- What do I need to know about dual citizenship?
- What are the requirements for British citizenship?
- Are there other ways of getting British citizenship?
- Can I become a citizen of another country if I’m a British citizen?
- Children of dual citizens
- Will I need to complete an application to become a dual citizen of another country?
- Do I need to give up my EU passport to remain in the UK?
- What are the benefits of dual citizenship?
- Is multiple citizenship permitted?
- How can you help me?
- Frequently asked questions
UK Dual Citizenship
Dual citizenship is a form of citizenship which is permitted in the UK. You can be both a citizen of the UK and a citizen of another country, meaning you do not need to give up citizenship of where you used to live.
You can apply for foreign citizenship and keep your British citizenship too. However, many countries do not accept dual citizenship, so you will have to ensure that the country which you wish to be a dual citizen of accepts dual citizenship.
What Do I Need to Know About Dual Citizenship?
You do not need to actually complete an application for dual citizenship, but you do need to be a British citizen. You can get British citizenship through different routes, the most common of which is British citizenship by naturalisation.
Typically, you can apply for British citizenship after you have lived in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain status for one year. In most cases, this will equate to six years of living in the UK lawfully.
When you complete your British citizenship application you can opt to retain your current citizenship status. It is vitally important to check that dual citizenship is accepted in your current country of citizenship. The laws of some countries dictate that if you apply to become a British citizen, your previous citizenship will be automatically lost.
What are the Requirements for British Citizenship?
The requirements which someone needs to fulfil in order to become a British citizen by naturalisation depends on the individual’s circumstances.
The main requirements for British citizenship are as follows:
- Must be aged 18 or over
- Have lawfully lived in the UK for the qualifying period pertaining to your circumstances (usually six years). This includes living in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain status for at least one year
- Have not spent more than 90 days outside of the UK in the previous 12 months
- Have not spent more than 450 days outside of the UK in the qualifying period
- Passed an English language test at B1 level (unless exempt)
- Passed Life in the UK test
- Not breached any UK immigration rules and passed the “good character” test
Are There Other Ways of Getting British Citizenship?
British citizenship by naturalisation is not the only route towards British citizenship. You can also become a British citizen through the following:
Also, in certain circumstances, you can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation after three years of living in the UK.
The rules around British citizenship through these routes can be complex. If you would like some expert guidance on whether you are eligible for British citizenship, please call us now on 0121 667 6530.
Can I Become a Citizen of Another Country if I’m a British Citizen?
You do not need to renounce your British citizenship if you are a British citizen and wish to become a citizen of another country. However, you will need to ensure that the country you wish to become a citizen of accepts dual nationality.
As a dual citizen, you can still enjoy all the benefits of British citizenship and will not need to sacrifice any privileges.
Bear in mind that in some countries you will automatically be counted as citizen of that country if your spouse is from that country, meaning you will already have dual citizenship.
Also, children might automatically be counted as having the nationality of their parent.
Children of dual citizens
If both parents are dual citizens of the same two countries, then the child will typically inherit citizenship from both parents. The child could be eligible for dual citizenship in both countries.
If one parent is a dual citizen, and the other parent is a citizen of one country the child might still be eligible for citizenship in both countries, depending on the laws of those countries. Some countries have provisions that allow children to inherit citizenship from a parent even if that parent is a dual citizen.
Some countries grant citizenship to children born within their territory, regardless of the parents’ citizenship status. This can sometimes lead to a child having citizenship in a country where the parents are not citizens. It is best to be aware of your citizenship countries’ official rules regarding dual citizenship. If you need assistance with this then Birmingham Immigration lawyers will be able to help.
Will I Need to Complete an Application to Become a Dual Citizen of Another Country?
The rules around dual citizenship differ depending on the country, and you may need to complete a dual citizenship application. It is important that you check with immigration officials what the dual citizenship process is.
You do not need to inform the Home Office if you wish to become a dual citizen, which means you will not need to fill in an application form or anything similar.
You do not need to renounce your British citizenship if you are a British citizen and wish to become a citizen of another country. However, you will need to ensure that the country you wish to become a citizen of accepts dual citizenship.
Do I Need to Give up My EU Passport to Remain in the UK?
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens who are currently living in the UK up until 30th June 2021. You can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021.
The EU Settlement Scheme will enable an EU citizen to live in the UK indefinitely with settled status.
