How to give up your British citizenship
You must apply to give up – renounce – your British citizenship and will receive a “declaration of renunciation” that will show you are not longer a British citizen.
There are a number of exceptional circumstances why you may choose to give up your status as a British citizen, with the main one being you wish to become a citizen of another country that does not allow dual citizenship or an other nationality.
It is possible to renounce the following British citizen statuses and you can apply to give up more than one at the same time.
- British citizenship
- British overseas territories citizenship
- British overseas citizenship
- British subject status
- British national (overseas) status
It is important to realise that your right to live in the UK will be impacted if you have renounced British/ UK citizenship.
Opting to renounce your British citizenship will only affect you and not other members of your family. However, it could have consequences for any future children you may have.
You are should consider seeking legal immigration advice before making a decision about renouncing your British citizenship status as it could have significant long-term implications.
Applying to give up your citizenship
Before deciding to give up your British citizenship you should ensure that you meet the following criteria otherwise your application to do so will be rejected and you will not be able to have your application fee refunded:
- you already have another citizenship or nationality or
- you’re going to get another citizenship or nationality after giving up your British citizenship – this must be done within a set time period
In addition, you must:
- be aged 18 or over (unless you’re under 18 and married)
- be of sound mind (unless it’s decided that it’s in your best interest to give up your British nationality)
If you are currently living in the UK then you should apply online to revoke being a British citizen. If you live overseas then you can apply by post to renounce your British citizen status.
Once your application has been processed you will receive a ‘declaration of renunciation’ and this will contain the date your British citizenship ceases.
If you don’t already hold an alternative nationality then you have six months from when received your declaration to get another citizenship. If you do not, then the declaration will expire and you will retain your British citizenship or status.
Cost of applying for regaining British citizenship
If you do decide to apply to regain your British nationality then you need to pay the fee for registration. This is currently £1206 and must be paid at the time of applying – this fee will not be refunded if your application is refused.
In addition, if you are successful in regaining British citizenship and becoming a British national then you will have to attend a Citizenship Ceremony in order to receive your official certificate of citizenship. Depending on circumstances this could cost a further £80.
Regaining your British citizen status
In some cases you may be able to regain your British citizenship status but you will need to reapply and ensure you meet the correct criteria. It is not automatic that you be approved for British citizenship so it is crucial to ensure you are comfortable with revoking it in the first place.
You will be entitled to re-registration if you are of sound mind and you are of good character and
- you have made a declaration of renunciation renouncing British citizenship (after the start of 1983),
- or (before 1 January 1983) you have made a declaration of renunciation renouncing citizenship of the UK and Colonies
- your father
- your father’s father
- your husband, wife or civil partner
- your husband’s, wife’s or civil partner’s father
- your husband’s, wife’s or civil partner’s father’s father was:
- born in the UK, or
- naturalised in the UK, or
- registered as a citizen of the UK and Colonies in the UK or
- registered as a citizen of the UK and Colonies in an independent Commonwealth country. (The country concerned must have been an independent member of the Commonwealth at the time of the registration)
You must be aware that you only once have a right to be registered as a British citizen if you previously renounced British citizenship in order to keep or acquire another citizenship.
You have a separate right, again only once, to be registered as a British citizen if you previously renounced citizenship of the UK and Colonies:
- in order to keep or acquire the citizenship of a Commonwealth country, or
- because you had reasonable cause to believe that you would be deprived of your citizenship of a Commonwealth country if you did not renounce.
If you opted to renounce British citizenship for any other reason, or if you have already renounced and resumed British citizenship, then gaining it back is at the discretion of the Home Office and the UK government.
Documents needed to regain British citizenship
If you do opt to regain your British citizenship then you will need to provide a range of paperwork when making your application. You must ensure you send the correct documents otherwise if you send the wrong information it could delay your application.
As well as your application form you may need to provide the following:
- a copy of your Declaration of Renunciation (for example: form RN1, RN2, RN3, RN or form R6).
- Evidence of your present citizenship or nationality – such as your passport or certificate of naturalisation or registration
- If you renounced citizenship of the UK and Colonies then you will need evidence of your connection with the UK such as:
- the birth, naturalisation or registration certificate of the person through whom you have the connection
- evidence of your relationship to them – this can be birth, marriage or civil partnership certificates.
- Evidence that if you had not made a declaration of renunciation you would have lost or failed to acquire the citizenship or nationality of another country. This applies if you renounced British citizenship for another citizenship or if you renounced citizenship of the UK for the citizenship of a Commonwealth country.
- A letter or statement confirming this from the authorities of the country involved
- If you renounced citizenship of the UK because you believed you would be deprived of your citizenship of a Commonwealth country unless you did so, include an explanation of why you believed this and any evidence.
Dual nationality instead of renouncing British citizenship?
It may be possible to retain your British citizenship and opt for dual nationality but this does depend on which country you wish to gain nationality with.
Other countries have their own national immigration laws on dual citizenship but there are many countries that do allow dual citizenship with the UK such as:
- United States
However, there are some countries that do not allow dual citizenship with the UK and these nations include
- United Arab Emirates
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.
Last modified on January 6th, 2023 at 3:56 pm
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