Dual nationality not possible for US citizens


This month, new rules may come into effect regarding immigrants’ rights to attain British citizenship.  While it does not pertain to myself, I do wonder if I should consider British citizenship.  At present, I do not qualify.  Another two years in this country would give me eligibility.  There are these other tests of citizenship and proof of “good citizenship” to go through, but I’m not too worried about that.

My question is, would there be a benefit?  Would it make life any easier?  I know it would give me the right to vote, but how else would it help me?  I already have an indefinite visa.

I do know the possible disadvantages.  From what I understand, if I apply for UK citizenship, I may lose US citizenship.  And if there’s any remote possibility that we return to the US, I wouldn’t want to lose that citizenship.  The key word is “might”.  A British citizen, may acquire US citizenship without losing his/her UK citizenship.  He would have dual nationality.  However, the opposite is not true.  The US government’s website states that US citizens who voluntarily apply for citizenship in another country “may” lose their US citizenship.  This “may” could be crucial.  However, if automatic citizenship is granted, that person would not lose their US citizenship.  How does one get “automatic” citizenship without “voluntarily” applying?

My children have automatic dual citizenship.  But, they only hold US passports at this stage.  They would be able to get UK passports if we apply for them without them having to go through the citizenship process.  If I could do the same thing, I’d go for it.  But I don’t think that’s possible.

Related Post

9 Comments on “Dual nationality not possible for US citizens

  • I have many friends who hold dual US/UK citizenship, with their birth citizenship being US. My son is dual as well. No one has ever had a problem. My understanding is that as long as you enter and leave the US on your US passport they turn a blind eye, so to speak, on you having dual citizenship.

  • I’ve had dual citizenship for three years now and have never had a problem coming and going. Although, when I first got my British passport, one of the employees at the office told me I would have to revoke my American citizenship. All of the other officials I spoke to after that said that it wasn’t true, so I did get to keep both. Anyway, interesting entry.

    Also while I’m here, thought I’d ask you if you’d be up for taking part in my project. I have a blog about London life and I’ve been interviewing people who live in London to post every Saturday. There’s a set of questions if you want to check it out or if you know anyone else who would be up for it….http://littlelondonobservationist.wordpress.com/listen-to-a-londoner/

    Let me know 🙂

    .-= Steph´s last blog ..London Art Spot: Kathy Archbold =-.

  • ok so you won’t lose your US citizenship. when it says “may” it is to cater for such things as US citizens say joining foreign armed forces, or perhaps becoming citizens in countries the US is not comfortable with. But the one reason you can rest assured you will not lose your citizenship is that by staying a citizen you continue to be liable for taxes on any of your ww earnings – so expats who don’t set a foot in the US continue to be a nice cashcow for the US government. Moreover, given up your citizenship even if you wanted to is a very hard thing to do.

    In terms of benefits: ability to work and live in any country in the european union (ie not just the UK), not having to stand in long queues at European airports and lastly giving you the flexibility to travel under another passport should you ever feel uncomfortable in a country that isn’t totally pro-US.

  • Well, my question is, I am an American living in Germany, my wife is English and we are trying to get her U.S. citizenship, she already has a green card, but she wants to keep her UK citizenship and also become an American, is that possible? to have them both, and if you please let me know where to officially look it up.

  • “I am an American living in Germany, my wife is English and we are trying to get her U.S. citizenship, she already has a green card, but she wants to keep her UK citizenship…”

    If (and only if) you are employed abroad by the US Government, a US employer or subsidiary of a US firm (includes charities and missionary organizations) your spouse may qualify for “expedited naturalization”. Most of the Google hits will relate to US military, but the law is the same for civilians and private-sector workers’ spouses.

    I assume by “English” you mean British. Neither the UK nor the US pose any impediment to dual nationality. My daughter has 4 nationalities. She has never lived in the US and thus could not pass US nationality to children born abroad.

  • Hi – just found your blog (nice to see other expats out there! I know this post is a bit old, but thought I’d give you the info that I have as an American who has lived over here for 8 years (married to a Brit with 1 dual national child) and who owns a business here.

    I have done alot of research on applying for dual citizenship and know many American’s that have – they have never had a problem as long as you enter America with you US passport. It is technically against the law for the US to revoke your citizenship actually – if you were born on American soil you are an American for life (unless you denounce it). One of the main benefits you will find to getting British Citizenship is the ability to be on the Electoral Roll. This is one of the main ways credit agencies and banks score you for getting: loans, bank accounts, hire purchases….etc. If you are planning to live in the UK for a short period of time, it might not be worth it (under 3 years). If, however, you plan on being here longer and want any form of credit built up, being on the Electoral Roll is key. I am finally applying for mine this year as not having one has made running a business a pain.

    PS – We got a tip from security at the airport – as a ‘family’ you can always stand in line with your spouse and child in the line for that country – you don’t need to stand in separate lines. We found this out about 5 years ago and have been cruising through passport control ever since!!

    Let me know if you find out anything further/what you decided to do!

    Robyn ;p

  • Hi I’m 18 and my husband is 18. He’s American but lived here for 9 years with his mum & sisters. In his passport he has the right to stay in the uk. & as he is married to me (British). Can he send of for a uk driving licence even though his passport is American & run out ? He only has his out of date passport & birth certificate. He also has a national insurance number. Can we send off for his licence even though it’s an American passport & out of date. If not what would we need to do . Thanks Bernice p

  • I’m not sure what he needs to do to prove his identity. If a passport is absolutely required, then he will need to get another one. Is there some way he can get UK citizenship now? If so, then he should do that and perhaps get a UK passport.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *