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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

Comments for British Passport for U.S. Citizen

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Passport for child of British mother
by: Anonymous

Question: I was born in the U.S. post WWII (way before 1983) to a British mother who became a U.S. citizen 3 years later. Father was U.S. citizen. I do not live in the UK. Can I qualify for a British passport?

Answer: Please contact the Her Majesty's Passport Office for assistance regarding British passports.

How to obtain dual citizenship
by: Anonymous

Question: I was born abroad and I became a US citizen several years ago. I failed to retain dual citizenship. I would like to know what is the process of becoming a dual citizen.

Answer: The process of re-claiming citizenship varies from country to country. You need to contact the embassy of your birth country to find out if they recognize dual citizenship and if so, how you can become one.

Obtaining U.K. Passport
by: Daniel

Question: Hey! I am Ukrainian who migrated to the USA before age of 18, received my US citizenship by adoption process also before 18.

I am interested in moving to U.K. for a couple of years and obtaining 2nd citizenship with them since I had to renounce the one with Ukraine.
Is that possible and what would I need to do to do so? Thank you.

Answer: Please contact Her Majesty's Passport Office for inquiries about British passports.

Question re: visa
by: Anne

Question: I am a British citizen with a valid British passport. I am a resident of the US, holding a valid green card. I plan to fly to Japan after visiting England. Will I need a Visa for Japan?

Answer: Please contact the Embassy of Japan to verify travel document requirements for British passport holders.

Adult child born 1971 who has changed his name
by: Aileen Lamond

Question: I was born in Scotland in 1943. I have a son who was adopted by my husband. After my subsequent divorce my son, a medical professional, changed his name to my maiden name in 2000 to honor me. I have used my maiden name since 1968. Can he use my info to apply for a U.K. Passport?

Answer: Please contact Her Majesty's Passport Office for inquiries about British passports.

Holding two passports
by: Fred

Question: I was born in Scotland, emigrated to the U.S. in 1948 and became an American citizen at 18 years of age. However, I hold dual citizenship having never relinquished my British citizenship. I hold an American passport but wish a British one. Can I hold both a British and American passport or to gain the British one would I have to give up my American passport?

Answer: Yes, you can hold both an American and British passports. For information about obtaining a British passport, click here.

British Mother
by: Anonymous

Question: I am an American citizen born 8.1984 to from a British mother - am I able to apply for a British passport? I tried visiting the link regarding having a British mother and am still unsure if I meet the criteria. Thank you!

Answer: Please visit the following web page to check if you are eligible for British citizenship.

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?

Answer: 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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