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-   -   Dual Nationality, Two Names - int'l return travel issues? (https://www.expatforum.com/expats/britain-expat-forum-expats-living-uk/142325-dual-nationality-two-names-intl-return-travel-issues.html)

VisaAnxiety 10th February 2013 04:11 AM

Dual Nationality, Two Names - int'l return travel issues?
 
Hi! I've been looking through the forums and couldn't find any situations quite like ours.

My 6 year old has Chinese citizenship and UK citizenship. My wife (his mother) is a Chinese citizen with a UK Residence Permit.

We live in the UK, and are currently visiting relatives in China. He used a Chinese Travel Document (Blue Book that looks like a passport) to leave the UK and to enter China, where it was stamped upon entry. The Chinese Embassy in London refused to issue him a Travel Visa in his UK Passport since he is a Chinese citizen and they don't recognize his UK citizenship.

Therefore we had to book his return plane ticket using his Chinese name so that it matched the Chinese Travel Document he had to use to travel.

The UK recognizes dual/multiple nationalities. China only recognizes Chinese nationality.

Two things we have confirmed:

#1 Confirmed: The FCO in Beijing tell me on the phone that it is no problem for him, on our return to the UK in the coming days) to enter the UK using his UK passport, since as a British citizen he automatically has right of abode.

#2 Confirmed: The Chinese Entry/Exit Bureau in Beijing confirm on the phone that my son will be able to leave China using the same Chinese Travel Document he enter China on. His Chinese Travel Document (Blue Book) is valid for two years. Beijing airport POE officials also told me this.

Possible issue is:

His valid Chinese birth certificate, previous cancelled passports, and the Chinese Travel Document that is now issued to replace those passports, all use his Chinese name. (My wife's surname on her passport is the same as the surname on his Chinese ID documents).

His UK passport and UK birth certificate both use his English name.

Therefore, when we come to leave China though, at Immigration, British Airways and/or the immigration officials before we board the flight are surely going to ask if he is the same person aren't they!?!

How do we prove that he is? Do a DNA test?

My point is that they will request to see his British visa in his Chinese Travel Document, but since there isn't one will they refuse him permission to travel? I can always pull out his UK passport to show them he is allowed to enter the UK, but since his UK passport bears his English name, surely with the "two names discrepancy" they will query us and request proof of his identity!?

It is very obvious from the passport photos in both his UK passport and his Chinese Travel Document that he is the same person.

I figure it is relatively normal for people of mixed race to have two names (i.e. one from their mother's country, one from the father's country). And that those people do travel internationally and don't face complications...?

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Thanks so much.

_shel 10th February 2013 06:08 AM

The UKBA must have seen this a million times. It is quite normal to leave a country on that passport and then enter the UK on a British. My hubby does it being Australian/British same name just shows both passports to prove right to board plane at check in but shows aussie passports at points as Australia insists on leaving on it. You just show both documents if asked, the name difference shouldn't matter so long as he has a British passport for entry.

Joppa 10th February 2013 08:20 AM

I don't see much of a problem there either. Just show his Chinese travel document at check in, and when asked, also his British passport. Show only his travel document at passport control after security. Produce his British passport at the gate, and where necessary, his travel document as well. Only his British passport on arrival in UK.

VisaAnxiety 11th February 2013 01:21 AM

Thanks _shel and thanks Joppa for taking the time to reply.

Guess I'm just panicking a little just because this isn't the usual, run-of-the-mill scenario.

Its the Beijing Airport passport control area that gets me. You don't think that the two names will be questioned at that checkpoint?

I ask because at the Chinese Embassy in London in January they requested proof that my son (with two names) was in fact the same person and not two different people. I asked "what would you like me to show you?" They said something to the effect of 'that was up to me to decide'! I mean whaat?!!

So you can see my hesitation here...

