Dual Citizen, which passport do I use in London Heathrow Airport
June 15, 2019 11:24 AM   Subscribe

My children and I are dual citizen. German and American. We are flying from Austin, TX to Munich, Germany with a connecting flight in London, UK. I know I have to show my American Passport here in Austin and immigrate with the German Passport in Munich. Which passport do I show in London?
posted by Master Gunner to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you sure you have to go through customs for a connecting flight? If so I would go for your German passport, since I’m fairly sure UK is still part of the EU, technically (I think?) either way, in my dual citizen experience, it’s always best to show the passport that will give the least amount of crap, and in the UK that would be an EU passport over a US one, but frankly it shouldn’t matter since it’s just a connection.
posted by katypickle at 11:32 AM on June 15, 2019

I would show the German passport, since it's a different leg of the same trip (I have two passports and this is what I would choose). katypickle has a point as well!
posted by wellred at 11:34 AM on June 15, 2019

Best answer: I just went through Heathrow recently. US citizens go through the same line as EU citizens and British citizens, so it won't make any difference in terms of time.
posted by EllaEm at 11:50 AM on June 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Legally, it is your choice! Individuals with multiple nationalities are generally free to choose which nationality to present when entering a third country (with a few exceptions). I'd do whatever gets you through the line faster if it's not your final destination.
posted by whitewall at 11:53 AM on June 15, 2019

As whatever ID you use for your advance passenger information will be linked to your tickets and both legs will be on that ticket, use that ID. You are not entering the UK, you’re just showing ID with your boarding pass to go through security again. In Munich, use the German passports as the queue will be faster moving than the one for non EU passport holders.
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:56 AM on June 15, 2019

EU citizens can use the egates in Heathrow to get through quicker:


edit: apparently now, with the correct passport type, us citizens can also use the egates

posted by alchemist at 1:27 PM on June 15, 2019

US passport holders can now go through the e-gates, but that's not relevant in this itinerary because you won't cross the UK border (and thus encounter any passport control lines) in the first place.

When connecting from a non-UK/Ireland destination (US) to another non-UK/Ireland destination (Germany), Heathrow doesn't require you to clear immigration or customs. There is a security check, but that doesn't have different lines based on passports, it's just a security screening.

In Germany, of course, you should use your German passport; it will be faster.
posted by andrewesque at 1:32 PM on June 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

As you are boarding a flight to Germany you should use your German passport, because the airline may need to check your authority to travel before allowing you to board. At least that is how it works in my part of the world which is nowhere near Europe so YMMV.

(assuming you have booked 2 separate flights, if you booked 1 flight with a transfer then you possibly wouldn't need to go through passport control in London at all as you will be in a transit area)
posted by McNulty at 2:35 PM on June 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Use the passport you intend to enter Germany with. My understanding is the standard practice should be to enter and exit a country with the same passport, so once you’ve left the US you’re on a new passport cycle and should use the German one until you leave Germany, and then enter the US with the US passport.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:18 AM on June 16, 2019

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