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frantzgregory, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 770
Experience:  Over 5 years dealing with EEA Law, Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Law.
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I am an American citizen living in the UK. I first came here

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Hello, I am an American citizen living in the UK. I first came here on a Student Visa to do a PhD, and then came back as a graduate entrepreneur a year ago. Three weeks ago yesterday, I sent off my application to extend my Tier 1 GE visa (by courier, which means they should have received it the next day) and am waiting to get my passport back. I got notice to go give my biometrics only a week after sending the application (I did so immediately, on the same day) and am pretty confident I will have no problems with the second year extension. My question is as follows: I also have a second passport (I have dual citizenship - US and Mexico) and I would like know if I am allowed to travel on this secondary passport, as a tourist, even though my US passport is currently with the Home Office. In other words, could I travel out for the weekend on my Mexican passport and come back in with it, explaining that I am waiting for my US passport to be returned with my visa extension? Would an immigration officer be ok with that? Thanks in advance for your help.
HelloThank you for your enquiry.Unfortunately you cannot leave the UK without a visa. Your Mexican passport does not contain your visa. You will not be allowed into the UK. The advise given by the Home Office is very clear - do not make any travel arrangement while your visa is being processed..
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK understood, but wouldn't I be able to come back in as a tourist? Ie on a 90 day tourist visa?
But on entry the record would show that you are suppose to be in the UK on a different visa. It would cause confusion and It is not clear what decision would be made on the day. Your application for extension should have asked for all your passports any way but you didn't submit all passport you hold. Obviously we cannot not give advice on JA in this particular situation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Franz. The application asked for all passports which had a previous visa or with which I had previously had a biometric residency permit, and my Mexican passport didn't have any of that -- that's why I didn't send it in. I only got it in 2014 (I was born in the US but my parents are Mexican, and I think it was around 2000 that Mexico allowed for dual citizenship - I just hadn't taken the time to get the passport before and traveled uniquely on my US one). In any event - I can see that it would be up to the immigration officer that day, and that is risky.... I'd be traveling with my partner of 5 years, who is British, I don't know if that would help? One last question: what is a JA?
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Frantz (sorry I misspelled your name last time!). OK, I'm a bit confused now, sorry. You said " Obviously we cannot not give advice on JA (just answer) in this particular situation." Going back to read it just now I realise you said "cannot not" - did you mean cannot? You mean you couldn't advise re whether or not I should have sent in all my passports? I would imagine had that been a problem, they would have told me so by now, and given they asked for biometrics right away and it is just an extension, I thought everything was in order? I did list the passport on the application. Is there a way to contact you directly and not on here if you are saying you cannot advise me entirely on here?
Sorry I meant cannot. Like you say if there was a problem you would have been contacted. The best thing to do is to wait for your extension application to come through. Avoid any travelling during this process for the obvious reason that, the Home Office may contact you and if you are not around to deal with any issue, you risk getting a refusal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok Frantz, I understand, thanks a lot for that. One last question (promise), and this is just curiosity, because I am trying to understand how they would know: when you go up to an immigration officer and give them your passport, do they get a record of all passports attached to your name and all entries on their computer screen? Can they see every entry and exit you've ever had on screen, on any passport? I've always wondered about this, when they look through your stamps (i.e. if they have it on screen, why check you stamps).
they scan your passport and details with information such as names, applications made, visas etc are displayed. A few years ago as I remember applicants who were refused a visa, (this was back in the day when refusals were stamped on passports), made new passports to disguise themselves. This loop hole was discovered and checks put in place to prevent this from happening again. I am not suggesting you are in this situation but the checks done now are capable of revealing so much information about applicants and rightly so to avoid circumventing the law.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh wow, that's extreme. No of course not, and as I am trying to eventually qualify for settlement (hopefully by a combination of long residence, spouse status, and either the 3 or 5 year tier 1 entrepreneur route), I wouldn't want to do anything to endanger that. I basically just had a trip planned that I hate to be missing. And technically, legally, I found nothing to say that it was illegal to travel out and back in on a (genuine, legal) passport which I wasn't using for my visa extension application and which I hadn't been asked to submit because it had a previous visa in it. I only saw that it was "advisable" not to, hence I cam here to ask. I think it's best I stay put, in any event!
That is the general advice for applicant's by the Home Office.