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My child is British, 17 years old and born in the UK. As I am Italian she is a dual national.

Can she travel to Italy on her own with her British passport or could she face problems? Last year she was travelling with me and the police in Italy stopped us coming back, saying she needs an Italian passport. I don't really want to do that since it costs a fortune and not easy to get hold of as I would have to travel to London on a date they dictate.

Does anybody have experience with this?

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    Does she have other proof of her Italian citizenship eg ID card that she could carry with her?
    – Traveller
    Commented Jun 10 at 9:20
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    Hi, sorry for the typo, I meant on her own. She has always had her Italian ID card but after Brexit she cannot use that anyway. I guess I would like to know, when she goes through passport control in Italy with her British passport, could they see she has dual nationality because of me and be difficult? I am now dual national and leave the UK with the British passport and enter Italy with the Italian one so I just want to know if they expect the same from her or can she get away on her British passport only.
    – Nadia
    Commented Jun 10 at 9:27
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    @Nadia she can not use her Italian ID card to enter the UK, but she can use it at Italian passport control (both entry and exit).
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 10 at 11:29
  • @jcaron unfortunately the police officer (the "carabiniere") clearly told me that her Italian ID card cannot be accepted after Brexit (Italians now need a passport to travel to the UK). He let us go but told us that she could be stopped next time and we could have issues. This only happened when we were coming back and I guess it happened because we were travelling together and after asking if I was her mother he noticed the different names.
    – Nadia
    Commented Jun 10 at 13:38
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    @Nadia I think there's a misunderstanding there... He probably wanted to say that you couldn't use that Italian ID to go (back) to the UK (as in "enter the UK"), and that's it. You can most definitely enter or exit Italy with an Italian ID and nothing else. When exiting, they will possibly tell her the same thing, and she can just reply that she also has a UK passport, and that's it.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 10 at 15:36

2 Answers 2

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Your daughter has a UK passport and an Italian ID Card.

  • She can enter the UK with the UK passport.
  • She cannot enter the UK with the Italian ID card.
  • (There's no exit passport control in the UK)
  • She can enter and exit Italy (the whole EU+Schengen Area, really) with just the Italian ID card.
  • She could really also enter and exit Italy with the UK passport, though, but that may trigger a number of issues, so we'll just set this possibility aside.

This is the way to go:

  • Flying from the UK to Italy:

    • When the airline asks (during booking, at check-in, at the gate): Italian ID card
    • No UK exit passport control
    • If the airline asks what ID she used to enter the UK (unlikely), show the UK passport.
    • Italian passport control: Italian ID card
  • Flying from Italy to the UK:

    • When the airline asks (during booking, at check-in, at the gate): UK passport

    • Italian passport control: Italian ID Card

      • If Italian passport control ask how she is going to enter the UK (because she cannot enter the UK with the Italian ID Card), show the UK passport (or just tell them).
    • UK passport control: UK passport

What Brexit changed is that she cannot enter the UK with an Italian ID card anymore (she could before Brexit). It does not change in any way the fact that she can use her Italian ID Card to enter or exit Italy.

  • Airlines will not allow her to board a flight to the UK if she presents only her Italian ID Card to them, that's why she should show them the UK passport in that direction (they won't care about the Italian ID Card).
  • Italian passport control really only care about the Italian ID Card, but to be helpful, they may tell her she cannot go to the UK with just that ID Card (because every single day they see people trying to fly to the UK with just an ID card, and being turned back at the gate). It has no bearing whatsoever on letting her in or out of Italy. And just showing the UK passport (or most probably even just telling them she has one) will be enough to assuage their fears.

Note however that there may be restrictions for minors travelling alone on either side, which I'm not familiar with. In some countries like France, a passport used to count as ID + authorization to travel abroad while an ID Card required a separate authorization. I have no idea what the situation may be in Italy or the UK in that respect.

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    (+1) It seems a parental consent form is at least advisable, and possibly essential
    – Traveller
    Commented Jun 10 at 16:03
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    @LucaCiti as she is a UK citizen she has no reason to apply for (pre)settled status and most probably cannot.
    – jcaron
    Commented 2 days ago
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    @LucaCiti jcaron is right; pre-settled status is a form of leave to remain. As a matter of law, a British citizen cannot have leave to remain nor pre-settled status.
    – phoog
    Commented 2 days ago
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    @Marianne013 The US officially says US citizens should bear their US passport when entering or exiting the country, but there are no penalties whatsoever if you don't. We've even had quite a few people here who told us they travelled to the US on an ESTA even though they were US citizens and declared so in the application form (especially during the COVID crisis when getting/renewing a passport took ages, not sure if that still works). I'm not sure what incident you refer to with Boris Johnson, his issue was with the IRS as far as I can tell.
    – jcaron
    Commented 2 days ago
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    While indeed possible, @LucaCiti, I would strongly urge anyone with Settled Status to use a passport and not their EU country's national ID. While the UK authorities are aware of the exception made for Settled Status holders and allow you entry to the UK with your ID card, the various airline employees in the various airports very often are not, and that can cause issues. I've missed a flight (Zurich -> London) because the $!#$!% employees didn't know and had to check and by the time their boss explained, my flight had left. Other times I've just had a lot of hassle. So, better to avoid it.
    – terdon
    Commented 2 days ago
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She has always had her Italian ID card but after Brexit she cannot use that anyway.

Not quite. She can't use her Italian ID card in the UK (she should use her UK passport), but she certainly can use it while entering and leaving Italy.

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  • Please can you clarify what you mean by that? ID cards cannot be used to travel to the UK anymore so I am confused by your statement.
    – Nadia
    Commented Jun 10 at 14:24
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    @Nadia you can travel between the UK and Italy using a UK passport and an Italian ID card. You say you've been using a British passport and an Italian passport, so you know whom to show which document. If the Italian officers say that an Italian ID card is no longer valid for travel to the UK, you can show the British passport and say "not for dual British/Italian citizens."
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 10 at 14:29

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