I've seen similar questions asked, but I would really appreciate some clarity.

I am a dual citizen (passport holder) of South Africa and UK. I am currently living and working in Shanghai, China. My work visa for China is in my South African passport.

I would like to visit my sister in the UK later this year. Would it be okay for me to leave China on my SA passport (exit stamp), enter the UK on my UK passport, exit the UK on my UK passport, and then re-enter China on my SA passport (entry stamp with visa)? Would there be any issues with immigration, booking flights etc?

This question would also apply to other travel plans where I could use my UK passport to enter countries without a visa.

Thank you so much for any help or responses.

2 Answers 2


It's perfectly possible. When checking in you'll have to show both passports to the airline staff, to prove you have the right to enter the country. As mentioned, UK does not have exit checks – but airlines do check your passport(s) for the proper visa, if needed.

Note also that as a resident of China, you can register with Police – their National Immigration Administration branch – for the electronic immigration gates, which would simplify passing through the Chinese side of Immigration. Not all foreign residents are aware of it, and miss out on a great opportunity to simplify their travels. I don't know exactly where you can do this in Shanghai – my experience is with Shenzhen – but you should be able to enquire with Immigration in Shanghai.

  • Search “出入境管理局” on amap.com or ditu.baidu.com
    – DannyNiu
    Feb 8 at 6:05

exit the UK on my UK passport

The UK has no exit checks, you may show whatever passport you want to the airline. You can't overstay in the UK, either.

Would there be any issues with immigration, booking flights etc?

Absolutely not, and provided you done the necessary paperwork with the SA government (for keeping your citizenship), you can always show both if required.

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