I have dual US/UK citizenship. I'm soon visiting Switzerland using my US passport (as UK one needs renewing). Will this be a problem when I return to UK? If I carry my expired UK passport as well will this be enough to show immigration on my return? If not, what else should I bring to show them (birth certificate? bank statement? Letter from employer? National Insurance no.)? many thanks

  • 1
    I think this is a duplicaten question but I do not have the time to search. UK allows citizens to return with an expired passport. Your US passport will be accepted by the airline.
    – Willeke
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 10:15
  • Thanks very much, Willeke. Likewise, I did not have time to search the site. Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 10:20
  • 1
    @SuzanneGreen I don't see why that makes a difference.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 10:44
  • 2
    @SuzanneGreen A UK birth certificate alone doesn't prove you're British. An expired British passport is better proof of citizenship than a birth certificate could be.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 11:38
  • 1
    Thanks, all. I just don't want her having any trouble at the airport. She plans to get her UK passport renewed - but with all of the pandemic-related interruption to foreign travel, we didn't see it as a priority! Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 13:59

2 Answers 2


According to https://www.traveldoc.aero, an expired UK passport is sufficient by itself to fly from Switzerland to the UK if the passport has been expired for less than ten years.

You'll need to show the US passport to the Swiss border officers (or other Schengen officers, if that's the case) at the at the departure passport inspection, because you will have entered with that passport.

It's probably also a good idea to show the US passport to the airline to avoid complications. If they ask about your duration of stay in the UK, you can show the British passport, but they probably won't ask.

There's no need to show the US passport to the UK immigration officer on arrival. There's also no harm in showing it, so do whatever seems likely to result in the most efficient experience.

  • 1
    Thanks very much. OK, she will take both her US one and her expired UK one. I am so glad it sounds as if she will not have any problems. Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 14:37

You shouldn't have any issues. In fact, US passport holders can use the automatic eGates in the UK, so it is unlikely you'll have to speak to an officer at all, unless the gates are off or not working properly. Just place your US passport on the scanner, look at the camera, and wait for the gate to open. Do bring your expired UK passport anyway, though, to present with your US passport if you have to be processed manually.

  • 1
    The OP is planning to "return to UK" - presumable because they live there. It would not be a good idea to re-enter the UK using only their US passport, as they'd be entering as a visitor, not as a UK citizen/resident.
    – brhans
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 21:22
  • 3
    @brhans It's impossible for a UK citizen to enter the UK as a visitor. Regardless of what documentation they happen to be holding when they enter the UK. Any notional restrictions on leave attached to their US passport are simply void because (in this case) they cannot apply to the person who owns it.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 8:25
  • @MJeffryes - certainly - but from the UK government's point of view, all they know is that a US citizen entered the UK as a visitor on such-and-such date and 6 months later overstayed their welcome. If the OP should subsequently ever have their US passport details made known to the UK for whatever reason they'll be inviting unnecessary bureaucratic trouble for themselves. It would be far safer and less future trouble to present an expired UK passport for re-entry to the UK.
    – brhans
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 12:08
  • @brhans this is all very vague. Please give a concrete situation where OP would encounter trouble if they successfully enter through the ePassport gates using a US passport.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 12:41
  • 2
    @NYCvisitor2228968 a British citizen who enters the UK with a foreign passport does not receive leave to remain for six months, notwithstanding any passport stamp or other document that claims to grant such leave. Any such grant of leave is legally a nullity because no leave to remain is required nor even available to someone who has right of abode. They don't need to get a British passport, and they don't need to leave.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 15:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .