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British and US passports - advantages to having both?

I was born in England to English parents. Our family (parents, myself, and two siblings) emigrated to the US in 1964 and we all had legal resident alien status. Many years later I naturalized as a US citizen. I have let my UK passport lapse, but am wanting to renew it. My American husband and I have two teenage daughters who I understand are eligible for UK passports. I am considering getting UK passports for myself and daughters in order to confirm our ties to England, but to justify the expense I need to learn of other advantages to having both passports. I'm sure some on this forum are also dual citizens and I would love to hear your responses. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
1221 posts

If you're going to travel in South America, UK passport holders are not charged the 'reciprocity fee' USA passport holders get hit with in places like Brazil and Chile. So if you're planning a trip there, it probably pays for itself.

Posted by
1309 posts

Not in anyway useful,bit we have a much more flowery inscrption.

Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.


The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests all whom it may concern to permit the .citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.

Posted by
5386 posts

Right to live and work through the EEA - no worrying about Schengen time limits, work permits etc.

Posted by
7728 posts

An aquaintance is of the same situation, his main benefit is using the shorter UK or EU line at Immigation over there (his non-UK passport holding family trails with him), and certainly, as was mentioned, it may give him some rights to work or extended stay if needed...though not his family.

Before assuming that you and your daughters would have full rights as a citizen, and not one of the UK's odd five forms of lesser status, I would talk to the British Embassy or use their on-line resources. Maybe the main value is to establish those rights in case your future should change and they become handy....or one of your children decides they want to excercise those rights. Other than that, until you do, I suppose there is no tangible value.

Posted by
1673 posts

British Citizenship also comes with EU citizenship. If your daughters wish to study in the EU it will make it easier.

Posted by
571 posts

I was once married to a dual citizen USA/UK. She was not "supposed" to do this, but she'd depart the US on her American passport, then enter the UK on her British one, using the shorter queue for residents. Then, departing England she's take the quick resident queue out and reenter the US on her American passport again. Since she still had to wait for me to clear immigration in London, there wasn't that much of a benefit to doing this, except to laugh at my misfortune of having to go through the visitors gates.

Posted by
81 posts

Thanks for all the good feedback. I'm definitely going to proceed with the applications. You never know what the future might bring, especially in the kids college years.

@Matt - I did that when traveling with my ex. It was a hollow victory.

Posted by
1 posts

I am in a similar position, having British and Canadian citizenship. But as I'm now in my sixties, my question is slightly different: are there senior's discounts only available to UK/EU citizens - that I would not get with my Canadian ID? It might make the cost of getting the UK passport worth it.

Posted by
15686 posts

Marine, I have many times encountered that restriction in Europe. Sometimes it is free admission for EU, somes a reduced rate, and especially that the senior rate is often only for EU. I haven't paid attention though if it's EU residents or EU citizens since neither was applicable to me. My guess is that flashing the EU passport would suffice, but it would mean carrying it around with you and being able to access it readily. Whether those savings would offset the cost of a passport probably depends on the number of places you would visit over the next 10 years.

Posted by
11294 posts

If you hold dual US and UK citizenship:

  1. If you run into a problem while in the UK, you are not eligible for US consular services there.

  2. You must enter and leave each country by showing the passport they want you to use. I don't know details for US/UK, but I do know a dual US/Brazilian national. She has to use her US passport to enter and leave the US, and her Brazilian passport to enter and leave Brazil, and "shuffle" them correctly on the plane. If she uses the wrong one, even totally inadvertently, the border agents in both countries get VERY upset.

Neither of these are big deals, most likely, but are something to be aware of.

Posted by
5386 posts

The UK does not require people with British nationality and one/more additional nationalities to obtain and use a British passport. Entry to the UK can be made on any valid passport.

Posted by
9110 posts

Neither does the United States. In fact, when they scan your passport, additional passports that you hold show up on the screen. All you're doing is identifying yourself, not offering up a tracking document.