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Immigration Question for US/Canadian Passport Holders Entering UK

Old 01-28-07, 06:16 AM
  #1  
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Immigration Question for US/Canadian Passport Holders Entering UK

Hi All,

I wasn't sure which forum to post this in - figured the Politics forum would be ok since people in here could have knowledge about this..

I hold two passports: US and Canada. I was born in Canada and naturalized to the US. Grew up in the States since I was 5, pay US taxes, etc so my domicile is the US.

I currently work in the UK holding an HSMP work permit. My HSMP work permit is expiring March 8, 2007 and thus I am in the process of renewing it. There is no issue with obtaining an HSMP, my company is essentially sponsoring me and is providing me with an immigration solicitor firm to manage the application process.

Apparently, the earliest I can apply to renew my HSMP is 5 weeks prior to the expiration. Thus, 5 weeks prior is Feb. 1st. The problem is I have 2 international trips scheduled in Feb which I need to go - Feb 8-11 (NYC) and Feb 17-18 (Madrid). Thus, the earliest I can submit my application is Feb 19th.

Per the immigration firm, the current wait time for the HSMP turnaround is 8 weeks!! This would be ok under normal circumstances, however, I have FOUR trips already booked and in the queue during those 8 weeks and I will NOT have my US passport because it will be submitted with the application.

I will have the immigration firm make a good case to fast track the application due to the need to travel internationally, however, they have said it is not to be guarenteed. Additionally, there is no way to fast track this by paying additional money.

Therefore, I am looking for ways to eliminate my risk of not having my US passport to travel. As mentioned earlier, I am a Canadian passport holder as well. I applied for this while I was in the states and sent Canada the necessary documentation, thus there are zero stamps on this passport and it has never been used to travel across borders.

The question is: Can I use this Canadian passport to travel internationally while I wait for my US passport to get the HSMP work permit?

The four trips I already have scheduled which are within the 8 weeks are as follows:

Mar 16 - Mar 18 Dublin, Ireland
Mar 22 - Mar 26 Seattle, WA USA
Mar 23 - Mar 25 Las Vegas, NV USA
Apr 5 - Apr 9 New York City, NY USA

Does anyone know what the laws are coming in and out of the UK and the US?

Any help would be appreciated! I have checked travel.state.gov and several UK immigration sites, but none are specific to this particular situation.

Thank you
MitzEclipse is offline  
Old 01-28-07, 11:06 AM
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they actually take your passport for the application and not just a photo copy?
that's crazy
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Old 01-28-07, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
they actually take your passport for the application and not just a photo copy?
that's crazy
That's correct - they have to put the actual visa and embed it inside the actual US Passport. I had to do this the initial time I applied for my work permit and when I got my India visa.
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Old 01-28-07, 11:56 AM
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This sounds really complicated and you should probably ask an immigration lawyer. You shouldn't have any trouble getting into Ireland and the U.S. on a Canadian passport, but getting back into the U.K. might be a problem.
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Old 01-28-07, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
they actually take your passport for the application and not just a photo copy?
that's crazy
When I renewed my passport, they took the old one (which was still valid) to get me a new one. I was out of a passport for about 4-6 weeks (I am thinking it was closer to 4, but can't remember anymore)
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Old 01-29-07, 12:34 PM
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Been to the UK a couple of times in the past year; never had any problems using my Canadian passport. In your case, you would be better off having proof of your pending work permit application with you in case they wanted to see it. Maybe you could get a letter from the immigration authorities saying that you have an application pending with them. And if you have a copy of your US passport with the relevant stamps, that would help as well.
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Old 01-29-07, 03:19 PM
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I would definately bring this up w/ the firm that you said is handling your case w/ the UK authorities. Since there is no entrance stamp on the Canadian passport if you just head out of the UK w/ it you might have problems when you reach the other country, or more likely problems getting back into the UK.
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