So I am a born Canadian citizen but also Irish and I hold both passports. I'm moving to the UK and I'm confused about entry at immigration. I know I have to leave Canada using my Canadian passport but can I enter using my Irish passport through the EU line? I'm getting conflicting info, as some info I have seen suggests that if I try to enter on a different passport there may be conflict with immigration because my Canadian will be in their manifest.


2 Answers 2


can I enter using my Irish passport through the EU line?

As an Irish citizen you have an absolute right to enter the UK, in fact more so than other EU citizens. So they cannot refuse you, full stop, regardless of what the passenger manifest looks like.

In any case, you should check in using the Irish passport (although in the case of Canada, airline staff may want your Canadian passport as well, since Canada does not do exit border checks). As a rule of thumb, you should use the passport to be used for the destination country.

  • Why "more than other EU"?
    – Ulkoma
    Jun 6, 2017 at 20:15
  • 2
    @Ulkoma Old British-Irish treaties. In fact, before 1949 Irish people were even British subjects. Whenever an Irish Person enters the UK, they get permanent resident Status, while other EU:ers have to wait for 5 years
    – Crazydre
    Jun 6, 2017 at 20:25
  • @Ulkoma- as Crazydre says Irish people have special rights in the UK that go beyond other EU citizens. We can vote in UK general elections immediately for example, with our Irish citizenship, which other EU citizens cannot unless they acquire UK citizenship. This is because Irish people have never been considered "aliens" under UK immigration law- we were formerly the same country and held a common citizenship, and this persisted even after independence. Even after that we never acquired the status of "alien". Most rights are reciprocal with UK citizens in Ireland who have a similar status.
    – Ivan McA
    Jun 7, 2017 at 18:02
  • @IvanMcA The UK's rules for Irish do involve slightly more restrictions than the reverse though. For example, British are completely immune from Deportation from Ireland, while the reverse is not true (though it's harder for an Irish Person to be removed from the UK than for another EU national)
    – Crazydre
    Jun 7, 2017 at 18:53

Canada does not not check passports on exit (at last not at airport). You will not need to show any passport to Canadian authorities when you leave. You will need to show a passport to the airline.

The only important point is that you need to show your Irish passport to UK immigration on entry. Canadians are allowed to enter the UK without visa, but if they ask you why you are coming to the UK and you say "to live there" they will need proof that you are allowed to do so. Your Irish passport gives you that permission. Your Canadian one does not. Your Irish passport also allows you to use the EU line.

You also need to present a passport to the airline to prove that you are allowed to enter the UK. It doesn't matter which one you choose, since both Canadian and Irish can enter the UK without a visa, and the airline will neither ask nor care what your purpose in coming to the UK is. Using your Irish passport is probably marginally simpler, but there is no problem with giving a different passport to the airline from the one you will be entering the UK on. make sure you have both available of course.

  • Canadians have a right to enter the UK without a visa for tourism but that they do not have the right to remain forever that Irish people do. There is a possibility that the airline would look for a return ticket from a Canadian but not from an Irish person.
    – Ivan McA
    Jun 7, 2017 at 18:07

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