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My girlfriend lives here in the UK with me and is a dual national - Spanish and Argentine. She has settled status here.

We are due to travel to Morocco in Feburary on holiday, but her Spanish passport (which she uses to leave the UK as that's connected to her settled status) expires in March.

We are planning to arrive in, and leave, Morocco on her Argentine passport which has plenty of validity (9 years to be exact).

Will she have any problem leaving the UK with her Spanish passport even though it expires just a few weeks later? She'd be fine arriving in Morocco as she would be using her Argentina passport. We will be returning just 2 weeks before it expires.

We're really worried that when we enter her Spanish passport details into the API for the British Airways flight, she will be declined because it runs out soon and they won't know she's using her Argentina passport to arrive in Morocco?

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    Note that the API I do is for the destination, not departure country (though the departure country may use it as well). I’m more worried about her return to the UK.
    – jcaron
    Jan 9 at 21:46
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    Make absolutely sure that you return to the UK before the spannish passport (with the settled status) expires. My wife was denied boarding (yes they had a UK immigration agent at the gate in Paris) because the passport containing her UK visa was expired. We had to go to her embassy and have an emergency travel passport done before we could finally fly back.
    – Hoki
    Jan 10 at 12:25
  • @Hoki For what it's worth, with Settled status this shouldn't matter. You can use any passport to enter the UK if you hold British citizenship or Settled status, but it is strongly recommended to use the one that will allow you easier entry, else you may face extra questions. As long as OP's girlfriend brings their Spanish passport, even if expired, I think it is unlikely they would have issues re-entering. I would recommend they bring evidence of Settled status with them when they travel, though. Jan 11 at 10:49
  • @Hoki in this case she can get to the UK border with her Argentine passport, so boarding wouldn't be a problem in any case.
    – ave
    Jan 11 at 15:11

3 Answers 3

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There is no need to enter your Spanish passport details in the flight out. You should enter the details of the passport you intend to use to enter Morocco, otherwise the airline might refuse you boarding (although also showing them your Argentine passport at the checkin desk would probably work too).

It doesn't matter whether you use the passport that's "connected with your settled status" to leave the UK. Britain doesn't really care about when people leave in cases like this, and in any case the Argentine passport will do the job as well as the Spanish.

I assume you have checked that your Spanish passport will still get you back into the UK. Not that I have any reason to doubt it.

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    In my experience the UK has no exit controls on passports, but it does check on entry, in which using the Spanish passport might make it easier.
    – bracco23
    Jan 10 at 15:23
  • @bracco23 While there are no exit controls enforced by the UK government, it seems that at least the budget airlines (rightly or wrongly - independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/…) will refuse to let you board if the passport you're using won't let you in to your destination country. Jan 10 at 19:45
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    All airlines enforce that you meet the requirements to enter your destination country; they get fined by the destination country if they bring someone who doesn't meet the requirements, plus they have to fly them back. However, this is normally done using a centralized verification system called Timatic; it's unusual and stupid for EasyJet to have been making up their own rules instead. Jan 10 at 21:53
  • @GlennWillen it is not at all unusual. There are many anecdotes on this site describing airlines that apply such rules incorrectly, and the Schengen rule that relates passport expiration to the intended date of departure is particularly commonly misunderstood.
    – phoog
    Jan 10 at 22:54
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I suppose that you are mixing three different things here.

  1. UK authorities do not have exit controls as far as the remaining validity of your passport (it could have exit controls on other things, as example amount of cash carried).

  2. Morocco could however have rules for entry into the country (passport validity, visa and so on). The Spanish passport will not work (as validity is too short), the Argentinian passport will (as far as I can understand) allow entry.

  3. And the airline may have rules for allowing you to fly (generally the rules of the destination country).

What I expect she should do is to use the Argentinian passport for entering Morocco. She should enter this as information to the airline. The airline could otherwise deny boarding if showing a soon to expire Spanish passport.

I believe that she should use the Argentinian passport as information to the airline when going back to UK. As far as I know no visa is required currently (in the future ETA or visa requirements will probably be instigated by the UK) and the airline should allow boarding. Once in UK passport control she should declare that she has "settled status" in the UK (and be able to prove that). Rule 1 is never ever to lie to passport control if asked - this means not masquerading as a tourist.

And get the Spanish passport renewed is a good idea as well as possibly thinking about applying for UK citizenship if that is the permanent place she is staying.

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  • @FreeMan - added info on the advice I would give not based in any law degree.
    – ghellquist
    Jan 10 at 20:59
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Will she have any problem leaving the UK with her Spanish passport even though it expires just a few weeks later?

The UK doesn't have exit controls and does not care about the next destination

TIMATIC (entry requirements database for airlines) states :

Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid for the period of intended stay.

She can even enter Morroco with the Spanish passport

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    My government's advice says a passport MUST be valid for six months in order to enter Morocco, so I would not bet that a soon-to-expire passport will get you into Morocco, even if it gets you on the flight. Jan 9 at 21:10
  • @DJClayworth Well, that's weird, another TIMATIC weirdness then? French gov states the same thing at TIMATIC (for stay period) Jan 9 at 21:11
  • what is TIMATIC?
    – EarlGrey
    Jan 10 at 16:09
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    @EarlGrey: The database of rules that airline staff refer to
    – Ben Voigt
    Jan 10 at 16:14
  • This answer would be improved by explaining what TIMATIC is in the answer body. I don't think it can be assumed as common knowledge. Jan 11 at 11:39

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