Home > Citizenship > Giving Up UK Citizenship or Nationality

Giving Up UK Citizenship or Nationality

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 14 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Uk British Citizenship Nationality Give

An individual may wish to give up their UK citizenship or nationality in order to become a citizen of another country. In most cases it is possible to retain British citizenship when acquiring the nationality of a second country. However, some countries do not allow their citizens to hold dual nationality.

The article below examines the circumstances in which an individual may be able to give up their British citizenship or nationality.

The Test for Giving up Citizenship or Nationality

In order to give up British citizenship or nationality an individual must:
  • Already have the citizenship or nationality of another country or be due to acquire it upon giving up his or her British status;
  • Be at least 18 years old or be married;
  • Be of sound mind – generally this means that an individual has the mental capacity to make their own decisions. For the purposes of an application to renounce nationality it means that the applicant understands the implications of giving up their nationality.
Applications may be made by someone else on behalf of someone who is not “of sound mind”. An application made on this basis could still succeed if it is considered to be in the individual’s best interest to renounce their British nationality. The person completing the form on their behalf will have to explain why it would be in the applicant’s best interest to give up their British nationality.

If an application to give up British citizenship or nationality is successful the applicant will receive a declaration of renunciation confirming their new status.

Applying to Give up UK Citizenship or Nationality

An application to give up citizenship or nationality is made using form RN. In some cases an individual may hold more than one type of British nationality at the same time. If this is the case, each type of nationality will have to be given up. More than one type of nationality may be included on the form at the same time.

The Application Form

The form comes in two parts – most of the information contained on the form is repeated in both parts. If the application is successful the second part of the form will be signed, stamped and returned to the applicant, becoming the formal declaration of renunciation. The first part of the form must be countersigned either by:
  • someone who is over the age of 18 and can confirm that the applicant is of sound mind; or, if the applicant is not of sound mind,
  • someone with responsibility for the applicant, who must also explain why it is in the applicant’s best interest for them to renounce their nationality.
Together with the form, applicants must also send in documents which prove both that they currently have some form of British nationality to give up and that they have, or will have, another citizenship or nationality if they give up their British nationality. Applicants who are under the age of 18 but who qualify to renounce their nationality due to marriage should also send in proof that they are married.

Applications to give up most forms of British citizenship are made to the British Home Office and forms completed by applicants in the UK should be returned to the UK Border Agency. In order to give up most types of British nationality a fee must be paid. The fee to give up British citizenship and / or most other types of British nationality was £395 as at September 2009. Applications to give up more than one type of nationality at the same time are only charged one fee. There is no fee for an application to give up the status of British National (Overseas).

Giving Up British Nationality Before Becoming the Citizen of Another Country

The declaration of renunciation will show the date on which the applicant ceased to be a British national. If the applicant has not yet become the citizen or national of another country when they make their application the declaration of renunciation will, in effect, be conditional upon them acquiring another nationality. If this has not happened within 6 months of the declaration being registered, the declaration will be void and the applicant will remain a British citizen or national.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi I am a british citizen applying for citizenship for a country that doesnt allow duel citizenship, can i some how get the certificate of renunication just to show to the other country that i gave up my citizenship status, than cancell my application and gain both ?
Lost citizen - 14-Jan-17 @ 2:51 AM
hi, my daughter is in china with her mother. she has both passports. we cannot get her a british visa in her chinese passport and we cannot give up her chinese passport yet. how can i give up her british passport so she can visit me here?
mike wooler - 30-Dec-16 @ 7:10 PM
HS - Your Question:
I am a British Citizen and citizen of another EU country, and want to renounce British Citizenship. If an application to renounce British Citizenship satisfies the three conditions listed above: Already have the citizenship or nationality of another country; Be at least 18 years old or be married; Be of sound mind, and the form is filled out correctly, is approval then automatic? Are there any other grounds for rejection possible? Is there any discretion? Can the application be submitted to the local embassy if I am not in the UK?Also, how long does the application take, and which of the many laws on nationality and citizenship defines the precise conditions relevant?Many thanks for your assistance

Our Response:
The gov.uk link here will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 9-Nov-16 @ 2:56 PM
I am a British Citizen and citizen of another EU country, and want to renounce British Citizenship. If an application to renounce British Citizenship satisfies the three conditions listed above: Already have the citizenship or nationality of another country; Be at least 18 years old or be married; Be of sound mind, and the form is filled out correctly, is approval then automatic? Are there any other grounds for rejection possible? Is there any discretion? Can the application be submitted to the local embassy if I am not in the UK? Also, how long does the application take, and which of the many laws on nationality and citizenship defines the precise conditions relevant? Many thanks for your assistance
HS - 9-Nov-16 @ 1:36 PM
NITIN - Your Question:
Hello,I got British Citizenship on 7th November 2015 under 5 yearsperiod on Tier 2 general & 1 year on ilr.My wife she is still dependent on Tier 2 as she joined me on4th april 2013 so she has to stay 5 year for ilr.My daughter she was born in India on 31st Jan 2012she came on 4 th April 2013 on Tier 2 dependent,my problemis she eligible for British Citizenship?

