Dual nationality and new biometric residence permit (BRP) in UK

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asked on Jul 20, 2016 at 07:49
edited on Jul 25, 2016 at 05:42
This is the situation, about indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and biometric residence permit (BRP). Not unique to me. I appreciate your responses and thank you!

Me with Malaysian passport. Got my ILR by marriage to British about 20 years ago. I've been working in UK all these while.

I applied BRP No Time Limit recently, as a contract employer did not want to recognise my ILR. So now I got BRP.

Having discussion with my family, it's time to have UK citizenship since all my assets are here. Brexit slightly relevant but keep Brexit out of this discussion.

So that's the background.

With the BRP, there's no use of the ILR. I think UK system has me with the BRP. If I show my old passport with the ILR at point of entry to UK, immigration will ask for my BRP.

If I have already got citizenship and British passport, I no longer have BRP, reason - it must be returned to home office when I got the passport / attended ceremony.

1. What passports do I use when enter and exit Malaysia when I already have British passport?

I know about messages here say using auto-gate on entry no problem but:

- I went back last month. When LEAVING KLIA I used auto gate. The system did find my details but said something like cannot process, go to see immigration officer. I thought reason maybe because my passport renewed in UK only very recently. Officer checked and asked something like you are studying etc., I said ya, and words to the effect: but that's some years ago. I feel it does not really matter what I said so long it does not catch me out. Is this to do with data not connected up for passports renewed very near to travel?

- Another thing, on the same trip, when ENTERING KLIA I could not use auto-gate because they were not ready, too early in the morning? So it was manual passport check, in fact had to wait about 5 minutes for the only officer to set things up. Is it because of this manual step, that then caused the EXIT auto gate to tell me to use manual exit?

- On exit at boarding gate, they check your passport again, what they are looking for, is it whether you have visa in the case of Malaysian passport holder? On some previous exits, they asked me if I am studying or working, so I answer that working. If I answer study, will they look for valid visa? Or they look for something else, illegal people, smugglers, traffickers etc., so asking to see your passport is just a way to try to catch you out?

- The fact if I show my old passport with the ILR, if they know the 'new' one that is BRP, they will want to see that. Of course, I can argue that so far I never need to do that because I have never got to change employment, accommodation etc. has anyone done that and willing to share info?

- Do the officers know the exact detail of BRP specific to UK?

- Could some people shed some light on this aspect of exiting Malaysia airports and only show current passport, no need for showing visa/ILR, now specifically BRP?

2. It's not likely I can renew my Malaysia passport in UK High Commission, since they will ask for my ILR.

- Has anyone been asked by High Commission to show BRP instead of ILR when renew passport?

- I can renew my Malaysian passport in Malaysia. The scenario in this case is I use British passport to enter and exit Malaysia. It's all very convulated! If I enter with British passport, they are not going to ask have you other country's passport. If I enter or exit Malaysia with Malaysian passport and for any reason they find my British passport, then it will be bad news losing the Malaysian passport + citizenship (and bad record and maybe barred from entry for some time?)

I don't have a huge stake if I lose Malaysian passport. Just very annoying when I am multiple times in the minority in Malaysia and grew up fixated with holding on that to assert the point that the power is wrong to sideline people like me. I have strong connection to family in Malaysia so giving up the passport is a bit sour but not major. I know about Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H).

Anyone knows about progress with dual nationality in Malaysia?

I think you got what I am asking. The most important is what I think that the ILR is being phased out so showing the old passport with ILR is no longer valid. I can't show BRP because I will soon have British citizenship. How to keep Malaysia passport?

Thank you again!
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answered on Dec 18, 2017 at 22:36
edited Dec 29, 2017 at 03:16
Hi Ah Sai,

1. Old vignette Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Many use this vehicle for movement between UK and Malaysia. Difficulty is that other countries do not recognise UK practices.... Also, it is now getting difficult to change jobs without a BRP.  
That's the reason why I applied for British passport as I do not want to get involved with BRP. Back then you do not have to surrender the BRP, but knowing there's 10 years validity on the BRP card, I knew if I applied for a British passport, it will still give me problem when come to "renewing it" in near future. 

2. BRP, (Biometric Residence Permit) once you apply for UK Citizenship, you have to surrender your BRP.
Back then you don't need to surrender, but yes you have to now

3. ROA (Right of Abode Certificate) This is pasted on to your current passport. As you say, by law it should be renewed at cost, over £150, every five years. Many foreigners are unaware of this. If you are travelling between UK and Malaysia, the Border Control Officer will allow you through... As you say 
In your case, I'm not sure how you got your ILR as far as I know, if you're already on ROA there's no way of getting ILR because ROA is as equal as a UK Citizen.

And yes I aware of Malaysia High Commission in London do "sometimes" and randomly asked to proof if you're a non UK citizen. I'm not sure at current what's the percentage or chances they're asking for it, but I can only assume they know that you can't work using vignette ILR now, but does it means that a self employed can't work with the old ILR? You can apply for the letter now before turning British, but say 5 years down the road and you'll be renewing your Malaysia passport, I'm sure they won't take the letter dated now year 2017/2018, they would demand for the later date.
Honestly, I would not take a chance to renew my Malaysia passport in London, if I don't have to. 

But yeah good luck to all of us...
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answered on Dec 18, 2017 at 23:20
edited Dec 29, 2017 at 03:19
The above topic is an interesting one which I read occasionally when it pops up.

I assume the whole purpose is to maintain the dual nationality without exposing oneself? If this is so, why can't one come back to Malaysia to renew the Malaysia Passport and then do not use it. If the roots of nationality is so strong, just come back once every 5 years to renew. For that matter, I have not renew my passport for 8 years and when I went to make a new passport, they ask why I have not travel anywhere, my answer was "tak ada wang, tapi anak-anak sekarang sponsor saya".

One can eat and keep that piece of passport dual nationality cake..!!
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answered on Dec 19, 2017 at 04:32
edited Dec 29, 2017 at 03:22
3. ROA (Right of Abode Certificate) This is pasted on to your current passport. As you say, by law it should be renewed at cost, over £150, every five years. Many foreigners are unaware of this. If you are travelling between UK and Malaysia, the Border Control Officer will allow you through... As you say  
In your case, I'm not sure how you got your ILR as far as I know, if you're already on ROA there's no way of getting ILR because ROA is as equal as a UK Citizen. 

Salam Cendol.. No lah I do not have ROA yet.  I am researching the requirements for an ROA.  I think I am OK but am talking to kawan especially during Mah Jong sessions.  Yes, many of my Kakis are dual UK Citizens and I am jealous man.  

They tell me that Malaysian High Commission accepts ROA in old passports, as some contributors on this site have said so also.
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answered on Jan 19, 2019 at 20:41
Thanks for all the advises on this thread which I have read thru. What is the latest situation now? Has anyone being caught or having trouble with either Malaysia or UK immigration?

We have lived in UK for several years now using old ILR vignette on expired passport for entry and exit. We are thinking of applying for British citizen for our son who is turning 18 soon in a few months.  He does not need to take the UK life test if he applies before 18.  We are a bit hesitance in doing that due to the fear of getting caught.   

Would appreciate if anyone could share their experiences.
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