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Can I live/work in U.K. and/or E.U
June 25, 2009 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Father born in England. Father now a Canadian citizen. As his son, what are my live/work options for E.U. and U.K.? Singular circumstances...

Father emigrated from U.K. where he was born, to Canada at age seven in 1930's. I was adopted by my U.K. born father and Canadian mother at 18 months of age from a Manhattan orphanage (I was born in Manhattan to a Canadian mother {my biological mother}) who just happened to be in New York when I was born. I have a US birth certificate and a Canadian Citizenship card. I have a Canadian SSI number and a US SSN number.

Am I a duel citizen of both US and Canada? Am I eligible for a U.K. passport? Am I able work in the E.U.? What is the process to legally live/work in the U.K. or the E.U. based on my circumstance? Am I technically eligible for three passports (Canadian, US, U.K)? Are you allowed to hold more than one passport at a time? (I'm assuming probably not). I currently have no passports.
posted by Muirwylde to Law & Government (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think you are a UK citizen, and eligible for a passport. I am in a similar situation but do not have details on hand. I can check up on this if no one else knows.
posted by grobstein at 12:15 PM on June 25, 2009


From Wikipedia:

A child adopted by a British citizen only acquires British citizenship automatically if:

* the adoption order is made by a court in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Falkland Islands on or after 1 January 1983, or in another British Overseas Territory on or after 21 May 2002; or
* it is a Convention adoption under the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption effected on or after 1 June 2003 and the adopters are habitually resident in the United Kingdom on that date.

It sounds like you don't meet either requirement.
posted by IanMorr at 12:20 PM on June 25, 2009


Yes, you are a citizen of both US and Canada. You were born a US citizen, so says the 14th amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Here's a summary of British nationality law. The answer I think is probably yes. But on that one you should consult an immigration attorney.

Are you allowed to hold more than one passport at a time? (I'm assuming probably not).

Yes, you are allowed. Many people hold multiple passports. (In a few years, I'll likely have three).
posted by vacapinta at 12:20 PM on June 25, 2009


It sounds that you certainly have a right of abode, as a Canadian (Commonwealth) citizen:

"f you are not a British citizen, you may still have the right of abode if, on 31 December 1982, you were:

* a Commonwealth citizen with a parent who, at the time of your birth or legal adoption, was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies because he/she was born in the United Kingdom; or"

Link: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/righttoliveinuk/commonwealthcitizens/
posted by girlpublisher at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2009


This has been asked here before, but your scenario is a bit more complicated than the others. Since you are a Canadian citizen, it seems like you are eligible (via ancestry) to live/work in the UK. I don't know if you're eligible for a UK passport now, but it appears that you would be after 5 years of residency.

Yes, you are allowed to hold more than 1 passport at a time. At least I know for sure that you are allowed to have both a US and UK passport. I don't know if you're allowed to have 3, and I don't know of any laws specific to Canada. I also don't know anything about your rights to work/live in the EU.

About residency and citizenship in the UK, I would call the Embassy in US and the High Commission in Canada. I suggest both only because I suspect that the staff at each will be locally engaged and might not know answer to questions about citizenship/residency for you as a US citizen vs you as a Canadian citizen.
posted by necessitas at 12:23 PM on June 25, 2009


When, if ever, did your father give up his British citizenship? When were you adopted? I don't think anyone can answer your question without that data.

You are a Canadian citizen (unless your citizenship card was issued before 1977, in which case it might be more complicated). You are very likely an American citizen.

You can have more than one passport. You just want to make sure that you use your US passport to enter the US and your Canadian passport to enter Canada and so on.
posted by ssg at 12:24 PM on June 25, 2009


erm ... complicated ... call your local embassy.

but, yes, you can hold 3 passports at one time (I do!), you should be eligible for a UK ancestry visa, and, if the stars align, also a UK passport (which is good for all Europe)

check out: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

(however I couldn't find your answer ... hence calling the embassy might be your best start)

I suggest you call your embassy anonymously with your hypothetical situation ... that way if the answer is no you can always call back the next day and "finetune" your situation. Keep going till you get it right!

Good Luck
posted by jannw at 12:24 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't answer one key question, but I can answer most of the others:
Am I a dual citizen of both US and Canada? Yes!
Am I eligible for a U.K. passport? This I do not know, but my guess is yes.
Am I able work in the E.U.? If you are eligble for a full UK citizenship, then yes.
What is the process to legally live/work in the U.K. or the E.U. based on my circumstance? I recommend that you contact the nearest British Embassy to find out. They also have lots of info and all the application forms online.
Am I technically eligible for three passports (Canadian, US, U.K)?If you are eligble to become a full UK citizen then yes :)
Are you allowed to hold more than one passport at a time?Yes, definitely! My son and partner both have two each, and I have a friend who holds three.

One word of advice, the US has historically been a bit funny about multiple citizenships, although they seem to have relaxed recently. They now appear to operate on more of a "don't ask, don't tell basis" when it comes to other citizenships. Once you get your passports, remember always to use the native passport to enter and leave each country, which means using two different passports at each end of an international journey. I would also recommend applying for the US passport before you apply for UK citizenship (if eligible), to simplify the process and weirdness on the US process.
posted by Joh at 12:33 PM on June 25, 2009


One note after seeing the other answers (I am a slow typist!), you pretty much cannot renounce UK citizenship, without trying very hard. So the good news is that your father would still have been considered a UK citizen even after emigrating.

You are definitely a US citizen if you were born in the US, no matter your parent's status.
posted by Joh at 12:38 PM on June 25, 2009


You are a British citizen if your biological father was a British citizen and was married to your biological mother at the time of your birth. You will need to present your birth certificate, hospital birth record, and biological parents' marriage certificate to the passport office to prove British citizenship by descent.
posted by brain at 3:50 PM on June 25, 2009


No, you are probably not a UK citizen, due to lack of biological connection and not meeting the adoption requirements. Yes, you may be able to claim ability to live/work in the UK based on ancestry and/or being a Commonwealth citizen. (Fun fact: any Commonwealth citizen may run for a seat in the UK House of Commons.)

You want to call the UK High Commission in Ottawa.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:31 PM on June 25, 2009


When, if ever, did your father give up his British citizenship? When were you adopted? I don't think anyone can answer your question without that data.


I can answer that from personal experience. I was born a British citizen, and later, acquired Canadian citizenship. I wanted a British passport, and when I enquired by phoning the High Commission as to whether I was still British, I was informed by a quite imperious British gentleman"My dear sir. Once you are British you are always British.
posted by Neiltupper at 11:41 PM on June 25, 2009


Now, yes. But up until 193-something, any woman who married a foreigner lost British citizenship. This was one of the reasons Prince Philip was naturalised as a British citizen prior to the marriage, as the change had been relatively recent and people still thought if you married a foreigner that was it.

That said, awesome story. I can picture exactly what that guy looked like.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:38 AM on June 26, 2009


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