Pre-settled status will be given to eligible EU nationals who have spent less than five years of continuous residence in the UK. Pre-settled status will enable you to live in the UK for a further five years.
With both settled and pre-settled status, you will not need to give up your EU passport in order to apply for a British passport instead. It is also not essential to apply for dual citizenship in the UK.
What are the benefits of dual citizenship?
Dual citizenship, also known as dual nationality, offers several potential benefits to individuals who hold citizenship in more than one country. These benefits can vary based on the specific countries involved and their respective laws, but here are some common advantages associated with dual citizenship:
- Travel Freedom: Dual citizens can enjoy the benefits of holding passports from multiple countries. This can make travel more convenient and may allow for visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to a wider range of countries.
- Residence Options: Dual citizenship have more options in choosing where to live and work. Individuals with dual citizenship may have an easier time obtaining residence permits or work visas in either of their countries.
- Access to Services: Dual citizens have access to the rights and services provided by both countries. This can include healthcare, education, social services, and other public benefits.
- Property Ownership: In some countries, dual citizens may have fewer restrictions on purchasing and owning property. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals interested in real estate investment or retirement planning.
- Business Opportunities: Dual citizenship can provide access to business opportunities in both countries, potentially allowing for expansion of a business across international borders.
- Political Rights: Dual citizens may have the right to participate in political processes, such as voting and running for office, in either or both countries.
- Security and Stability: Holding citizenship in a second country can provide a safety net in case of political instability, economic crises, or other unforeseen events.
- Cultural Identity: Dual citizenship allows individuals to maintain a connection to their heritage and culture while enjoying the benefits of their other citizenship.
- Education: Some countries offer lower tuition fees or preferential treatment to citizens for higher education. Dual citizens may be eligible for these benefits in both countries.
- Retirement and Social Benefits: Dual citizens may be eligible for retirement benefits and social security programs in both countries, enhancing their financial security during retirement.
- Family Considerations: Dual citizenship can simplify family arrangements when individuals from different countries marry or when families relocate internationally.
- Ease of Business Travel: For individuals who frequently travel for business, holding citizenship in multiple countries can simplify visa processes and reduce administrative burdens.
Is Multiple Citizenship Permitted?
You can apply to naturalise as a British citizen without the need to renounce any other citizenship. This means that you can be a citizen of multiple countries as a British citizen.
However, it is important to check the rules around citizenship with the other countries in question. Some countries do not permit a person to have dual citizenship UK status, meaning you would have to renounce your primary citizenship if you became a British citizen.
How Can You Help Me?
We have offices throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland and have developed an outstanding reputation over the years, with an enviable track record.
Our immigration lawyers in Birmingham are here to help you with any immigration query, regardless of its complexity. We will endeavour to help you achieve the outcome you are looking for.
If you would like more information about the process of acquiring British citizenship or dual citizenship, please do not hesitate to call us on 0121 667 6530.
Last modified on November 24th, 2023 at 12:06 pm
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There is no official dual citizenship application in the UK.
In order to be eligible for dual citizenship, you must have lived in the UK for at least one year under Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
After living for one year under Indefinite Leave to Remain status, you will be able to apply for British citizenship. There are a number of requirements which you must fulfil in order to be eligible.
You will not need to renounce your current citizenship to become a British citizen. However, you will need to ensure that dual citizenship is permitted in the country of your primary citizenship.
To find out more about British citizenship, please call us now on 0121 667 6530.
The countries which do not usually permit dual citizenship with the UK include:
- Czech Republic
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
If you are a citizen of Austria, the Netherlands or Slovakia, you can obtain dual citizenship with the UK if your second citizenship is obtained through birth rather than through naturalisation.
The Life in the UK test is an official government test based on the traditions and customs of the UK. It is a test which you must pass if you want to become a British citizen/acquire dual citizenship.
It is a multiple-choice examination with 24 questions, and you have 45 minutes to complete the test. The test costs £50 to sit, and you must achieve at least 75% to pass the test.
If you fail the test, you can resit it seven days after the failed test. You can resit the test as many time as needed.
- New Zealand
- Most EU Countries
- Commonwealth countries
Marriage to a spouse with dual citizenship doesn’t automatically grant you dual citizenship in both countries. The eligibility for dual citizenship typically depends on the citizenship laws of the countries involved.