Moving to the UK

US/UK Dual Citizenship Benefits and Disadvantages

Updated May 18, 2023

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.

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. 

What does it mean to be a British citizen?

  • If you’re born in the UK you’re considered a British citizen. 
  • If you weren’t born in the UK you may still apply for UK residency through your birth parents.
  • If you weren’t born in the UK you may be eligible for citizenship by obtaining the “right to remain”.
  • 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

You can apply for a UK passport if you qualify as a British national. Once you have a UK passport you’re considered a British citizen.

U.S. Citizens May Hold Dual Citizenship

US citizens are allowed to have dual nationality or citizenship.

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. 

What does it mean to be a US citizen?

  • If you’re born in the U.S. you’re automatically an American citizen (except children of foreign diplomats).
  • You 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.

To be eligible for a U.S. passport, you need to be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization or be a qualifying U.S. national.

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

us/uk dual citizenship

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 can drive in the US on your UK driving license. Some states may require you to get an IDP (International Driving Permit)
  • Be prepared to build a separate credit rating in both countries.
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About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.