Okay, this is a very weird question.

My son is Bolivian, and we're applying for his British citizenship. Most likely, that will arrive before we are due to travel to the UK. However, in order to be in the UK when we need to be, we likely won't have time to get his British passport. So, my question is - is it possible to get a visitor visa for him once he's a British national? Or is there a way to get into the country without a British passport? He'll have a Bolivian passport.

Bolivian citizens can go to the Republic of Ireland without a visa, could we travel up, apply for the passport, and then live in the Republic until his passport arrives? I know this is a very obscure question.

  • By "British national" do you mean "British citizen"? There are a few types of British nationality that do not confer right of abode.
    – phoog
    Jan 12, 2019 at 2:33
  • Sorry, yes. He'll be a British citizen. I'll edit it now. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


As a matter of law, a UK national is not supposed to get a UK visa. A dual citizen child that the UK doesn't know about might be able to get one, but in your case the UK knows about your child's nationality.

Your child can certainly enter Ireland with a Bolivian passport and then, assuming your child is a British citizen, can travel entirely legally to the UK without a UK passport or visa. In other words, yes, you can live in Ireland until the passport arrives, but you don't have to.

  • There's going to be the usual passport/visa check during check-in or boarding, though, which is probably going to be a problem. Unless you mean crossing over the ROI/NI border-which-doesn't-really-exist-or-does-it-or-maybe-it-will-be-back-or-maybe-not.
    – jcaron
    Jan 12, 2019 at 23:52
  • @jcaron Aer Lingus, at least, says that for flights between the Republic of Ireland and the UK "citizens of Ireland and Britain under the age of 16 don’t need a photo ID if travelling with their parent/guardian." Source: aerlingus.com/travel-information/passports-and-visas/…. Whatever happens on the land border, they won't be requiring passports for citizens of Ireland or the UK.
    – phoog
    Jan 13, 2019 at 4:07
  • @phoog okay, so logistically then - once his citizenship comes through, we could fly into Dublin with a flight out for some time within those three months we can be in Ireland, and just drive up to the North and apply for the passport there? Is it important we fly out of Dublin again within those three months so it doesn't look like he's overstaying? Feb 11, 2019 at 21:19
  • @SarahLouise You don't have to wait for his UK citizenship. Under the EU free movement directive, your son can remain in Ireland indefinitely with you even while he is not a British citizen. To stay for longer than three months you could be asked to show that you are working or that you have sufficient means to support yourself during your stay. This could change at some point as the UK leaves the EU, but it probably won't change right away. Once he is a British citizen, he can travel to the UK without a British passport and stay as long as you like.
    – phoog
    Feb 11, 2019 at 22:20
  • @SarahLouise He can also apply for the UK passport in Ireland: passport.service.gov.uk/overseas/information/ireland/first/…
    – phoog
    Feb 11, 2019 at 22:20

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