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Entering UK with a EU National Identity Card

Entering UK with a EU National Identity Card

Old Aug 4, 15, 11:10 am
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Entering UK with a EU National Identity Card

I'm a dual citizen; Canadian and Portuguese. However, I currently only have a Canadian passport and a Portuguese National Identity Card. Which immigration lane would I use when landing at LHR?

Entering the UK says I can enter with either a valid passport or identity card from a EEA country, but then it says here that at border control you can use the automatic ePassport gates if you're from the EEA, but the only passport I have is a Canadian one...
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Old Aug 4, 15, 11:22 am
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You can use the ID card but not at the e-gates, only the manned counters. Probably easiest to do that, but if the EU queue is particularly bad and the foreign queue looks empty then you can use that with your Canadian passport instead.
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Old Aug 4, 15, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
You can use the ID card but not at the e-gates, only the manned counters. Probably easiest to do that, but if the EU queue is particularly bad and the foreign queue looks empty then you can use that with your Canadian passport instead.
Thanks! I've been through LHR several times but I've never had my EU ID card so I never bothered to check what the options were... If you use the foreign queue, do you have to disclose that you're an EU national? Or just give your Canadian passport and say nothing? I don't want to get sent to another line if I end up in the "wrong" one.
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Old Aug 4, 15, 12:49 pm
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As Ldnn1 mentions, use the staffed UK/EEA/CH queue to use your Portuguese ID card. The queue is usually long, but it moves quite quickly since detailed checks aren't usually needed in that queue. There's no regulation about which I'm aware that would require an EU citizen to self-identify as such to UK border officials upon arrival if you're a dual citizen and can enter using another document.
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Old Aug 4, 15, 12:59 pm
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My US-EU/EEA dual-citizen acquaintances sometimes use their U.S. passport to enter the UK and generally haven't had issues because of it. And those amongst them merely visiting the UK have never had issues because of it. And they do vary in which lines they choose to get up to the passport control stands.
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Old Aug 4, 15, 2:30 pm
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Yes you can choose either, assuming you're only coming for tourist purposes. If you're planning on doing any work/volunteering etc I'd say you should enter as an EU national.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 4:04 am
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Thanks for the input everyone! I spent one summer during undergrad working as a student border services officer with CBSA, and the one thing I learned from that experience is to never piss off an officer because they can make your life terrible
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Old Aug 5, 15, 6:58 am
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It shouldn't matter which queue you go through; most people don't know this, but UKBA officers are actually required to process everyone who comes up to their desk, regardless of whether or not they are in the right queue.

However, you would be well advised to present appropriate evidence of your Portuguese nationality regardless of which queue you are in. Presenting a Canadian passport might lead to the erroneous assumption that you have limited leave to remain in the UK, and might in extreme circumstances even lead to your refusal of entry, despite having the right to be admitted due to your EU citizenship.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by kraftdinner_ View Post
Thanks for the input everyone! I spent one summer during undergrad working as a student border services officer with CBSA, and the one thing I learned from that experience is to never piss off an officer because they can make your life terrible
Yes - although you are free to assert your inalienable rights to entry (or whatever), immigration agents (at least those in the UK) have greater powers of detention, etc., and can generally be miserable sods. It's best not to get arsey with them - the costs can far outweigh any benefits.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by ajax View Post
Yes - although you are free to assert your inalienable rights to entry (or whatever), immigration agents (at least those in the UK) have greater powers of detention, etc., and can generally be miserable sods. It's best not to get arsey with them - the costs can far outweigh any benefits.
That is true in principle. In practice, I have actually witness on various occasions how some border officers know little to nothing about EEA Regulations. I am now referring to more "complex" issues rather than a "straight forward" EEA national presenting an EEA identity card. An example of this is the residence cards issued to family members of EEA nationals, of which some border officers know absolutely nothing.

When that happens, you can ask to speak to the acting Chief Immigration Officer which I am sure can assist further.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
Yes you can choose either, assuming you're only coming for tourist purposes. If you're planning on doing any work/volunteering etc I'd say you should enter as an EU national.
Not to be that guy, but it shouldn't matter what document you enter the UK (or any other EU country) with. As a citizen of the EU, you will have whatever work/volunteering rights in the destination EU country regardless of the nature of the document you used to enter.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
As a citizen of the EU, you will have whatever work/volunteering rights in the destination EU country regardless of the nature of the document you used to enter.
I would still recommend using the EU document to enter the country. It simply makes no sense to use a non-EU document if you can use an EU one. As an EU citizen you enter the UK as a matter of right, they can't turn you away, they're not even supposed to ask you any questions such as "how long are you staying?"
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Old Aug 5, 15, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
I would still recommend using the EU document to enter the country. It simply makes no sense to use a non-EU document if you can use an EU one. As an EU citizen you enter the UK as a matter of right, they can't turn you away, they're not even supposed to ask you any questions such as "how long are you staying?"
Absolutely. Even though EU citizens have right of entry into the UK, and technically not having a passport to prove this shouldn't stop them, tempting fate is not a good idea. It's not worth the hassle or the risk to present a non-EU document.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
I would still recommend using the EU document to enter the country. It simply makes no sense to use a non-EU document if you can use an EU one. As an EU citizen you enter the UK as a matter of right, they can't turn you away, they're not even supposed to ask you any questions such as "how long are you staying?"
I absolutely agree (hence my pedantic preamble)!
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Old Aug 5, 15, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Not to be that guy, but it shouldn't matter what document you enter the UK (or any other EU country) with. As a citizen of the EU, you will have whatever work/volunteering rights in the destination EU country regardless of the nature of the document you used to enter.
Yes that's right, my thought was really about questioning on entry as I had in mind the unfortunate American poster who got turned away for saying she was going to volunteer at the beer festival.

But the replies above are absolutely right - my initial advice about the different queues was an inadvertent red herring as of course it doesn't really matter which desk OP uses - he/she can and should use the EU ID. I've certainly shown my British passport at the foreign desk before when it's looked a lot quicker and it's not a problem.
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