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I am an EU citizen with settled status in the UK, and just yesterday I got notified that my application for naturalisation as a british citizen has been approved. I reached out to my council, and I'm waiting to hear back from them to schedule the ceremony. I'll thus soon be a dual citizen.

The only gotcha, is that I have travel plans for December (both early in the month, and later around the winter holidays to visit family... different destinations, but both in the Schengen area), and according to https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-british-nationality/after-you-apply

Travelling to and from the UK

Once you get a British passport you must use this to enter the UK.

If you do not want a British passport you can apply for a certificate of entitlement instead.

You cannot enter the UK using your certificate of British citizenship.

Moreover https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-indefinite-leave-to-remain/after-you-get-your-certificate

You must send your biometric residence permit (BRP) back to the Home Office within 5 working days of getting your certificate of British citizenship.

Even if it's not clearly stated anywhere I see, I presume the same should apply for settled status. After all, something similar happens to people who convert from pre-settled to settled status

when someone applies for the upgrade the confirmation that they have pre-settled status is automatically removed from their online permit, leaving them unable to prove that they are legally in the UK.

In normal circumstances, I would be able to use my EU national id card to travel to the UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-as-an-eu-eea-or-swiss-citizen

You cannot use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK unless you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

So, it wouldn't be a problem to not have my EU passport with me, since I'll need to be without it while I'm waiting for my UK passport

https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-adult-passport/what-documents-you-need-to-apply

You have a certificate of naturalisation or registration

You’ll need both:

  • your naturalisation or registration certificate
  • the passport you used to come into the UK or the foreign passport you’re included on

Also, I'd like to sort out the naturalisation/UK passport as soon as possible for personal reasons (among other things, I might move closer to the office, now that permanent WFH in some companies is ending). For this reason I'm thinking of these alternatives:

  • Apply for a certificate of entitlement, and I'll apply for a UK passport later on. It costs 370/380£, and it's not clear to me if they'd actually be able to process it faster than the first passport
  • Instead of visiting family in late December, I could go there right after the ceremony and stay with them, apply for the UK passport while overseas and travel with my national id card in the meanwhile
  • Wait until after my travel plans will settle (i.e. January? it's expected that I'd attend the ceremony within 3 months, so that would still be in time), and then not schedule any travel plans for 10 weeks (7 weeks, but I should allow up to 10), so until late March.
  • Risk it, attend a ceremony and apply for UK passport as soon as possible (maybe they actually use the worst case for typical processing times and actually I'll receive it already in 3 weeks?), and if I won't have the passport by December I could choose:
    • Cancel my travel plans :/
    • Fly out with my national id card, and then either:
      • Find a way to get my EU passport returned to me abroad, and then Apply for UK passport while overseas (or maybe just apply for an emergency travel document if the UK passport has been processed for me, and it's just waiting for me at the UK Passport Office)
      • Return to the UK straight away with my national id card. After all, Once you get a British passport you must use this to enter the UK. shouldn't apply if I haven't got my UK passport yet (but then what's the purpose of the certificate of entitlement?), and even after Brexit it is possible to travel to the UK with an id card (so, the airline should be able to let me board... and once at the border they should be able to verify that I have right of abode)

A few other alternatives which apparently are explicitly denied:

  • Applying for an emergency travel document if my UK passport request hasn't been processed yet: https://www.gov.uk/emergency-travel-document says You usually cannot get an emergency travel document if you’ve never had a UK passport. You should apply for a passport instead.
  • Make an urgent/fast track application for an UK passport: https://www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently says If you’re applying for a first adult passport, or you do not need a passport urgently, use the non-urgent service.

There are a few other similar questions here, but they don't quite cover the same situation that I have here since:

Is there another solution that I haven't considered? Otherwise, which one do you think is best? The more convenient one for me is #2 (visit family right after the ceremony, and apply for UK passport from abroad), do you think it's fine for me to apply from abroad for such a reason? (it's not clear to me if it's something unusual that wouldn't normally be done for a first passport)

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    Weird. The UK had historically had one of the most liberal policies concerning its citizens entering the country without passports. I would tend to doubt the correctness of the statement "once you get a British passport you must use this to enter the UK." Also consider traveling through Ireland.
    – phoog
    Oct 27, 2021 at 12:35
  • Yeah, I didn't think of it at first... but due to the CTA between Ireland and the UK, I guess that re-entering shouldn't be a problem. Apparently, for UK citizens any kind of id would be fine (driving license, or even an EU id card... amusingly): stenaline.ie/faqs/brexit-information/… stenaline.ie/faqs/brexit-information/… I'd expect the same for IE-UK flights, but I checked ferry websites since those display this info more prominently
    – berdario
    Oct 27, 2021 at 14:14
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    This is the official guidance from gov.uk about travel from Ireland and UK, so indeed I think that my concerns of which documents to use after naturalisation but before obtaining UK passport might be overblown. It's not authoritative, but I also found forum.ukcen.com/resources/uk-citizenship/naturalisation/… which shows which states: EEA nationals can still rely on their EEA passport or ID card to enter the UK in the usual way after naturalisation.
    – berdario
    Oct 27, 2021 at 23:26

1 Answer 1

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As mentioned in a comment, indeed my concerns were overblown:

I spent new year with family, and returned to the UK with my EU passport. I then applied for my UK passport.

Due to a personal emergency, I even travelled back outside of the UK (and returned to it) before getting back either my UK (or EU passport, that has to be sent when applying for the first passport): I just had to update the document linked to my Settled Status on gov.uk to be my EU id card.

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