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Will I Be Arrested for UK Debts if I Return to the UK From the US? – Chris

Written by Jon Emge

“Dear Jon,

I’m a dual US/UK citizen. I moved to UK from US in 2008. I accumulated debt in the form of a bank loan from Lloyds and a CC from Lloyds. I got a job back in the US and returned there in early 2012. I tried for weeks to work with Lloyds to find a way to transfer money from my US bank account to my UK bank account so I could keep paying on my debt. I spent endless hours on phone calls being passed form person to person and dept to dept at Lloyds and they could not find a way to do it.

I owe approx £10K in a bank loan and about £3K in CC. I’ve been away from the UK for four years and 9 months. If I go back to UK will I get arrested or detained at the airport? As a dual citizen, will it matter if I re-enter on a UK or US passport?

Chris”

Chris,

Are you returning to the UK to live, or just a visit?

Just for leaving debts alone in the UK you will not be stopped or detained upon entry back into the UK. So no worries there.

If you are returning to the UK to live for a period of time, you may wish to resolve the accounts, either by setting up a debt management plan, or you could look into a Debt Relief Order or DRO. This would depend on if you meet the eligibility requirements or not. In addition, you would need to show the UK as your centre of interest. This means you are at that time, living here, working here, etc.

As to which passport to enter the UK on, which citizenship was your first passport based on? Where were you born?

How have you travelled back and forth prior, which passport have you used?

I have been told if a US citizen later obtains UK citizenship, yes you can use that passport to enter the US and travel, however it is preferred that a US citizen travelling into the US use a US passport. Doing so eliminates the need for an ESTA form, and allows you to stay indefinitely.

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If you enter the US on a British passport, you have limited time you can stay.

The same is for entering the UK on a US passport, unless you have received a settlement or leave of indefinite stay Visa, you can only stay here a limited time.

Regards,

Jon

About the author

Jon Emge

Jon Emge is an experienced UK debt advisor who has helped thousands and thousands of people in the UK to deal with problem debt. Jon specialises in finding good solutions for problem debt using a variety of UK specific techniques.

If you have a question you’d like to ask about how to get out of UK debt, just use the online form.

1 Comment

  • Hi Jon, thanks for the reply. I will be visiting the UK just for a week on business. I was originally born in the US and obtained British citizenship later through my Mother. My passport question was intended to understand if I stood a greater chance of being stopped of detained using either passport. But from what you’re saying, it seems I won’t be detained either way, is that correct? And I won’t have any issues leaving the UK a week later? I was very worried about this because I assumed that after being unable to recover my debt, the bank would send it to a collections agency and that if they couldn’t recover, it would be reported to the police. And that then I may be flagged at immigration on my way in. But would it never have gotten to the police?

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