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Dual Nationality: Considerations 

Published 10 May 2019 
Having dual nationality means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of other countries. Although this is allowed by the UK, many countries do not accept dual citizenship. This article discusses the considerations surrounding dual nationality. 

Each to their own 

Many countries do not allow dual nationality, whereas others permit dual citizenship but only of a limited number of countries. Some countries will grant an application for naturalisation only if the individual renounces all existing citizenship, It is important to check with a country’s consulate or high commission in the UK to find out about that country’s laws on dual nationality.  

Family Ties 

In some countries, when a person marries they are automatically counted as having their partner’s nationality. Children may also automatically have a parent’s nationality even if they were born abroad. 
 
You do not automatically become a British citizen when you marry a person from the UK. You need to apply to naturalise as the spouse of a British citizen. See our article on Naturalisation for more information. 

Future Considerations 

Individuals may apply for citizenship of another country, but could then face a problem when the time comes to renew their original passport. This happens when asked the question on application ‘do you have another nationality”; if an applicant answers yes to this then their citizenship of this country could be withdrawn. 
 
Also consider if you are an EEA National, and whether you could potentially lose EEA rights. We say this because EU law is generally preferable (less harsh!) compared to the UK’s Immigration Rules. 

Travel 

A dual national is unable to get diplomatic help from the British government when in the other country where they hold citizenship. For example, if an individual holds both British and Chinese citizenship, they cannot get diplomatic help from the UK when they are in China. 
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Disclaimer: 
Whilst we endeavour to produce accurate and up to date information, the UK government can, and does, change the immigration rules on a frequent basis. This website is for information purposes and does not replace individual immigration advice. Please consult your immigration advisor to discuss your personal circumstances. We would be happy to help with this, please use the contact us section of this website. 
 
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