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I'm a citizen of both Belarus and UK and also hold Polish permanent residence permit (10-years "stały pobyt"). The permit card is attached to my Belarus passport (and has "Belarusian" nationality indication on the card).

I have questions about travelling UK <-> Poland and UK <-> EU in general, I would greatly appreciate if the community can help me out a bit and provide some thoughts:

  1. Can I mix passports when entering EU/Poland, i.e. sometimes enter on British sometimes on Belarus passport into the EU?
  2. When entering Poland, would border control be confused about Polish residence permit and British passport if presented (bc the permit is attached to the Belarus passport, at least in their database on Polish border)? Never tried it.
  3. When entering EU countries (not Poland, more like France) would it make sense to provide British passport or Belarus+permit? For me it feels like British is the straightforward passport for EU border control while Belarus+residence may cause too much of the confusion on non-Polish borders.

So confused about the right combos to use while travelling into/out of the EU and across the EU once entered. Thank you in advance!

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Can I mix passports when entering EU/Poland, i.e. sometimes enter on British sometimes on Belarus passport into the EU?

This should not be a problem in itself. In general, your status in a Schengen country is independent of how you entered the Schengen area. You can use whichever passport to enter, as long as your documents are sufficient to be admitted.

If you are only a visitor, for a single short stay, you should enter and leave the Schengen area with the same passport, as the passport stamps may be checked. Additionally, in your case, one passport requires visa and the other not.

However, since you have a residence permit issued by a Schengen country, it is easier to enter and exit with your residence permit and the corresponding travel document. Your residence permit with the Belarusian passport is the most straightforward way to establish your ability to enter the Schengen area.

When entering Poland, would border control be confused about Polish residence permit and British passport if presented (bc the permit is attached to the Belarus passport, at least in their database on Polish border)? Never tried it.

Yes. They may be confused and may ask you to explain the situation (e.g. they may need to update your information). As it is a Polish residence permit, the border guard in Poland has more power to examine your situation than the border guards of other Schengen countries.

When entering EU countries (not Poland, more like France) would it make sense to provide British passport or Belarus+permit? For me it feels like British is the straightforward passport for EU border control

Before Brexit, a British national would have had an essentially unlimited right to enter any EU country. But now it is considered as a third-country with a visitor visa waiver in effect. If you present only the British passport, you will be treat as a visitor and technically may be asked to present e.g. evidences justifying your purpose of stay, sufficient financial means, appropriate health insurance (though practically rare), as well as the passport validity requirement, even if in practice this is relatively rare.

while Belarus+residence may cause too much of the confusion on non-Polish borders.

Not at all. Tens of thousands of people probably do it everyday (enter a Schengen country with their residence permit issued by another Schengen country) without any problem. Your residence permit also gives you a stronger right to enter if your final destination is Poland; France or another Schengen country must allow you to enter to transit to Poland if you have a Polish national visa or residence permit except under exceptional circumstances related to public safety etc.

If you present your British passport with the residence permit, you can also be allowed to enter; there is no EU law requiring the residence permit and the travel document to state the same nationality. And often, the border guard does not check the residence permit so carefully on all the details. Nonetheless, the risk of confusion and additional hassle remains.

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    Note that this will change in November 2023. At that time, entering the EU with the UK passport will also require an ETIAS, where entering with the Belarus passport/residence permit will not.
    – Doc
    Dec 24, 2022 at 22:11
  • Thank you for the response! > There is no EU law requiring the residence permit and the travel document to state the same nationality >>> This is what I worry the most about. I don't want to use Belarus passport at all (it's a dictatorship after all) because I want to be recognised as UK national when I enter Poland / any other EU state -> so that consular help of the UK is available in case of any emergency, deportation, etc. It's not easy for me to renounce Belarus currently.
    – Dmytro
    Mar 1, 2023 at 23:00
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    @Dmytro Your entitlement to UK consular support does not depending on the passport you entered with, unless it is a diplomatic passport or you are entering the country of passport. The extent of consular support is also limited in developed countries who follow the rule of law (the embassy is likely to just tell you here's a list of English speaking lawyers) and it is extremely unlikely for a country to be involved in an immigration proceeding of the other country (other than for e.g. conditions of detention).
    – xngtng
    Mar 2, 2023 at 10:36

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