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Dual Nationality

Dual Nationality

Old Jun 11th 2012, 12:08 pm
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Default Dual Nationality

OK, so basically this is the situation... I was born in the UK (1990) and have lived here ever since. From birth however, I'm an American citizen (due to my mother at the time being an American citizen). I became a British citizen when I was 4 years old (the same time both my parents became British citizens), and hence have dual citizenship.

I was just wondering, would it be possible to pass both my nationalities on any children that I may have? What restrictions are there?

Thanks.

Last edited by Banu_Hashim; Jun 11th 2012 at 12:11 pm.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

UK citizenship is either "by descent" or "otherwise than by descent". UK citizens "by descent" cannot normally pass on UK citizenship to children born abroad.

It's my understanding that you acquired UK citizenship through naturalization so therefore are a UK citizen "otherwise than by descent". If so, you can pass on UK citizenship to any children born abroad (they would then be UK citizens "by descent"). Of course, if your children are born in the UK, this becomes a non-issue as they would be UK citizens "otherwise than by descent" (in their case, by birth in the UK).

In terms of your US citizenship, you need to have lived in the US for a period of time before you can pass on US citizenship. This link explains it:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/usc...00b92ca60aRCRD
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 4:17 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Also, if you are an American citizen you should be filing tax returns each year (Americans are required to report world-wide income; not necessarily that you will be taxed on the amount that you earn). Also if you are male and between the ages of 18 and 26(?) you must register for Selective Service (the "draft"). HTH!
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Married2abrit View Post
Also, if you are an American citizen you should be filing tax returns each year (Americans are required to report world-wide income; not necessarily that you will be taxed on the amount that you earn). Also if you are male and between the ages of 18 and 26(?) you must register for Selective Service (the "draft"). HTH!
Is the above true for overseas citizens? I have never lived in the USA, and am currently a university student in the UK, paying home fees as a British citizen. I've never been asked about tax returns, drafting etc. (I'm not even sure what "Selective Service" is! I'll have to Google it). I have always present myself as a British citizen when travelling out of the country (UK) and when travelling in Europe and even when travelling to other countries, as I did recently when I travelled to Kuwait. I only ever use my US passport when entering and exiting America which I last did in 2004!
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
Is the above true for overseas citizens? I have never lived in the USA, and am currently a university student in the UK, paying home fees as a British citizen. I've never been asked about tax returns, drafting etc. (I'm not even sure what "Selective Service" is! I'll have to Google it). I have always present myself as a British citizen when travelling out of the country (UK) and when travelling in Europe and even when travelling to other countries, as I did recently when I travelled to Kuwait. I only ever use my US passport when entering and exiting America which I last did in 2004!
It's true for all US citizens.

However, the failure to register for Selective Service will only block your right to some federal benefits such as student loans, while failing to file a tax return usually only comes into play should you try to sponsor a relative for an immigration benefit. Of course, practices could change at any time.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
Is the above true for overseas citizens? I have never lived in the USA, and am currently a university student in the UK, paying home fees as a British citizen. I've never been asked about tax returns, drafting etc. (I'm not even sure what "Selective Service" is! I'll have to Google it). I have always present myself as a British citizen when travelling out of the country (UK) and when travelling in Europe and even when travelling to other countries, as I did recently when I travelled to Kuwait. I only ever use my US passport when entering and exiting America which I last did in 2004!
You don't get told these things. The onus is on you to find out, know and comply.

Good luck and welcome to BE
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
Is the above true for overseas citizens? I have never lived in the USA, and am currently a university student in the UK, paying home fees as a British citizen. I've never been asked about tax returns, drafting etc. (I'm not even sure what "Selective Service" is! I'll have to Google it). I have always present myself as a British citizen when travelling out of the country (UK) and when travelling in Europe and even when travelling to other countries, as I did recently when I travelled to Kuwait. I only ever use my US passport when entering and exiting America which I last did in 2004!
I don't think any children you have will be US citizens if they are born outside the US because you have not lived in the US yourself. Look at the citizenship rules by descent for children born after 1986.

You have fallen foul of the bizarre US tax system which taxes the worldwide income of it's citizens wherever they reside. The good news is you probably owe no tax to the US as you can exclude foreign income up to $95k and take credit on your US taxes for UK tax that you pay. However, the bad news is that you have to file US taxes each year and there are fines for failing to disclose foreign accounts amounting to $10k or more, this is call FBAR legislation, and further fines at a higher threshold, FATCA legislation. Also the way the US taxes foreign pensions and investments is complicated and causes great headaches for US expats so your UK financial life will become a lot more difficult from now on. I encourage you to sort this out asap and educate yourself about your US tax obligations. Go to one of the US expat specialist firms and for a few hundred pounds you should be able to sort things out.

http://www.expatriatetaxreturns.com/

also look here

http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=11.0
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 7:30 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
You don't get told these things. The onus is on you to find out, know and comply.
Yep - and some people don't even know that they are US citizens! Some pay taxes (elsewhere) and die without ever finding out!
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Yep - and some people don't even know that they are US citizens! Some pay taxes (elsewhere) and die without ever finding out!
Yes... and they are breaking US law all their lives, stupid isn't it!
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by nun View Post
I don't think any children you have will be US citizens if they are born outside the US because you have not lived in the US yourself. Look at the citizenship rules by descent for children born after 1986.

