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My daughter wants to travel home from Australia but only has 5 months left on her UK Passport.

Will she still be able to travel?

  • Is this a direct flight? – 200_success Sep 10 '14 at 17:56
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    Since there is no non-stop flight from Australia to the UK, your daughter will have to stop somewhere to change planes. There will be no problem entering the UK, as UK citizens may enter the country even with their expired passport. However, there will be a stopover. Likely locations might be Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, or Tokyo. More information about her flight is needed to give an accurate answer. – Greg Hewgill Sep 10 '14 at 20:21
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Your question is explicitly addressed by the rules. Paragraph 12 of the UK Immigration Rules states...

A person claiming to be a British citizen must prove that he has the right of abode in the United Kingdom by producing either:
(i) a United Kingdom passport describing him as a British citizen or as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies having the right of abode in the United Kingdom; or
(ii) a certificate of entitlement duly issued by or on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom certifying that he has the right of abode.

There is no requirement for the passport to be current. Otherwise the rule would say "valid" or "current".

Having said that, the key phrase in the rule is "describing him as...". So if a passport by its age no longer describes the person, or if the passport is damaged or illegible, then it's reasonable to expect a problem. In your case, these are non-issues so your daughter is good to go.

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Some countries apply restrictions on tourists (e.g. still having 3 to 6 months validity left on the passport) but I would expect that just about any country in the world would accept a valid passport from their own citizens, even if it expires the day after. Many countries, including the UK, even officially accept expired passports in this situation.

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    The UK is one of the countries that allows its citizens to enter on an expired passport. – Max Sep 10 '14 at 11:43
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    You don't need a passport to be British, you just are. (It's like having AIDS, you're stuck with it.) Though a passport is a handy way of proving it, it's just a bit of paper. I quote an embassy official I once chatted to about my children, who don't have passports, but are nevertheless British, with all the attendant rights of entry and abode. – RedSonja Sep 10 '14 at 13:47
  • @RedSonja Certainly, but that's not what the question or my answer are about. – Relaxed Sep 10 '14 at 14:28
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    This only half-answers the question. Tourist restrictions are irrelevant but any flight from Australia to the UK requires a lay-over: what about transit visas? – David Richerby Sep 10 '14 at 21:18
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    @DavidRicherby: None of the common transit points from Australia to Europe (SIN, HKG, DXB, KUL) require a transit visa (for UK citizens anyway). – Jonathan Potter Sep 11 '14 at 5:45
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You don't need a passport to be British, you just are. (It's like having AIDS, you're stuck with it.) Though a passport is a handy way of proving it, it's just a bit of paper. I quote an embassy official I once chatted to about my children, who don't have passports, but are nevertheless British.

edit: yes, right. You just have to prove you have a right to enter the country and the passport is the usual way to do this. And since British citizenship doesn't run out, an expired passport must be acceptable.

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    You can forefeit your citizenship, though - it's not with you forever if you don't want it to be. SO in that case, a passport for a citizenship you no longer have would be deemed invalid. Not sure how that's dealt with though :/ – Mark Mayo Sep 11 '14 at 8:32
  • Since 2006, there are 53 cases of British nationality being revoked. 26 on fraud and the rest on non-conducive. – Gayot Fow Sep 11 '14 at 23:56
  • Oh. Does that mean they can take mine away? (I was born Brit.) Or is that just for nationalised Brits? – RedSonja Sep 12 '14 at 10:42
  • @RedSonja, that's a different question unrelated to this one. Open a new question on it and it will get answered accordingly. – Gayot Fow Sep 12 '14 at 11:41
  • @GayotFow It's also a question that would be off-topic here, since it's about UK nationality laws, not travel. – David Richerby Sep 12 '14 at 11:56

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