I recently applied for a UK spouse visa and was asked to present both my current and expired passports. When I received the decision the visa sticker was placed in my expired passport instead of the valid one.

The visa sticker itself contains the passport number of my new passport.

Please suggest if I can travel using both the passports, or will I have to get this rectified first?

1 Answer 1


Normally, it's fine to travel with a visa in an expired passport, but this situation arises when a visa is issued in a passport which was valid at the time. The fact that the vignette has the wrong passport number indicates this is a mistake.

If you make it to the UK border, the border officer would almost certainly be able to work this all out. Once you enter the UK, you will collect your biometric residence permit, so the entry vignette will become irrelevant. However, if this mistake is noticed by your airline before departure, they may not allow you to fly. Also, despite the existence of the biometric residence permit, some people (employers, airlines, banks) may wrongly insist on seeing the vignette, so this problem could follow you around for a while.

You will probably know that the Home Office charge exorbitant fees for attempts to contact them about visa applications. However, I believe that in your case, you can follow the instructions here to contact UKVI International Sheffield by email to have your vignette correctly issued. Since this would involve sending off your passport again, this could take several weeks. If you are traveling very soon with no opportunity to correct this, I would chance it. Just hand over the two passports to the staff member who checks your documents without any indication that you think anything is wrong. You are extremely unlikely to be turned away if you reach the UK. But if there is time, you should try to have this corrected.

  • 3
    A very nice answer! May 22, 2018 at 12:53
  • @MJeffryes, Thank you for the detailed explanation. That is indeed very helpful. I happen to have a valid UK visit visa too. Do you think that would help me get on the plane if the airline did not accept my spouse visa?
    – WChaudhry
    May 23, 2018 at 17:47
  • @WChaudhry Yes, there is no reason that you have to show your spouse visa rather than your visit visa. In fact, I'd rather present the visit visa in the first place if there is not issue with it. You don't have to show the same visa to the airline that you show at the UK border .
    – MJeffryes
    May 24, 2018 at 8:41
  • @WChaudhry Also, something I didn't mention in the text of the answer, it's possible that your biometric residence permit will end up being issued with the wrong passport number too. You should contact the email address I mentioned at least once you enter the UK, and definitely check it when you collect it!
    – MJeffryes
    May 24, 2018 at 8:43
  • @MJeffryes, Really appreciate for the above suggestions. I have already booked my ticket for tomorrow. Just wanted to confirm the following: - When I show the airline my visit visa, will they scan the visit visa too? Or just my passport? I want to avoid a situation in which if the visa officer investigates with the airlines, and they say the passenger showed us a visit instead, this might be considered a misrepresentation, no?
    – WChaudhry
    May 24, 2018 at 14:25

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