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I have dual US/UK citizenship. Four months ago, I left my country of residence in the US to live in UK.
I entered UK on my US passport which was stamped with a 6-month stay on it.

Can I or should I ignore the 6-month-stay stamp after it has expired on my US passport and still live here legally since I also hold a UK passport?

  • 5
    Yes, it's not an issue as long as using your US passport was not evading or avoiding something. Otherwise you should channel hop and use your British passport. – Gayot Fow Nov 2 '15 at 15:27
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    I'm assuming your British citizenship is one of the kinds that gives you right of abode in the UK? – DJClayworth Nov 2 '15 at 17:29
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    I just thought I'd mention that doing this the other way (entering the US using your UK passport) would be illegal as the US requires that US citizens always use their US passport to enter the country. – Greg Hewgill Nov 2 '15 at 19:07
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    @Ruth, you only need to channel hop if there is a stop indicator on your passport. so... are you ok with this info? Do you want a formal answer? – Gayot Fow Nov 2 '15 at 20:52
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    @GayotFow. Yes, I am OK with your answer. As a matter of fact I am booking a trip to Rotterdam leaving UK with my US passport and returning to UK in a couple of days using my British passport. I feel more comfortable and at ease if I did it this way. Thank you very much for advice. – Ruth Nov 3 '15 at 20:16
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+50

It is totally fine for you to stay in the UK past the 6 months on your US passport, since you have citizenship/right of abode.

However, if you leave the UK, and return again using your US passport, you will face questioning based on the assumption that you have previously overstayed. This can be cleared up by showing your UK passport/anything else official that identifies you as a citizen of the UK, and explaining what happened. You can also completely avoid this by entering the UK with your UK passport on any subsequent visits.

However, these types of things give me OCD-shivers, so if I were you I'd still do as the other poster said and visit a UK Immigration office and have this matter sorted out.

For your convenience, here is the contact info you need.

  • Care to source? We are looking for authoritative answers, preferably some links to laws, .gov.uk sites describing this situation etc. – chx Jun 1 '16 at 9:02
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    I can't seem to find anything that is official/not based on personal accounts/opinions, however it would make intuitive sense that a person with RoA (right of abode) is allowed to stay in their country no matter how they entered. OP's question was if she can live in the UK legally past the 6 month visitor visa, which she can, however finding out (with official sources) if that would be detrimental to her US passport is extremely difficult. – Joel Damien Jun 1 '16 at 9:54
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    (+1) I would not expect official sources to state as much because it does not really make sense to consider this situation as far as the law is concerned. It's the citizenship (or in the UK, the right of abode) that implies the right to be in the country, not the passport itself. – Relaxed Jun 1 '16 at 11:10
  • Obviously you can stay in the UK if you are a citizen. But see @GregHewgill's comment and my reply to it the original question: There was a time (1952-1979) when the US threatened its citizens with five years in prison if they entered the US with a non-US passport. Is there anything like that in the UK? – chx Jun 2 '16 at 11:59
  • @chx There is nothing I can find in any official documentation to suggest that, and you wouldn't expect there to be if such a thing was not in place. It's hard for me to prove that a non-existent pebble does not exist. All personal accounts on blogs and travel forums that I have found suggest otherwise (i.e. that the UK does not enforce it's citizens to use their UK passport when entering the country) – Joel Damien Jun 2 '16 at 13:32
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Go to the nearest UKVI office and explain the situation so they can make the proper adjustments in their database

Since you were recorded as a US citizen, in their eyes you are only visa-exempt for 6 months, with any stay beyond that period illegal. Whilst you CAN stay beyond the period, since you ARE a British citizen as well, how should the Immigration authorities know unless you showed them your UK passport? I'm not saying it will lead to consequences (I wouldn't know) but it's always best for them to know your true "Status". Hence why in your Situation I'd go to the UKVI, Show both passports (including your entry stamp) and ask them to "correct" their info so you're registered as a British citizen

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    You have to explain more, add some links to support this. – Nean Der Thal May 7 '16 at 7:29
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    Can you please explain what are the 'proper adjustments' they would make? What would you expect them to fix? In fact, why does anything need fixing? – Gayot Fow May 10 '16 at 17:18
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    The advice in the answer is not necessarily bad in itself but the reasoning offered in comments does not fully make sense to me. Being registered as this or that does not negate a person's British citizenship, paperwork aside, there is simply no way their presence in the UK is illegal. What could happen is that their name or passport get flagged and they would have some explaining to do but as you wrote yourself they are still entitled to live in the UK so it does not make sense to consider that staying is illegal. – Relaxed Jun 1 '16 at 6:58
  • At most, there could be a fine for using the wrong passport or misrepresenting your situation (I don't think there is something like that in the UK but there are rules like that elsewhere and it's not totally inconceivable). But that does not amount to being present illegally and does not expose you to the same consequences like a removal or ban. – Relaxed Jun 1 '16 at 6:59
  • @Relaxed Was it the U.S. where citizens are not allowed to enter using a non-US passport? – Alexander Jun 1 '16 at 10:14

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