Passports and visas

Here comes the fun stuff…how to get in and out of the country!

In trying to make this happen for us, we could only find information on student visas from Canada to the UK, which would be helpful for most people. However, Luke and I are in a unique circumstance; we each have a parent born in the UK. What this means for us is that we can successfully maintain a dual Canadian-UK citizenship, allowing us to live and work in the UK without a visa.

If you are looking to obtain your UK passport (and follow our footsteps), you need to qualify through one of the following ways:

  • Have been born in the UK (born after 1983? You only qualify if your father was a UK citizen or was “settled” in the UK at the time of your birth)
  • Have a parent born in the UK (and therefore be a UK citizen)

These qualifications are often more complex than they appear, so, for more information, please visit the UK Government Passport Eligibility page.

Once you’ve discovered whether or not you are eligible, you can begin filling out an application. It is suggested that you deliver your application via courier. This costs around $60, but it is very much worth it as you are required to send all your current passports (meaning your valid Canadian passport and any additional passports you currently hold), and I personally would not trust such documents in regular mail where it has the potential to be lost! If you are applying for the first time, you will be required to send a whole bunch of documents to prove your identity and to prove your right to your UK passport. Such things include:

  • 2 identical passport photos following their size and colouring requirements (one of which needs to be countersigned on the back)
  • Original birth certificate
  • Original marriage certificates for your parents’ union

Also: there are other documents that you may be required to send with your application depending on your specific situation. The UK government provides a helpful PDF chart to outline the requirements for each personal situation. 

Once your application is received, you will receive your brand-spankin’ new red UK passport (with cool e-chip!) in a couriered envelope through DHL. You will receive your supporting documents

As for anything to do with visas, unfortunately, I cannot help you, as I have never needed one!

Good luck!

NOTE: I am under no circumstances trying to provide legal advice. I am simply sharing my legal experience with you based on my research. If you have legal concerns, please seek legal advice.

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