I... I have to tell you something... I think I'm a dual citizen.
March 14, 2008 9:12 AM   Subscribe

I think I may be a British citizen by descent. What now?

My father was born to US citizens in London's East End, gaining dual US/UK citizenship by birth. As I am my father's son, and he is a citizen "otherwise than by descent," I am under the impression that I too may be a dual US/UK citizen.

One problem: At the age of 21, he went to the US Immigration office in Atlanta and took an oath of US Citizenship which included a renunciation of any other citizenship. "However, [he] did not make any report, presentation, or declaration of renunciation to the British Consul or any other British official."

He has also served in the US military.

It is my understanding that, in the eyes of the Queen, he's still a British citizen, and is still able to confer citizenship by descent. If my account above is accurate, is that the case?

If all the above checks out, and I'm a British citizen by descent, then what now? Do I simply apply for a passport and go on my merry way? Do I have to jump through other hoops?
posted by SemiSophos to Law & Government (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Get in touch with the Embassy or a consulate to find out.
posted by Dasein at 9:22 AM on March 14, 2008


Have you contacted your nearest UK Embassy (probably Washington DC)?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:26 AM on March 14, 2008


A browse here might help.
posted by Phanx at 9:27 AM on March 14, 2008


I have contacted my local consulate, who redirected me to the Washington, DC embassy, where I left a voicemail. I guess my question is: Are there any other steps I could or should take at this point?
posted by SemiSophos at 9:35 AM on March 14, 2008


Start with the passport application forms and associated instructions.

The whole form (here) is a kind of flowchart for this kind of determination. It is a pretty cool form in its own right.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 9:36 AM on March 14, 2008


And try to get your application in before April, or you will automatically need to attend for an interview, due to a recent change in da rules.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 9:36 AM on March 14, 2008


I don't think you need to do anything but apply for a passport -- if you have the documentary proof that your father was a citizen then you should be one by descent, unless he actively renounced it before your birth (joining a foreign country's army won't be an issue).

It should be noted that the mere fact of being born on British soil does not by itself confer citizenship unless your a parent was a citizen or was "settled" in Britain at the time (the definition of settled in this context I don't know).
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:15 AM on March 14, 2008


Quinbus Flestrin: Being born on British soil did confer citizenship until 1983 (and I think we can safely assume that the OPs father was born before then).
posted by ssg at 10:44 AM on March 14, 2008


One problem: At the age of 21, he went to the US Immigration office in Atlanta and took an oath of US Citizenship which included a renunciation of any other citizenship. "However, [he] did not make any report, presentation, or declaration of renunciation to the British Consul or any other British official."

My mother was born in England (to parents who were British citizens). The family moved to America when she was 12. She became and naturalized American citizen once she turned 18. I was born and have lived in America my entire life.

I was able to get get an British passport. I believe that we had to send a copy of my mother's birth certificate to the Embassy as part of the application, but otherwise it was pretty routine. Just got ahead and follow all the directions on the passport application.
posted by puffin at 12:17 PM on March 14, 2008


Oops, that's "she became a naturalized American citizen," not and.

Also: I don't know if you care, but my mother was able to get a British passport at the same time that I applied for one (after not having one since she was a child) -- so your dad could apply along with you, if he wanted.

Just make sure to always use your US passport when returning to America.
posted by puffin at 12:31 PM on March 14, 2008


Just make sure to always use your US passport when returning to America.

Cannot stress this enough.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:50 PM on March 14, 2008


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