Will I lose cit­i­zen­ship?

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - John Bassie Dahlia A. Walker-Hunt­ing­ton is a Ja­maican-Amer­i­can at­tor­ney who prac­tises im­mi­gra­tion law in the United States; and fam­ily, crim­i­nal and per­sonal in­jury law in Florida. She is a me­di­a­tor, ar­bi­tra­tor and spe­cial mag­is­trate in Broward County, F

Dear Mr Bassie, AM a Bri­tish cit­i­zen, but my fi­ancé is not. If I marry him, will I be able to keep my own Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship if I choose to ap­ply for cit­i­zen­ship of an­other coun­try?


– S.E.

Dear S.E.,

Dual cit­i­zen­ship, which is also known as dual na­tion­al­ity, is al­lowed in the United Kingdom. This means that per­sons can be a Bri­tish cit­i­zen and also a cit­i­zen of other coun­tries.

It should be noted that per­sons with Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship do not need to ap­ply for dual cit­i­zen­ship, as they can ap­ply for for­eign cit­i­zen­ship and keep their Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship.

How­ever, per­sons should be aware that many coun­tries do not ac­cept dual cit­i­zen­ship and it is ad­vis­able that per­sons check with the coun­try’s con­sulate or em­bassy in the United Kingdom to find out about that coun­try’s laws on dual na­tion­al­ity.

In ad­di­tion, a per­son is not per­mit­ted to have dual cit­i­zen­ship if he/she is a Bri­tish sub­ject or a Bri­tish pro­tected per­son, un­less he/she is a Bri­tish sub­ject from the Repub­lic of Ire­land.

Please be aware that un­til 1949, nearly ev­ery­one with a close con­nec­tion to the United Kingdom was called a ‘Bri­tish sub­ject’. All citizens of Com­mon­wealth coun­tries were Bri­tish sub­jects un­til Jan­uary 1983. How­ever, since 1983, very few peo­ple have qual­i­fied as Bri­tish sub­jects.

Just for com­plete­ness with re­spect to ap­ply­ing for Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship, it is worth not­ing that there has been no change to the rights and sta­tus of Euro­pean Union na­tion­als in the United Kingdom, and United Kingdom na­tion­als in the Euro­pean Union, as a re­sult of the United Kingdom Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship ref­er­en­dum (Brexit).

In or­der to ob­tain Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship in the United Kingdom, per­sons should ap­ply for cit­i­zen­ship in the nor­mal way, and the most com­mon way is through nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion.

Per­sons should also be aware that as a dual na­tional, they can­not get diplo­matic help from the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment when they are in the other coun­try where they hold cit­i­zen­ship.

In ad­di­tion, a per­son does not au­to­mat­i­cally be­come a Bri­tish cit­i­zen when he/she mar­ries a per­son from the United Kingdom. In such a case, the per­son will need to ap­ply as the spouse of a Bri­tish cit­i­zen.

In some coun­tries, a mar­ried per­son is au­to­mat­i­cally counted as hav­ing their part­ner’s

Ina­tion­al­ity. Chil­dren may also au­to­mat­i­cally have a par­ent’s na­tion­al­ity even if they were born abroad.



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