I have been unable to find an answer to my question on the UK immigration web pages, nor on other travel stack exchange questions/answers, so any help would be much appreciated.

I have entered the UK on my Australian passport. However, since entering I have been granted EU (Czech) citizenship. Do I now have the rights of an EU citizen in the UK?

Basically, does EU immigration law mean that am I strictly bound by the rights/restrictions of the passport I enter the UK on, or do you automatically possess EU rights if you are/become an EU citizen while in the UK, irrespective of what passport you entered on?

Note: I do not have a Czech passport (yet), so I cannot exit the UK and re-enter on that passport. Note: I'm not trying to find out information about the future impact of Brexit, just trying to find out information for the current situation while the UK is still part of the EU.

  • 2
    rights of an EU citizen in the UK? What specifically ?
    – DumbCoder
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:32
  • 2
    Not an expert, but once you have a EU citizenship and a passport to prove it, I would be very surprised if your having entered the UK on an Australian passport would matter in any way. As long as the UK is a member of the EU, EU citizenship should immediately and completely trump whatever more limited UK visa/permit you had originally. That said, I guess it can't hurt to check with UK immigration authorities, and maybe let them know about your new passport, to prevent any misunderstandings that might occur down the line from them not knowing about your new status.
    – Pekka
    Sep 22, 2017 at 12:03
  • You may not have the passport yet, but you presumably have some other document, such as a certificate of citizenship, or at least an official letter confirming that you are a Czech citizen. Is that true?
    – phoog
    Sep 22, 2017 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


Union citizenship and the rights (such as freedom of movement) that comes with it attach to a person, not to a particular passport.

Not having a Czech passport (or identity card) simply means it will be somewhat more cumbersome for you to demonstrate that you have those rights to authorities than if you could just show a standard document. But it does not mean that you don't have the rights, and if you need to rely on them in your dealings with the UK government, the UK is obliged to let you prove "by other means" that you have them:

Where a Union citizen, or a family member who is not a national of a Member State, does not have the necessary travel documents or, if required, the necessary visas, the Member State concerned shall, before turning them back, give such persons every reasonable opportunity to obtain the necessary documents or have them brought to them within a reasonable period of time or to corroborate or prove by other means that they are covered by the right of free movement and residence.

Directive 2004/38, article 5.4.

(As written this appears to only apply to actually crossing the border. But I'm pretty sure it also has to hold analogously for relying on your rights after you have entered).

Note that private entities such as banks, employers, landlords, airlines may have a more restricted view of which kind of documentation for your citizenship they will accept than the government can get away with.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .