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I am a dual US and UK citizen. I was born in the US, but my father is British and I have lived in the UK the last 4 years. I have a trip booked to Spain that leaves tomorrow and through a complicated string of events, my UK passport is lost in the mail somewhere and I will not get it in time for my flight. I do not have a UK driving permit or any other form of proof of identity. I still have my US passport, but it has never been stamped/traveled on in Europe. I've contacted the US and Spanish embassies about my question, but have had no response. I am hesitant to call the airline because I think they would stop me from boarding.

The problem is as follows: because my US passport has not been stamped, there is no record of me arriving in the UK/Europe at all. I am worried they will (a) not let me board my flight from Edinburgh-Seville; (b) detain me or worse deport me (to the US) from Seville; (c) not let me back in the UK at the end of the trip.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? What should I do? Can I still go on my trip or is it a bad idea? What evidence can I provide to support my claims?

  • What details did you use to book the flight? – Strawberry Jun 11 at 16:32
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    You use the term "UK/Europe" but they are not one customs zone. The UK is part of the Common Travel Area, and Spain is part of the Schengen Zone. So it's two completely different countries for customs purposes even though they are both EU. Hence Spain will not care about your entry into the UK. Additionally, because you are a UK citizen, the immigration authorities are not tracking your time in the country and you don't have to worry about establishing proof that you left. – aidanh010 Jun 11 at 16:42
  • @aidanh010 The more interesting question is what happens when the asker tries to return to the UK. – David Richerby Jun 11 at 17:41
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I am worried they will (a) not let me board my flight from Edinburgh-Seville;

There are no exit checks when leaving the UK. Airline staff will check your passport to see if you are allowed to enter Spain. They are extremely unlikely to check for an entry stamp. They will just want to see the ID page.

(b) detain me or worse deport me (to the US) from Seville;

Spanish border authorities don't care about how you entered the UK. They won't look for a UK entry stamp.

(c) not let me back in the UK at the end of the trip.

A British citizen cannot be denied entry to the UK. It may take some time, but even a photo of your UK passport ID page, or your UK passport number will help establish your identity. You are a British citizen, so you will not be deported.

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    US citizens do not need advance permission to travel to the UK (no visa nor something like the US ESTA) so traveling from Spain to the UK on your USA passport is not a problem either. – Willeke Jun 10 at 14:15
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    @Nicole furthermore, in the (exceedingly unlikely) event that they do try to refuse entry in Spain, you can still assert your right to enter as an EU citizen. The EU free movement directive requires Spain to allow you "to corroborate or prove by other means that [you] are covered by the right of free movement and residence" (Article 5). So bring whatever evidence you have of your UK nationality just in case. – phoog Jun 10 at 15:15
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    US citizens do need advance permission to live in the UK, rather than visit. The OP has lived in the UK for the last four years, and probably intends to return to living there. – Patricia Shanahan Jun 10 at 16:09
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    @PatriciaShanahan Yes, but the consequence of not requiring advance permission to visit means that she will be allowed to board her flight. Once she's at the UK border, she can tell them she's a British citizen. – MJeffryes Jun 10 at 17:56
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    "You are a British citizen, so you will not be deported." - You have greater confidence in the Home Office than I do. "You are a British citizen, so cannot legally be deported" is accurate. – Martin Bonner Jun 11 at 8:53

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