You have fallen foul of the bizarre US tax system which taxes the worldwide income of it's citizens wherever they reside. The good news is you probably owe no tax to the US as you can exclude foreign income up to $95k and take credit on your US taxes for UK tax that you pay. However, the bad news is that you have to file US taxes each year and there are fines for failing to disclose foreign accounts amounting to $10k or more, this is call FBAR legislation, and further fines at a higher threshold, FATCA legislation. Also the way the US taxes foreign pensions and investments is complicated and causes great headaches for US expats so your UK financial life will become a lot more difficult from now on. I encourage you to sort this out asap and educate yourself about your US tax obligations. Go to one of the US expat specialist firms and for a few hundred pounds you should be able to sort things out.

http://www.expatriatetaxreturns.com/

also look here

http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=11.0
Thanks nun. I shall look into this when I have more time. Currently, I'm a student with no money to my name. So, I guess my financial life will become more burdensome when I start earning.

Dual nationality is more a curse if anything else!
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by nun View Post
I don't think any children you have will be US citizens if they are born outside the US because you have not lived in the US yourself. Look at the citizenship rules by descent for children born after 1986.

You have fallen foul of the bizarre US tax system which taxes the worldwide income of it's citizens wherever they reside. The good news is you probably owe no tax to the US as you can exclude foreign income up to $95k and take credit on your US taxes for UK tax that you pay. However, the bad news is that you have to file US taxes each year and there are fines for failing to disclose foreign accounts amounting to $10k or more, this is call FBAR legislation, and further fines at a higher threshold, FATCA legislation. Also the way the US taxes foreign pensions and investments is complicated and causes great headaches for US expats so your UK financial life will become a lot more difficult from now on. I encourage you to sort this out asap and educate yourself about your US tax obligations. Go to one of the US expat specialist firms and for a few hundred pounds you should be able to sort things out.

http://www.expatriatetaxreturns.com/

also look here

http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=11.0
Yes, you're right. I would need to live in the US for at least 5 years. Thanks for the links.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
Thanks nun. I shall look into this when I have more time. Currently, I'm a student with no money to my name. So, I guess my financial life will become more burdensome when I start earning.

Dual nationality is more a curse if anything else!
You should look into this asap. You need to understand your US tax situation to make sensible financial decisions and you need to make sure you have no US tax obligations. If you had $9.5k or above in earned income you must file a 1040. Even if you had less than that I'd make knowing your exact status a priority.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
Is the above true for overseas citizens? I have never lived in the USA, and am currently a university student in the UK, paying home fees as a British citizen. I've never been asked about tax returns, drafting etc. (I'm not even sure what "Selective Service" is! I'll have to Google it). I have always present myself as a British citizen when travelling out of the country (UK) and when travelling in Europe and even when travelling to other countries, as I did recently when I travelled to Kuwait. I only ever use my US passport when entering and exiting America which I last did in 2004!
Yes my husband was in a similar situation. He filed a lot of very late tax returns when he sponsored me to move to the US. It's not something he'd care to do again. I'd definitely recommend filing each year.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
From birth however, I'm an American citizen (due to my mother at the time being an American citizen).

I was just wondering, would it be possible to pass both my nationalities on any children that I may have? What restrictions are there?
Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
Yes, you're right. I would need to live in the US for at least 5 years. Thanks for the links.
YOU would have to live in the US for 5 years, but perhaps your American mother can transmit citizenship?

It's not mentioned in the links above, but I remember hearing there was a way for American grandparents to transmit citizenship, IF (and only if) the American citizen grandparent spent 5 years in the USA, with two of those years being after the age of 14. Here's a link on Epeditious Naturalization:

http://honduras.usembassy.gov/exped-natural.html

If you and the child are residing abroad, the child may be eligible for expeditious naturalization if your parent, the child's U.S. citizen grandparent, was physically present in the United States for a period totaling 5 years, 2 after the age of 14. The grandparent can be living or deceased at the time of the application. If deceased, the grandparent must have been a citizen prior to the child's birth and at the time of the grandparent's death.
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Old Jun 12th 2012, 12:56 am
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Default Re: Dual Nationality

Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
Is the above true for overseas citizens? I have never lived in the USA, and am currently a university student in the UK, paying home fees as a British citizen. I've never been asked about tax returns, drafting etc. (I'm not even sure what "Selective Service" is! I'll have to Google it). I have always present myself as a British citizen when travelling out of the country (UK) and when travelling in Europe and even when travelling to other countries, as I did recently when I travelled to Kuwait. I only ever use my US passport when entering and exiting America which I last did in 2004!
Yes, you are required to do many things, including:

* File a tax return every year (though note, you probably won't owe anything due to credits and exclusions).
* File a FBAR bank account report if you have > $10,000 USD in overseas bank accounts (either one account or multiple accounts =>$10k)
* File an FATCA if you have > about $250k USD.
* File various forms if you own > 10% of a foreign company.
* Register for military service
* Enter and leave the United States ONLY on your US passport and not any others.

Do you already have a US passport?

Last edited by penguinsix; Jun 12th 2012 at 7:15 am.
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