Is dual US/UK citizenship possible?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jb60606, May 25, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    My girlfriend is a British citizen in the US on either a student or work visa. I was born and raised in the US. The subject of marriage has come up and I was curious as to how citizenship would work out in both countries.

    I've briefly glanced at some citizenship 'guidelines' for both countries, and found them somewhat confusing and contradictory. My lawyer is going to look into it a little further, but it would be nice to hear from someone that may have delved into it before.

    I'm pretty sure that marrying me would instantly make her a US citizen. But what about UK citizenship, should we decide to move to the other side of the pond (definitely a possibility, should McCain take office)?

    I know the US is often very combative, to say the least, about dual citizenship -- if you were born a US citizen. I was told that you usually forgo your US citizenship when gaining citizenship elsewhere?

    Has anyone gone through this?

    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #2
    I've got both US and UK citizenship. US form being born here, UK form my parents. My parents got naturalized US citzenship and retained their UK citzenship as well. The US has never questioned it at all, neither has Britain. Not sure if they have rules about it or not, but they sure don't seem to care one way or the other.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

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    #3
    it'll get her a visa to live in the USA but not make her a citizen
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    But she could then gain US citizenship after 3yrs, correct?
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

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    #5
    yeah I think it's 3 years for spouses of US citizens. She still has to be of "good moral character" :D
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    Benjamindaines

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    #6
    As far as I know the US has no issues with dual citizenships, they just consider you a US citizen and ignore the UK part of it.
     
  7. Guest

    Surely

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    #7
    I believe it's more like 5 years-that's what they told me, at least.
     
  8. macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #8
    Here you go:
    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

    You may want to visit the site yourself to get the details...
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I looked into dual U.S. (natural-born) and Canadian (naturalized) citizenship a while ago. Do some more poking around on the U.S. state department website. I eventually found some very helpful information (although I don't have links, unfortunately).

    Basically, you lose your U.S. citizenship if you swear allegiance to another country with the intention of renouncing your U.S. citizenship. The state department has decided that obtaining foreign citizenship alone is not enough to show intent. Basically, you have to swear the oath, then show up at the U.S. embassy with your passport, turn it in, and sign a paper renouncing your citizenship. If you don't do that, you keep your U.S. citizenship. The recommendation was that, after obtaining your foreign citizenship, you call the embassy and tell them you have obtained foreign citizenship but still want to keep your U.S. citizenship, just to make sure everyone is clear on the subject.

    Of course, this applies to friendly countries only. You lose your citizenship if you become a citizen of, say, Cuba (regardless of how we actually feel about that relationship).
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

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    #10
    for most people it's 5 years but for spouses it's 3
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    There isn't any British requirement to renounce your second nationality.

    To be eligible for British citizenship, you need to have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and have already lived in the UK for at least 5 years (3 years if you're married to a British national).

    Personally I don't see the point in applying for British nationality, unless it makes your life easier by removing visa or work permit requirements.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #12
    Because as a British national you get automatic rights to live and work in any European country without the need of citizenship. You also get free healthcare in any European country as well. Sounds like a pretty damn good deal to me. I wouldn't mind being a citizen of the US but nothing would make me renounce my British passport you just get far too many benefits in Europe.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Err.. that's what I meant by 'makes your life easier'.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #14
    Well that is the point. I'm not sure I see the reasoning behind the initial question in that case. I doubt anyone would get British citizenship "because they felt like it". The only other reasons I can think of are if they got a job over here or if they married a British person.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Are you saying that every naturalised British citizen, has become naturalised because of material gain? I'm sure that there are plenty of naturalised citizens who have become British because they feel that they share the same cultural views and the majority of the indigenous population, and/or want simply officialise their belonging to the United Kingdom.
     
  16. macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #16
    Is it possible to get more than 2 citizenships? Currently I'm British only but since my family comes from Poland I'm eligible for citizenship there (needed to build property there, I believe). But I'm planning on moving to the US since I've been offered a few jobs. Chances are I'll be spending most of my future there but if I'm limited to 2 citizenships then I'll have to cancel my application for Polish citizenship.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Obviously, the answer to your first question is: yes. Be prepared to provide all kinds of information to get her green card. I think that unless you have kids you have to write a kind of story about where/how/when you met and you may have to supplement that with pictures. She may also have to undergo a number of health checks etc.

    Also, a bit of advice. You two might consider applying for her green card in London. In the US it can take a few years. Overseas, it's much faster.

    I'm a dual US/UK citizen (but I did it the other way round) AND I've been through the immigration process with my spouse (who's from neither country).
     
  18. macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #18
    Your initial question has been answered. It is possible and you do not have to renounce your US citizenship.

    I'm an american and I'm married to an Englishman and will be a dual citizen myself not too long from now. (for reasons pretty much spelled out in Cromulent's posts)
     
  19. macrumors member

    Aron Peterson

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    #19
    You can hold as many nationalities as you want or can get! :D
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #20
    The second part "can get" is key.

    Most countries, in concept, do not want you to have citizenship with another country.
     
  21. Administrator

    annk

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    #21
    This is true for my son, anyway, who is both Norwegian and American. Neither country cares that he's a citizen of the other, they only care that he uses the passport that belongs to the country in question when entering that country. So he has to have both with him on trips between the two (and I have to fork over the dough for two passports :rolleyes:).

    But some countries do require that you renounce all other citizenships when acquiring theirs, regardless.

    In some cases at least, you can get this just by having a valid residence permit in a European country, though - you don't need to be a dual citizen. I'm an American citizen with no other nationality, I live in Norway, and I have a European health card that entitles me to free health care in the EU.

    Sorry, I know the OP's questions have already been answered and that the situation here isn't necessarily relevant, I just think this sort of thing is interesting. :eek:
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    #22
    Within Europe dual nationality is very common. I was born with both British and Italian. Many of my class mates at University have dual nationalities, in particular those whose parents have worked for the UN or EU and have had to live in several countries during their upbringing.

    There seems to be no problem at all.

    Apart from the novelty factor, it's also good if I lose one passport I have the other ;). Also... some countries prefer me as an "italian" to a "brit" if you get what I mean ;) Perhaps you Americans should consider a French passport if you want to live and work in, say... the middle east.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #23
    We were told in US Gov't class that the US is getting rid of Dual Citizenship because of "National Security" reasons. Is this true or no?:confused:
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Thanks for the insight folks - it's been very helpful. I wasn't expecting so much input.

    Canada has recently become another option as well, as we're both employed by the same Canadian firm.

    I'll update the thread with any info once the ball gets rolling.

    Thanks
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2008
    #25
    Dual citizenship? or Multi nationality

    I am a Brit, who got citizenship earlier this year so now Im an American also.

    The dual nationality is more of a default thing really. You become an American citizen - however, Britain never lets you go, so you retain both citizenships as a default.

    I dont believe that there is a 'dual citizenship' thing - cos I looked it up before I went thru with it. I think its more of a multi nationality - but its a default or omission.

    Hope this helps.

    Molly
     

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