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British Dual citizenship

When you naturalise as a British citizen you may also be able to retain your original citizenship and become a dual British citizen.

Do you need help with a British citizenship application or understanding dual citizenship? Our lawyers are here for you, get in touch today on 0333 305 9375 or use our online chat.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS for Your Citizenship Application

    IAS is the ideal choice for your UK citizenship application. Whether you are registering as a citizen by birth, marriage, naturalisation, or ancestry, we can help you.

    Our expert, capable lawyers can help address a wide range of issues and concerns, helping to make the process of applying for citizenship simple and hassle-free.

    At IAS, we are committed to offering the highest-quality level of service available in the law sector. When getting in touch with us for help, you will:

    Get expert, success-oriented assistance for all steps in the citizenship process.

    Be fully prepped on all Home Office-required documents and evidence you will need to submit.

    Receive regular check-ins from your personal immigration lawyer throughout the entire process.

    Enjoy continued support beyond your citizenship application, such as if your family members also decide to apply.

    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    What is Dual Citizenship?

    Dual citizenship, commonly referred to as dual nationality, is when an individual holds two citizenships at the same time. Each country has their own laws regarding dual citizenship, with some nations not permitting citizens to have more than one citizenship.

    In the UK, dual citizenship is allowed so when you become a British citizen you can retain your original citizenship. Equally British citizens applying for foreign citizenship are not required to renounce their British citizenship.

    To become a British dual national you must apply to naturalise as a British citizen, there is not a separate application for dual citizenship. When applying for citizenship you can opt to retain your current citizenship status from your home country if permitted.

    Who is Eligible for Dual Citizenship?

    You can be eligible for British dual citizenship providing that you meet the requirements for becoming a British citizen and that your original country permits you to retain your citizenship. To be eligible to naturalise as a British citizen you must:

    • Have lived in the UK for at least 5 years
    • Have settled status in the UK
    • Pass the Life in the UK Test
    • Meet the English language requirement
    • Meet the good character requirement

    The exact requirements will vary depending on your circumstances.

    As not all countries allow you to retain your original citizenship when becoming a British citizen you may be required to renounce your original citizenship in order to become a British citizen.

    Which Countries Allow Dual Citizenship?

    Other countries have their own nationality laws when it comes whether their citizens are permitted to hold dual citizenship but there are many countries that do allow dual citizenship with the UK, including::

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • France
    • Greece
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Pakistan
    • Philippines
    • Portugal
    • Sweden
    • United States

    If you’re unsure whether your country permits dual citizenship then you should check with an immigration lawyer before making an application.

    Which Countries Don’t Allow Dual Citizenship?

    Some countries do not allow dual citizenship with any country and some only allow it for specified countries. Some examples of countries that do not permit British dual citizenship include:

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

    These countries require you to give up your citizenship if you intend to apply for British citizenship.

    Reach out to IAS for advice on understanding whether dual citizenship is an option for you.

    The Benefits of Dual Nationality

    Being a dual citizen means that you will get the benefits that come with both of your citizenships. The main benefit to obtaining dual citizenship is that it will give you the right to live and travel between both countries.

    As a British dual national you will have the same rights as any other British citizen, including the right to:

    • Live, work and study in the UK permanently
    • Apply for a British passport to travel freely in and out of the UK
    • Vote in all UK elections
    • Stand for office
    • Access public funds and the NHS

    Whilst being a dual citizen comes with many benefits it’s important to note that as a dual nation you could potentially be subject to double taxation and you must abide by the laws of both countries.

    How to Apply for British Nationality

    Naturalisation is the process used by most foreign nationals who wish to become a British citizens. You can apply for citizenship either online or by post.

    The application process is complex, as well as completing the application form you will need to provide a substantial portfolio of evidence to prove that you meet the requirements, this includes:

    • Your Biometric Residence Permit or eVisa if you have one
    • A national identity document
    • Evidence that you meet the English language requirement such as your SELT certificate
    • Evidence of your continuous residence in the UK
    • Evidence that you have passed the Life in the UK Test

    You will also need to provide two eligible referees to prove your identity.

    If your application is approved then you will be required to attend a British citizenship ceremony.

    The application process for British citizenship is difficult to navigate alone and even the smallest mistake could result in your application being refused. It is highly advised that you seek the assistance of an immigration professional when it comes to your British citizenship application.

    How Can IAS Help?

    Our immigration lawyers are highly experienced in making British dual nationality applications. We can assign you a lawyer who can work with you through each step of the British dual nationality application process. They will help you source and gather your evidence, into a bundle that suits the Home Office’s processing methods. They will also oversee your entire application process, liaising with the Home Office on your behalf.

    As part of our application services, your lawyer will also write an in-depth Letter of Representation that supports your application. This letter will argue your case directly to the Home Office, strengthening your application. Alongside this, they will also prepare you for the compulsory ‘Life in the UK’ test and your English Language test to put you in the best possible position for a positive result.

    If you need support, you can get in touch with our LondonManchester, or Birmingham immigration lawyers, or alternatively, use the office finder to find the closest branch to you. Contact us now on 0333 363 8577 or use our online contact form to speak with an immigration lawyer and help you take your first steps towards gaining dual citizenship.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    To make a successful application for Dual Citizenship in the UK, you will need to have lived in the UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain for five years.

    As with an application for full British Citizenship, an application to gain British Dual Nationality in the UK will also require the applicant to complete and pass a ‘Life in the UK’ test. You must also meet the English Language requirements, proving that you can communicate in English to a competent level.

    If you want to gain British Citizenship for a child born abroad, there are certain processes which you must go through.

    You do not need to renounce your existing citizenship as many countries will let you have Dual Nationality when you apply for British Citizenship.

    If you are a national of a country that does not allow this, your country of origin may regard you as having lost your existing nationality or refuse to recognise your new nationality. If you are currently a British Citizen you will not normally lose this status if you become the citizen of another country unless the new country requires you to give up your British Nationality.

    This is something that many applicants are unaware of and often forget to check before they undergo the application process. If you are in any doubt before you apply for UK Citizenship, our team of expert lawyers are available to assist you with any queries or concerns you might have.

    The Life in the UK test  is an official government service required to prove that you have the appropriate knowledge of UK life. It includes questions about the history of Britain, current UK affairs, and personal questions and you must pass it in order to be granted British Dual Nationality.

    The test is a separate requirement to the English language requirements which you must also meet in order to be granted Dual Citizenship UK.

    Our expert immigration lawyers offer the specialist services necessary for you to become a permanent resident in the UK. We will check your eligibility for British Dual Nationality and support you throughout your application process.
    Our services include:

    • confirming that you have adequate documentation for your application;
    • preparing a Letter of Representation to be submitted with your application;
    • liaising with the Home Office throughout your application; and
    • ensuring that each part of your application form is completed to the highest standard by one of our lawyers.

    We can also help you prepare for your Life in the UK test and ensure that you are ready for your English Language test. This will allow you the maximum chances of success. Get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online and make your first steps towards becoming a British Dual Citizen.

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