I am a UK citizen that is currently in Hong Kong and will be going back to the UK for studies. I also have a Hong Kong Passport.

Before leaving the UK for summer, I had lost my passport and started the process for getting a new one. I also still have the application number to prove this. However, I left the UK before the process was complete and thus I don't have a UK passport with me.

I am going to go back to the UK as semester starts, but entering the UK using my HK passport isn't really desirable.

So my question is, would it be possible to re-enter the UK without my UK passport? Or would I have to enter with my HK passport then leave and come back again after getting back my UK passport? If not, which number should I be calling to get an official response? (Called around and kept getting redirected without getting an actual response)

Added: I literally just found the passport that I lost before this one was applied for.

  • 3
    What evidence do you have of your British Citzenship?
    – CMaster
    Sep 12, 2016 at 14:20
  • 1
    @pnuts since I'm going to be staying for over 6 months and also would require a visa to stay as a student if I use my HK passport to enter.
    – Aaron
    Sep 12, 2016 at 16:05
  • 1
    @Aaron As a British cittizen, you have an absolute right to enter the UK, so they cannot force you to leave if you present evidence of being British
    – Crazydre
    Sep 12, 2016 at 16:57
  • 2
    @MJeffryes I disagree. British National (Overseas) is a specific British citizenship distinct from your average British citizenship — the latter includes right of abode in the UK the former does not.
    – Jan
    Sep 12, 2016 at 17:00
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    All due respect for @GayotFow’s optimism, but merely realising that two questions are too different to be dupes of each other doesn’t mean I know how to handle this situation.
    – Jan
    Sep 12, 2016 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


You are a British citizen and want to enter the UK but do not have a passport. But then you found the one you lost! For the add-on question expressed as a comment...

would a previous UK passport work? I literally just found the passport that I lost before this one was applied for.

Yes, that's fine. The controlling technical reference is Paragraph 12 of the rules which says a British passport is required. It does not have to be current, it can be expired, and it can be previously reported as lost.

Having said that, when you filled out the replacement form, there were instructions about what to do if you found your passport. You should follow them because your old passport will flag up at the control point. You can expect to be briefly detained while they find out who you are so be sure your old passport is in reasonable condition and the photo still looks like you.


  • Carry a print-out of Paragraph 12 with you if you expect to be challenged.
  • @pnuts, good point. And you are an Established User on the site and well on your way to accessing moderator tools. It means we trust you to apply needed changes that improve the archives. Yes, please do so
    – Gayot Fow
    Sep 12, 2016 at 17:58
  • I would say that, should the OP reach UKVI, then he should be figuratively and literally "home free". However, at any point before then, it is possible agent may stop or delay him (airlines have a duty to prevent people from boarding a flight to the UK if they believe that they could not successfully enter, given that they lack the same knowledge of UKVI, it is a risk). I would advise the OP get an emergency travel document.
    – Aron
    Sep 13, 2016 at 8:50

You usually get a 6-month leave to enter on the basis of a Hong Kong passport, though you will be questioned as to why you're coming to the UK and will need to produce evidence of your studies (and if you reveal you'll be staying for over 6 months, this will be a Problem).

That is, unless you can also produce evidence of your British citizenship at the border.

If you can't, then as soon as you're in, you need to obtain evidence of your citizenship, so that once the six months are up, you won't be flagged with the Home Office.

To contact UKBF, the people sitting in the passport control booths, you Need to send a letter to:

Lunar House 11th floor Long Corridor 40 Wellesley Road Croydon CR9 2BY United Kingdom

Or try calling Heathrow at +44 20 8745 9800 and asking to be connected to the Border Force

To contact UKVI, responsible for regulations regarding stays and residence in the UK (as opposed to border checks), either send an e-mail or call (be warned though - calling is pretty expensive) from this page https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-outside-uk

  • 1
    I accepted the other answer, but the contact information you gave were very useful, thank you!
    – Aaron
    Sep 12, 2016 at 17:20
  • 3
    Minor Typo : Border For(c)e Sep 13, 2016 at 6:46

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