My son is 17 and a dual UK/US citizen. He will be travelling to the USA on his own this summer and then returning after 3 weeks. I was wondering whether he needs something more than his passport to return back into the UK and show Border Control (eg., some sort of proof of residency or other documentation), or is the UK passport enough?

Many thanks.

  • 1
    Why would a UK citizen need proof of residency to enter the UK?
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 13:42
  • True...probably this question was due to my own experience--I returned from the US a number of years ago (I have a EU passport, this must be the difference) and UK border control wouldn't let me in without proof of residency - they had to contact my employer.
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 18:19
  • 1
    Perhaps UK implementation of EU law has perhaps changed, or perhaps it was before the present directive was enacted (2004). Under current law, they can't use employment status of an EEA national to prevent entry into the UK for up to three months at a time. A British citizen has "right of abode," however, which essentially guarantees entry.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


The following is what he needs:

  1. Check-in for flight to the US: US passport
  2. US border control: US passport (at most airports he'll use a kiosk to scan his passport and get a receipt which he'll then present to the officer)
  3. Check-in for flight to the UK: British passport
  4. UK border control: British passport (at most airports he can use an e-passport gate and won't need to see an officer at all)

Absolutely no other paperwork is needed for the UK - again he almost certainly won't need to see an officer to begin with.

For the US, TIMATIC, the database used by airlines, says:

Minors traveling unaccompanied, or accompanied by one parent or a person other than parent/legal guardian, can prevent possible delays if holding a notarized letter of authorization signed by absent parent(s). For more details refer to https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/3643/kw .

  • 1
    To the best of my knowledge (based on many other European countries but never the UK itself), an ePassport Gate requires a biometric passport and that the holder be aged at least 18 years.
    – Richard
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 13:39
  • 1
    @Richard I too thought that but Heathrow airport says it is 12 heathrow.com/arrivals/immigration-and-passports
    – mdewey
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 14:34
  • 1
    @mdewey As does Gatwick - it would appear the GOV.UK website is outdated in this regard
    – Crazydre
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 14:42

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