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Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

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Old Jan 4th 2018, 9:49 pm
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Default Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Hello,
My mother renounced her British citizenship when she was 18, in the early 60's. I was born in the US in 1979. I am a US citizen. My maternal grandmother and great grandmother and great grandfather were all UK citizens. Is there any way for me to claim my citizenship?
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Can you explain the process by which your mother renounced her British citizenship?
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

As far as I know, she was 18 and moving to the US to be with her American father and she was told she needed to renounce UK in order to gain American citizenship
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

It's unlikely that your mother did in fact renounce her British citizenship. If your maternal grandfather was born and raised in the US then it is likely that your mother was born a US citizen by descent. If she did have to naturalise in order to gain US citizenship then the US naturalisation oath has a phrase in which the person "absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen." This however has zero legal effect on a person's British citizenship. The only way to renounce your British citizenship is to make a formal application to the Home Office. In addition to that the age of majority at the time, which in the UK was 21 until 1970, it seems very unlikely that your mother actually did renounce.

British women could not pass on their citizenship before 1983 however the law was subsequently amended to allow you to make an application to register as a British citizen. The application itself is free but you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony at your nearest British consulate to swear/pledge allegiance to HM The Queen and the United Kingdom which attracts a £80 (~$110) administration fee.

Start here: https://www.gov.uk/register-british-...british-mother
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

That is not true and unlikely that your mother did this. You can retain your UK citizenship and take US Citizenship and be a dual citizen. If one becomes a US Citizen by taking the oath, you are not asked to renounce your prior citizenship and the UK allows you to have both. You only swear allegiance to the US.

As she had a USC father, it is likely that US citizenship was obtained at birth through her father without her having to naturalize.

PS you can keep both your US citizenship and your British citizenship when it is obtained.

Last edited by Rete; Jan 4th 2018 at 10:30 pm.
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Thank you, that is super helpful and she was so young and it was an emotional time for her so she probably was unsure as to what everything actually meant when she took the oath, etc. If she does in fact register, what are the ramifications for my becoming a british citizen through her? Is it possible?
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Originally Posted by jelebo View Post
Thank you, that is super helpful and she was so young and it was an emotional time for her so she probably was unsure as to what everything actually meant when she took the oath, etc. If she does in fact register, what are the ramifications for my becoming a british citizen through her? Is it possible?
If your mother did legally renounce her British citizenship before you were born then you would have no claim however, as mentioned, that seems very unlikely. Ask your mother whether she has any documentation pertaining either to her acquisition of US citizenship or her renunciation of British citizenship.
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

She has zero documentation and is very murky on the details of what she did so I think having her try to register through her UK mother is probably the best tactic.
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Originally Posted by jelebo View Post
She has zero documentation and is very murky on the details of what she did so I think having her try to register through her UK mother is probably the best tactic.
That's not possible. If she did renounce her British citizenship then she would need to apply to resume it. This wouldn't help you however.

Just apply to register yourself. If your mother did renounce then the Home Office will have a record.
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 10:59 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Good idea, thanks!
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Can you ask her how she entered the US. Was she just a visitor who came and stayed or did she have a formal visa applied for her sake by her US Citizen father. At age 18, she was not a child and it is hoped that she has some recollection of how she came to live in the US.

I ask because if she had a US Citizen father who was able to confer US citizenship to his children, then she was a US citizen from birth and just needed to have her birth registered at the US Consulate in London and obtain her US passport.

If he was not able to confer US citizenship to his children born on foreign soil, then he needed to petition for her to get an immediate relative visa. Once she entered the US with that visa, she automatically becomes a US citizen.

I believe this process still was true back in the 1960's as it is today. That is as long as your grandparents were legally married at some point and her father acknowledged her as his birth child.

PS if your mother was 18 in the 1960's then she and I are about the same age and I remember things that happened to me when I was 18, i.e. high school graduation, my first full time employment, the boys I dated ;-)

Could she not also enquire under the freedom of information act to see if she has a formal naturalization certificate?

Last edited by Rete; Jan 4th 2018 at 11:03 pm.
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Old Jan 4th 2018, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Her US father was married to UK mother for a brief period of time and I believe that you are correct, at the time of her birth she was immediately a US citizen - and got a passport, etc from the US consulate in London when 18 bf she moved. I will have to ask her for further details. She blocked a lot of that time out as her father turned out to be a terrible person who was abusive so she really doesn't' remember much of the details of her move etc. I guess i can just apply as mentioned above
Thank you for your help
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Old Jan 5th 2018, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Gaining UK citizenship after parent renunciation

Sounds like you just have to follow the advice of BritInParis at this point. Good luck.
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