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My passport was just changed to married name, but IDL sticker is in my maiden name passport... We are booked to travel on the 18th December.

I am currently living in the UK with and Indefinite Leave to Remain visa. It is in my passport with my maiden name. I have applied for British Citizenship and was told by the UK Passport office that I needed to change my Aus passport to my Married name BEFORE they will issue my UK citizenship and passport, otherwise i would have to have them both in my maiden name and would not be able to change it afterwards (why the hell, I don't know, as surely I could then have sent that passport in with a marriage cert and get a new one, but the lady said absolutely not) I also told her I was travelling, and she said to make sure to take my marriage certificate with me and that was fine. So ages ago, i booked the appt in london to go down to get my new passport and the wait was 4 weeks- it just came back. Anyway, while there as he was snipping my passport with the visa, he told me to check with the Home office in the UK as I am travelling at xmas! I have been sitting on hold with the Home office for over 2 hours so far without an answer, but have been googling, only to find that if my name has changed , I must replace my visa with a biometric residence permit if my stay is over 6 mths.

So it seems I cannot just use my old passport with the visa at the border to get back in and show my marriage certificate, as i was told by the British passport customer service lady. It takes 6 MONTHS to get a new visa, or £839 for a fast track one which I cannot afford. I will also have my British passport by then anyway so won't even need one! It seems I am completely stuffed! If i take the risk and try to travel anyway, i don't know what will happen?

I am legally allowed to stay here and did nothing wrong and followed advice and now am in a complete pickle! Adding to that my Dad is old and was just in Hospital with an 80% occlusion in his arteries, and not well at all, so if i cannot leave the country for the next 6 mths because of this, i am in trouble if he goes down hill!

I don't know what I can do? Does anyone know what the deal is? We are going to lose Thousands of pounds on our booked holiday if I cancel.

  • To be clear: You are in possession of a cancelled passport with an ILR vignette in your maiden name, and a valid passport in your married name? – MJeffryes Nov 27 '18 at 18:02
  • Also, have you already applied for British Citizenship (in your new name)? – MJeffryes Nov 27 '18 at 18:05
  • @MJeffryes Yes, cancelled passport with IDL is in Maiden name. New Passport in Married name,. I could not apply for the Citizenship in my new name until i had the new passport back in my married name as the ID documents have to be checked by the agents at an appt within a certain time of lodging. – Flustered Nov 27 '18 at 18:15
  • Also, the citizenship application details say: "In most cases, you will have your supporting evidence (including your passport) returned to you immediately once the appointment is finished. You may not be able to use your passport for travel until you have received a decision on your application." So once i lodge that application i am not able to travel, and they say the average processing time is 6 mths, so I cannot travel once i lodge it. – Flustered Nov 27 '18 at 18:55
  • I'm sure you're aware, but in case you aren't, the citizenship application process is changing significantly, and you might have read some out of date information gov.uk/guidance/… – MJeffryes Nov 27 '18 at 20:36
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To summarise the problem: You have indefinite leave to remain. You have changed your name, so you are obliged to apply for a new Biometric Residence Permit. Since you don't already have a BRP, this process is especially burdensome. In addition, you are imminently applying for citizenship, so getting a BRP is completely pointless.

Your concern stems from the fact that UKVI says:

You must apply for a new BRP straight away if any of these things change:

  • name, for example if you’ve got married

However, they also say:

You must apply for a new BRP within 3 months. You can be fined up to £1,000 or have your stay shortened if you don’t.

So actually, you don't need to do it "straight away". You have three months from your "name change" before you are in trouble. When did your name change? A reasonable time to count from is from when you got your new passport, which from your story, sounds quite recent.

I imagine you are also worried about what will happen at the border. The border officer may well query whether you have informed UKVI. Your explanation, that you applied for the new passport in order to apply for citizenship in your married name and will imminently be applying for citizenship, is perfectly reasonable. You can of course bring your marriage certificate, and any communication you have on this matter from UKVI, but there's no need to present it unless asked for clarification.

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    Thank you very much. Yes, i will be submitting my citizenship application online tomorrow through the new system so it will already be processing when I travel. I got my name change passport issued on the 22/11/18 so one week ago, in order to submit the UK citizenship application. Another immigration board told me I am fine to travel with my new passport, as long as i bring my old one in my maiden name with my Indefinite leave to remain, a copy of my marriage cert, and to be safe 2 printed copies of my citizenship application and the payment form to show them.. Does that sound right? – Flustered Nov 27 '18 at 23:00
  • Otherwise, a new biometric thing for my Aus passport will take 6 mths, unless I can pay the £839, and it will be a waste of money as i will only need it for this trip as I will have my UK passport in less than 6 mths. Also we are self employed so at least that doesn't complicate things with an employer – Flustered Nov 27 '18 at 23:00
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    Yes you absolutely must carry your old passport with ILR vignette as well as your new passport. It is a good idea to bring the extra evidence (marriage certificate, application forms), but as I said, no need to show them unless asked. If you already have started the citizenship application process then I can't see any reason why the border officer would expect you to have applied for a BRP. – MJeffryes Nov 27 '18 at 23:49
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    Thanks for your time @ MJeffryes I called Border control at heathrow today and he said, yes, just bring both old and new passport, and my marriage cert and any other docs to be safe! – Flustered Nov 28 '18 at 12:52

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