If an American citizen living in the United Kingdom (England if it matters) meets all of the UK's requirements for naturalization, can he become a British citizen without losing his American citizenship?

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    @DJohnM I believe the OP means meeting all of the UK's requirements to undergo naturalization. Sep 12, 2022 at 13:14
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    Oh boy, I'm afraid it is MUCH harder to get rid of US nationality, and its unique international tax burden that will follow you wherever you might live in the world, than merely gaining an additional nationality. Sep 12, 2022 at 18:16
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    And my comment is to call out exactly why the US gov't ensures that you'll keep it, through hell and high water, unless you really REALLY work at it. You pay taxes as a US citizen. Sep 12, 2022 at 19:58
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    just a note from a layman, I have heard quite some horror stories about tax related issues related to this.
    – MarianP
    Sep 13, 2022 at 8:01
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    @Someone, you can keep your US citizenship by not working very hard to get rid of it :-) Which kind of answers the question.
    – gnasher729
    Sep 13, 2022 at 11:39

1 Answer 1



From the American perspective:

U.S. law does not mention dual nationality1 or require a person to choose one nationality or another. A U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship. Source: U.S. Department of State — Bureau of Consular Affairs

And from the British:

Dual citizenship (also known as dual nationality) is allowed in the UK. This means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of other countries. Source: Gov.Uk

1Section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that “the term ‘national of the United States’ means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.” Therefore, U.S. citizens are also U.S. nationals. Non-citizen nationality status refers only individuals who were born either in American Samoa or on Swains Island to parents who are not citizens of the United States [Source: Dept of State, as above]

  • "national of the United States" is not synonymous with "citizen of the United States." There are some people who are US nationals but not US citizens. All US citizens are US nationals, however.
    – phoog
    Sep 12, 2022 at 6:24
  • @phoog I've added more detail for clarity, but my intent was to focus purely on the circumstances given in the OP i.e. citizen, and not stray too far off-topic.
    – user35069
    Sep 12, 2022 at 6:30
  • That's a laudable goal. I don't actually see much need to explain the term "US national" in the context of the sentence "US law does not mention dual nationality" but, if you do, something closer to your original answer would probably suffice, perhaps along the lines of "the term ‘national of the United States’ includes citizens of the United States."
    – phoog
    Sep 12, 2022 at 6:59
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    The main impediment in the US is 8 USC 1481 where voluntarily obtaining naturalization, or declaring allegiance to a foreign state causes loss of US citizenship. If you are a US-UK dual citizen by birth, no problem, but the question say "become". So how to you become a UK citizen without obtaining naturalization, and/or swearing allegiance to the UK? Unless there is some UK law that forces citizenship on people (unlikely-squared).
    – user6726
    Sep 12, 2022 at 19:43
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    @user6726: This is not relevant. 8 USC 1481 only applies if the expatriating act is performed "with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality" - so all you have to do is decide that you want to keep your US nationality, and then you do. See also Afroyim v. Rusk (Supreme Court ruling that the intent requirement cannot be inferred and must actually have teeth).
    – Kevin
    Sep 12, 2022 at 19:56

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