Are you wondering if a U.S. citizen is allowed to have dual citizenship with the UK and hold a passport in both countries? What if you decide to move to the UK. Will you still be able to keep the advantages of American citizenship?
The United Kingdom and the United States BOTH allow dual citizenship.
Here’s what you need to know about holding citizenship in both countries, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of US/UK dual citizenship.
UK Citizens May Hold Dual Citizenship
UK citizens are allowed to hold dual citizenship or nationality. If you’re already a British citizen you can apply to be a citizen of another country at any time. There’s no separate application process to be a dual citizen.
If you’re born in the UK you’re considered a British citizen.
- If you weren’t born in the UK you may also apply for UK residency through your birth parents if conditions apply or by obtaining the right to remain.
- Although it’s possible to have citizenship revoked under certain circumstances, it’s not common.
- UK citizens are free to enter, leave, live and work in the UK indefinitely.
- Find out if you can qualify to become a UK citizen
U.S. Citizens May Hold Dual Citizenship
Dual nationality or citizenship is also allowed for US citizens.
You’ll still be entitled to your U.S. citizenship even if you become a naturalized ( a citizen) of another country, are employed in another country or vote in a foreign election.
If you’re born in the U.S. you’re an American citizen (with the exception of being a child of a foreign diplomat).
- Citizens of other countries who weren’t born in the US may also be entitled to US citizenship through lawful immigration.
- When you enter the US you must use your US passport even if you’re a dual national.
- Although US immigration may revoke a naturalized citizenship for a crime such as treason, it’s not common.
- US citizenship is for life, unless you renounce it.
Benefits of US/UK Dual Citizenship
- Ease of travel between both borders without time limits or restrictions.
- Free healthcare through the NHS as well as free prescriptions over 60
- Depending on age or employer, eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid or paid plans in the US
- Right to retain pensions in either country
- The right to work without needing a work permit or visa
- Rent or buy a home or assets in either country
- Vote in either country
Disadvantages of Dual US/UK citizenship
- US citizens are required to pay US taxes for life regardless of where they live
- You may be required to pay US taxes on both US and UK income
- You’ll be required to uphold laws in both countries
- UK citizen aren’t entitled to diplomatic help from the UK embassy while in the US
- No reciprocity between the UK and US for driving licenses. After 12 months living full time in the UK to continue to drive you’re required to obtain a UK driving license
- You may have to build a separate credit rating in both countries
My US/UK Dual Citizen Experience
I was born in England and emigrated to Canada with my parents. I became a Canadian citizen on my mothers Canadian passport.
Once we moved to the US, I had resident alien status until applying for US citizenship. At the time I was told I had to forfeit my Canadian passport – laws may have changed since then.
On moving back to England, I had to apply for a British passport because I’d never been issued one. My American born son was able to apply for citizenship on my birth record under the first generation rule.