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Can you lose your British Citizenship if you live abroad?

In most normal circumstances you will not lose your British citizenship if living abroad unless you opt to renounce your status as a British citizen and give up your British passport.

If you have any questions about British Citizenship, our experienced immigration lawyers can help you.

For more information about British citizenship and making an application reach out to one of our expert immigration advisers for more information. Call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online today.


Being a British citizen

There are two main ways to become a British citizenship – either by birth or by applying for naturalisation. When applying you will need to prove that you are eligible to be granted -British citizenship and that you have been in the UK on Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least three years and have not spent considerable time outside the UK during this period.

Receiving British citizenship means you can work, live and study in the UK without any immigration However, when your have permanent residence status granted you can live, work and study in the UK permanently, without any immigration restrictions. It also means that you can travel and spend time in other countries without losing your UK citizenship status.

Dual citizenship and British citizenship

Dual citizenship or dual nationality is when a person has being granted citizenship from more that one country.

Each country has different legal rules about dual nationality and it is important to note that not all countries allow someone to be a citizen of two nations at the same time. However, the UK does allow dual nationality so if you are UK citizen and apply to become a citizen of another company you do not need to renounce your British citizenship – although the other country but allow dual citizenship.

Other countries and dual nationality

There are a large number of countries that do allow dual nationality so if you do live abroad and want to become a citizen of your new home country then you will not have to give up your British citizenship status.

These include:

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

However, it is important to note that some nations to not permit dual nationality and if you wish to become a citizen of the country you are not resident in then you will have to renounce your British citizenship. Countries that do not allow someone to hold different nationalities from more than one country at the same time.

  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates

It is important to seek legal advice before giving up your status as a British national to understand any impact it may have on a family member etc.

How can you lose British citizenship status?

It is possible to have your British citizenship revoked under Section 40 of the British Nationality act 1981, with the Home Secretary having the power to take away your citizenship either through nullity or deprivation.

Nullity is when the individual has been granted citizenship but was never the intended person. For example, if the applicant provided false information – such as providing the wrong name, place of birth, date of birth, and nationality – or if the applicant used someone else’s identity or a false identity when applying for citizenship and it should never have been granted in the first place.

Deprivation of citizenship when the applicant has committed fraud, made false representations or concealed facts.

The UK government can also revoke British citizenship if they believe it will be in the public interest to do so. This is often involve a person who is involved with terrorism, espionage, have committed war crimes, are involved in serious organised crime or unacceptable behaviours.

Appealing against losing British Citizenship

If you do have your British citizenship status revoked you may be given the chance to appeal the decision under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981 via a first-tier tribunal.

However, the Act also confirms the right to appeal is not available if the decision by the UK government was done so for national security reasons and is based on information that should remain secret. Although you may still appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Contact us today if you require assistance with your British citizenship application.

How Can IAS Help?

A certificate of British Citizenship is an important document that proves your right to live and work in the UK indefinitely without being subject to any immigration restrictions.

IAS can help. We are expert legal advisers specialising in UK immigration law, with years’ worth of experience helping individuals with their immigration issues. We can help establish your eligibility for a certificate of entitlement, assist you throughout the application process, and even liaise with the Home Office to keep track of your application as it gets processed.

For more information about the services we offer and how we can help you, get in touch with us today on 0333 305 9375, or talk to us online today.

We’re here to help with your British Citizenship immigration issue.

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