I just received my renewed UK passport and one detail really troubled me. On the first page, they printed all info regarding my second passport, complete name, number, expire, issue date etc. During the online procedure they ask if you currently hold a foreign passport, I of course didn't lie. So they request a full foreign passport copy in colour. The details are under OFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS.

Why??? Why expose me this way to every foreign govt? Perhaps the officer in charge didn't like me or had a whimsical wish that day, but I haven't heard of anyone else having this done to them, and I think it is weird for the UK to publicly publish info on their citizens. Any ideas? The only problem I had was that my photo uploaded online wasn't great. It passed, but the system complained about contrast or something. So in the process I added a hand written letter plus 2 professionally done passport photos.

Tnx cheers

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    Write your MP and ask them to change the law.
    – phoog
    Feb 6, 2020 at 4:33
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    Why expose me this way to every foreign govt? --- and I think it is weird for the UK to publicly publish info on their citizens. The very purpose of the passport is precisely to identify you to foreign governments as an UK citizen so yes, they do expose your information to foreign governments. If the information on the passport was misleading/could help you to prevent a foreign government ban, then other foreign governments would be way less interested in accepting UK passports.
    – SJuan76
    Feb 6, 2020 at 9:23
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    @SJuan76 I think you've missed the point - OP is a dual citizen, and sometimes being a citizen of certain countries can be problematic for travel. It would be natural that there are certain trips OP may want to take on their UK passport without being required to disclose that they are also a citizen of another country. (Consider an Iranian/British dual citizen who may want to travel to Israel without identifying as Iranian, for example). The objection is that the UK government has stamped their foreign passport information directly into their UK document, making this impossible.
    – J...
    Feb 6, 2020 at 14:25
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    @SJuan76 "The purpose is to identify you as a UK citizen" does not seem in any way correlated to "they do expose your information". The passport itself is sufficient to identify you as a UK citizen.
    – JBentley
    Feb 7, 2020 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


HM Passport Office will place this observation in your passport when your name in your British passport is different to the name in your other nationality passport, and it is believed to be difficult or impossible for you to change the name in the other nationality documents to match your official name in your British documents.

Section 6 in Annex A: use of names in passports of UK change of name guidance for official documents covers this scenario in depth and you may wish to read it in its entirety; the sections most pertinent to your question are:

6.5 There are individual categories of applicant who may experience restrictions on their ability to meet the identity requirements of one name for all official purposes. These are primarily people who have dual nationality and who hold, have held or can obtain in the future a passport issued by another country.

6.6 Subject to the applicant being able to satisfy the following requirements, a passport may be issued in the name requested even where it differs from the name on the passport issued by another country. The following categories may be given exceptional consideration:

i. The law in the applicant’s country of origin restricts or prevents a change of name. Where there is such a restriction, the applicant will be required to provide evidence from their country of origin that a change of name is not permissible;

ii. The country of origin does not permit dual nationality meaning alignment of documentation will not be possible, the applicant will be required to provide confirmation from the country of origin that their citizenship has been cancelled;

iii. Where there is a requirement for the person to travel to their country of origin in order to change their name, and due to exceptional circumstances in their country of origin, they would be placed at a high level of risk;


6.7 In the case of points (i) and (iii) above, a (British) passport may be issued and an observation placed in the passport saying: “The holder has a [country] passport, number [ ] issued on [date] in the name of [ ]. This passport is due to expire on [date].”


6.13 The British passport will not routinely contain an observation of other passports held by a dual national unless by exception (see paragraph 6 above) it is in a different name. It is a matter for the passport applicant to raise at the point of application whether providing details of existing or previous overseas passports causes any particular concern.

My guess would be that you have two surnames (apellidos) in your other nationality and that the name the UK considers your official name lacks one or more of those names.

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    amazing information, MH ! who knew?
    – Fattie
    Feb 6, 2020 at 18:15
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    What if he simply hadn't mentioned his second nationality? Would there have been any way for them to find out?
    – user13267
    Feb 7, 2020 at 0:36
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    @user13267 you might be correct, but if they ever find out, the OP may get into huge problems Feb 7, 2020 at 12:28

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