UK Dual Citizenship: Understanding British Dual Nationality

Dual citizenship, also known as dual nationality, is a concept that allows individuals to be citizens of more than one country at the same time. In the United Kingdom, dual citizenship is allowed, which means you can be a British citizen and also hold citizenship in one or more foreign countries. In this article, we'll explore the basics of dual citizenship for UK citizens, including how to obtain it and the countries that permit it.

What is Dual Citizenship?

Dual citizenship is a legal status that allows a person to be a citizen of two or more countries at the same time. It's important to note that dual citizenship can be complex because each country has its own laws and regulations regarding this status. Not all countries permit dual citizenship, so it's essential to understand the rules and requirements of both the UK and the foreign country involved.

Countries That Allow Dual Citizenship with the UK

Many countries around the world permit dual citizenship with the United Kingdom. However, some may have specific conditions that must be met. Here are some countries that generally allow dual citizenship with the UK:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United States

Please note that these rules may change, and it's crucial to verify the latest information from the relevant authorities or embassies before making any decisions.

Countries That Do Not Allow Dual Citizenship with the UK

On the flip side, some countries do not allow dual citizenship with the UK. These countries include:

  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Kazakhstan

How to Obtain Dual Citizenship in the UK

In most cases, British citizenship is acquired through birth, descent, or naturalisation. Here are some scenarios that may apply:

Born in the UK: If you were born in the UK or if one of your parents was a British citizen when you were born, you might automatically be a British citizen.
For instance, Born Outside the UK After July 1, 2006: If you were born outside the UK on or after July 1, 2006, and one of your parents was a British citizen at the time of your birth, you are automatically considered a British citizen.

For instance, If you're married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you can apply for British citizenship. You must have lived in the UK for the last three years and have either indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Master Nationality Rule

When holding multiple nationalities, it's essential to be aware of the Master Nationality Rule. This rule, established by Article 4 of the 1930 Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws, governs diplomatic assistance for individuals with more than one nationality.

Under this rule, if a person holds multiple nationalities, their home country (the country where they primarily reside or consider their nationality) may not provide diplomatic assistance when they are in a country whose citizenship they also possess. However, the person can seek diplomatic assistance from any other country of which they are a citizen in that foreign country. The Master Nationality Rule aims to prevent conflicting claims of nationality and diplomatic protection. Its application depends on specific circumstances and the laws of the involved states.

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Alexandra Mokrova

Alexandra Mokrova

Co-founder of Emigral, Immigration Lawyer