At Beijing Airport passport control they will see that my son's Chinese Travel Document already has a red entry stamp in it issued by Beijing Airport passport control last week (we are in Beijing as I write this now). So my assumption is that either they:
  1. don't care and wave him through, or
  2. see the entry stamp, don't care and wave him through, or
  3. see the entry stamp and understand that he must already have permission to travel to/reside in the UK, and wave him through, or
  4. see the entry stamp and understand that he must already have permission to travel to/reside in the UK, but request to see evidence of a visa or some form of permission to enter the UK (since his Chinese Travel Document contains no British visa), and so our only proof is his British passport which has his British name in it, and not wave him through at all (which brings me back to the issue at the Chinese Embassy in London where they requested evidence that he was in fact the same person!

Number 4 is I guess the crux of the situation.

Joppa 11th February 2013 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VisaAnxiety (Post 1050591)
Thanks _shel and thanks Joppa for taking the time to reply.

Guess I'm just panicking a little just because this isn't the usual, run-of-the-mill scenario.

Its the Beijing Airport passport control area that gets me. You don't think that the two names will be questioned at that checkpoint?

I ask because at the Chinese Embassy in London in January they requested proof that my son (with two names) was in fact the same person and not two different people. I asked "what would you like me to show you?" They said something to the effect of 'that was up to me to decide'! I mean whaat?!!

So you can see my hesitation here...

At Beijing Airport passport control they will see that my son's Chinese Travel Document already has a red entry stamp in it issued by Beijing Airport passport control last week (we are in Beijing as I write this now). So my assumption is that either they:
  1. don't care and wave him through, or
  2. see the entry stamp, don't care and wave him through, or
  3. see the entry stamp and understand that he must already have permission to travel to/reside in the UK, and wave him through, or
  4. see the entry stamp and understand that he must already have permission to travel to/reside in the UK, but request to see evidence of a visa or some form of permission to enter the UK (since his Chinese Travel Document contains no British visa), and so our only proof is his British passport which has his British name in it, and not wave him through at all (which brings me back to the issue at the Chinese Embassy in London where they requested evidence that he was in fact the same person!

Number 4 is I guess the crux of the situation.

I don't know the specifics about exit control at Beijing Airport, but usually, the authoroties are only interested in seeing that the person leaving the country is properly documented. The fact that your son received entry stamp on his Chinese document should be proof enough. It's the airline - which can be fined if they carry inadequately documented passenger - that insists on seeing that he has proper visa or passport to enter UK.

If you are still worried, and I confess I know little about the Chinese immigration system, have a word with the British consulate general in Beijing: Contact our Consular Sections

zelek 9th January 2014 05:24 PM

Appreciate this thread is quite old now but was hoping you're still reading this! Was everything ok in the end? We're in a similar situation and would be very interested to know how things worked out.

What happened at immigration? Were there any problems exiting China without a visa in the Chinese Travel Document?

Thanks a lot for your help!

VisaAnxiety 9th January 2014 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zelek (Post 2806050)
Appreciate this thread is quite old now but was hoping you're still reading this! Was everything ok in the end? We're in a similar situation and would be very interested to know how things worked out.

What happened at immigration? Were there any problems exiting China without a visa in the Chinese Travel Document?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Hi zelek,

Yes, everything was ok in the end returning from China to the UK for my wife, my son (which was the issue), and I. If you wanted to raise your specific concern about your situation that may be similar, I'll be happy to try to help based on our experience.

Regards,

zelek 12th January 2014 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VisaAnxiety (Post 2806202)
Hi zelek,

Yes, everything was ok in the end returning from China to the UK for my wife, my son (which was the issue), and I. If you wanted to raise your specific concern about your situation that may be similar, I'll be happy to try to help based on our experience.

Regards,

Thanks a lot for the reply - that's good to know!

Very similar situation to what you described (travelling UK to China for holiday) and I was concerned there would be problems exiting China without a British visa in the Chinese Travel Document (even with a British passport etc.)

Did they just wave you through immigration when they saw your son's entry stamp? Or was it more complicated?

Thanks again for the advice!


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