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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Sunday December 24, 2006
01:56 PM

ID, immigration and dual nationality

[ #31999 ]

So the government is proposing all sorts of things, and never U-turning ever, no no no, but basically it seems to want to track everyone coming in and out of the country.

How does this work for a person with dual nationality, who enters the UK on a UK passport, but leaves on the other passport? Without any special provision it's going to seem like that UK passport holder is still in the country, and there will be some other unbalanced record of some random foreigner leaving the country. This might raise questions of data integrity, but is more likely to be ignored as "not an issue", particularly if that passport number isn't flagged up in any way, given that we're far more concerned about illegal immigrants than illegal emigrants

Are the government somehow assuming that they will have full lists of $other_country passport numbers tied to UK passport numbers for these individuals, to correctly track them? With or without the co-operation of $other_country? Or is this just one of the things they've not thought about yet?

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  • As Boris Johnson discovered to his cost, dual USA citizens must use their USA passports when entering the USA [boris-johnson.com]. Perhaps the UK will invent a similar rule (though it isn't obvious how it could be enforced)?

    • I don't think that it will really make a difference. Say you have dual UK/USA nationality, all other things being equal, even without a law enforcing how you enter, you will find it easier to arrive in the USA on an American passport, and in the UK on an EU passport. Changing the law to mandate the use of a UK passport on arrival actually ensures that the problem gets harder, if all countries make analogous changes.

  • Considering that there isn't passport control for people moving between the UK and Ireland, there will always be a mismatch in the counts. People could enter Ireland, travel from Ireland to UK, and leave the UK. Even without a dual nationality, that would be a foreigner leaving the UK who has never entered.

    If the UK is to ever enter the Schengen agreement, it will even get worse. Then there's no passport control between the UK and most European countries.

    • Oh, I'm fairly sure that'll never happen. The Daily Mail will have a field day about the country being overrun with immigrants...

      -Dom