I'm British with dual Canadian citizenship. I arrived in the UK using my Canadian passport. When I went to Canada recently, I left my UK passport here (in the UK). When I arrived back in the UK the Border official said that if I'd had my UK passport with me he could let me stay in the UK indefinitely (stamp it). However since I arrived in the UK using my Canadian passport he could only validate my Canaidan passort - with 'conditions'. What I'd like to know is, can I have my British passport validated WHILE I AM HERE in order to stay and maybe work? Or do I need to leave the UK on my British passport and re-enter to validate my British passport?


1 Answer 1


You're British, so you have the right to live and work in the UK*. Entering the UK using a Canadian passport doesn't change that. There's no need to "validate" anything, so I'm not sure what the border officer would have been talking about. Any conditions on leave stamped in your Canadian passport don't apply to you.

*By "I'm British" I'm assuming you are a British Citizen, not one of the other kinds of British national.

  • 4
    I've upvoted this answer, but would note that Lenny could find himself in a situation where he needs to prove his right to live and work in the UK. His UK passport will serve that purpose regardless of whether it has ever been shown to a UK immigration officer. Also, I would state the last sentence more strongly: it's not only the conditions on leave that do not apply, but the leave itself. A person with the right of abode in the UK does not require leave to enter the UK.
    – phoog
    Jan 25, 2019 at 15:37
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    Yeah it seems the official misspoke/overspoke, possibly out of an abundance of caution. Rather than "oh, you have a British passport somewhere too? then you can stay as long as you like", it was "if I were to see proof of this then I would be able to say you can stay as long as you like". The latter does not cancel out the former, but it's the only guaranteed-correct statement the agent had enough information to make. Of course, I'm massively overthinking this :) Jan 25, 2019 at 16:30
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    I do wonder whether, in the future, the OP might have to explain why the recorded exit date (in the future from now) appears to show a violation when taken in context with the entry stamp in a Canadian passport. However a quick "well, I'm a British citizen anyway and here's my passport" ought to fix that. Jan 25, 2019 at 16:32
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Ideally they wouldn't show their Canadian passport to a UK border officer again. Other than that, there's nothing to explain.
    – MJeffryes
    Jan 25, 2019 at 16:47
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    @MJeffryes Well, true. I meant, if they were to. :) Jan 25, 2019 at 16:51

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