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British Passport for U.S. Citizen

by Kevin
(Boston, MA)

Question: I have a unique question. I am a 36-year-old U.S. citizen born here in the U.S. and still lives here. My mother was originally from England. She was born there and lived there for 23 years and then she came to the U.S. and has lived here every since.

My question is am I allowed to get a British passport as well? The reason I am asking is because I am thinking about moving to England or Australia and I know that having a British passport makes that process easier because of the EU relationship etc. Thoughts?

Answer: According to the UK Border Agency,

"British nationality is defined in law. Whether a person has a claim to British nationality can be determined by applying the definitions and requirements of the British Nationality Act 1981 and related legislation to the facts of their date and place of birth and descent."

It is possible to acquire British citizenship by descent. You can find the list of requirements specific to your situation here:

British Citizenship for a Person Born to a British Mother

Note, the U.S. Government does not encourage dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.

However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries, including tax laws. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there.

For a complete list of requirements for obtaining a British passport for those born outside the UK on or before January 1, 1983, click the link below.

Overseas British Passport Applications

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by: Anonymous

Question: I am a British citizen residing in the US and have 2 young children born in the US. Their father is a US citizen. Am I able to apply for a British passport for my children in addition to them keeping their US passport too?

Question: It is possible to possess both an US passport and a passport from another country. Please contact the British Embassy in DC for answers to questions about British citizenship and passports.

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