the UK without incurring UK tax liabilities. An easy way to track this is by entry records on passports.

    This also happens in other countries, for tax reasons, access to care, proving residency or even being called for military service.
    Possibly but since they don't seem to have any issue with you LEAVING on a foreign passport I don't think that's the reason as they wouldn't have an accurate record anyway. I think it's more likely just to do with the system for immigration and the fact that my daughter for example would potentially have been flagged up as overstaying her 90 day visa free period on her foreign passport. As others have said, it's not illegal and they have no real right to stop you entering if you are a UK citizen but they did get a bit annoyed about it.
  • Good info there for others in the future. Coming back on the UK passport wouldn't have worked for my daughter as the foreign passport would require a visa for entry to the UK.

    As it worked out, she was really unwell for the first few days that she was meant to be away, then was around to help me move house. Would have been really difficult without her. So I was really grateful for her physical and moral support. 
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