Our Response:
You may be able to apply for your child (under 18 years of age) to be registered as a British citizen, for example if you’re a British citizen but your child was born outside the UK, please see gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 8-Nov-16 @ 9:54 AM
Hello, I got British Citizenship on 7th November 2015 under 5 years period on Tier 2 general & 1 year on ilr. My wife she is still dependent on Tier 2 as she joined me on 4th april 2013 so she has to stay 5 year for ilr. My daughter she was born in India on 31st Jan 2012 she came on 4 th April 2013 on Tier 2 dependent,my problem is she eligible for British Citizenship?
NITIN - 7-Nov-16 @ 9:42 AM
Yonkharr95 - Your Question:
Hi I am from the far east. Currently hold british citizenship and my original nationality of far east country because I didn't need to give up at the time obtaining the British citizenship. So I have both british passport and other passport with ILR (sticker version). My original country do not allow a dual citizenship.My question now is - I consider to renounce British citizenship and wish to hold the original nationality with ILR status (rolling back to ILR). What are the procedures?1. apply to renounce British citizenship, if successful2. ?3. ?Although I may go through the process the legal person, but I wish to get an idea of what should be expected in terms of procedure. Because I have the business as well as the property in the UK.Any comments are much appreciated.

Our Response:
You would have to seek professional immigration advice regarding this due to the complexity of what you are asking. We can only offer general advice, not specific.
AboutImmigration - 18-Oct-16 @ 11:47 AM
Hi I am from the far east. Currently hold british citizenship and my original nationality of far east country because I didn't need to give up at the time obtaining the British citizenship. So I have both british passport and other passport with ILR (sticker version). My original country do not allow a dual citizenship. My question now is - I consider to renounce British citizenship and wish to hold the original nationality with ILR status (rolling back to ILR). What are the procedures? 1. apply to renounce British citizenship, if successful 2. ? 3. ? Although I may go through the process the legal person, but I wish to get an idea of what should be expected in terms of procedure. Because I have the business as well as the property in the UK. Any comments are much appreciated.
Yonkharr95 - 17-Oct-16 @ 3:49 PM
Hi would appreciate in terms of clarifying,,both me and my wife are british citizens who have been staying in india for the last 3-4 years.We have adopted a child and done all the legal process required for the adoption.we would like to apply for the british citizenship/passport of the child . On applying for the passport to the authorities in the UK, It was rejected mentioning that the we couldnt provide evidence that the child was adopted as per the hague convention. Anyone who has any knowledge of the process,appeal. Thanks
mani - 28-Sep-16 @ 11:28 PM
I have submitted a renunciation application regarding my british national overseas citizenship about 2 months ago.. I am currently residing in Singapore. Application fees have been deducted from my bank account by the UK government authorities. But original endorsed documents are not returned back to me till now. I urgently need my documents back as they include my passport. I have emailed the UK authorities various times but no replies are received for more than 20 days. I feel very helpless.. I need kind assistance. I want to at least be notified on the status of my application.. Successful or not.. Estimated waiting time for my documents to be back.
Crystall18 - 22-Sep-16 @ 12:40 PM
kinty - Your Question:
Hi, I'm here in the Philippines my British father left me with nothing. In my birth certificate I am a British citizen. I'm 12 years old by the way. I want to know my right as a child of a british. Please help me.

Our Response:
Your mother would be able to apply to register you as a British citizen, if your British citizen father is registered on your birth certificate. Your mother can also attempt to pursue child maintenance via an international Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO). I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 19-Sep-16 @ 10:47 AM
Hi, I'm here in the Philippines my British father left me with nothing. In my birth certificate I am a British citizen. I'm 12 years old by the way. I want to know my right as a child of a british. Please help me.
kinty - 18-Sep-16 @ 2:29 AM
Hi there, How long does it take from receiving my renunciation application until i get the declaration from the UK government? Thx
Ressless - 6-Aug-16 @ 12:21 AM
I am a naturalised citizen and my wife is applying for ILR in Oct 2016. My two child born here are British Citizens. My Two Daughters who were born in Pakistan, but came to UK in 2006 aged 3 and 2 at that time. Now aged 13 and 12 and living in UK since 2006 i.e 10 Years and now on spouse dependent visa. Question. Can I apply for them to be registered as a British Citizen with out applying for their indefinite leave?
Imran - 5-Aug-16 @ 11:47 PM
Heather - Your Question:
I have been living abroad for the last 33 years, my oldest son was born in England, then the next three in Switzerland and my last child in France. The first child has a British birth cert, the next three have a swiss one and I registered them at the swiss embassy. The last child was born in France and I didn't register him. He is now 21, has a British passport but has never been registered. All the forms on the government sites talk about children under 18, what do I do for my child now he is 21?

Our Response:
As an adult, your son can apply himself to become a British citizen, please see gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 4-Aug-16 @ 12:04 PM
I have been living abroad for the last 33 years, my oldest son was born in England, then the next three in Switzerland and my last child in France. The first child has a British birth cert, the next three have a swiss one and I registered them at the swiss embassy. The last child was born in France and I didn't register him. He is now 21, has a British passport but has never been registered. All the forms on the government sites talk about children under 18, what do I do for my child now he is 21?
Heather - 3-Aug-16 @ 5:11 PM
boner - Your Question:
I was married in the Philippines in 2007 and we have a son who was born and registered in the Philippines. My wife and son still live in the Philippines as I can't afford to get them here. We contact each other every day. Would it be possible to get our son registered as a British Citizen while living in the Philippines. Who would have to apply my wife in the Philippines or myself in the UK. I am a British Citizen born and lived in the UK all my life. My wife is a Philippine citizen born and lived in the Philippines all her life. Someone help me Please.

Our Response:
You may be able to apply for your child (under 18 years of age) to be registered as a British citizen, for example if you’re a British citizen but your child was born or outside the UK, please see gov.uk link here for further information.
AboutImmigration - 28-Jul-16 @ 10:34 AM
I was married in the Philippines in 2007 and we have a son who was born and registered in the Philippines . My wife and son still live in the Philippines as I can't afford to get them here . We contact each other every day . Would it be possible to get our son registered as a British Citizen while living in the Philippines . Who would have to apply my wife in the Philippines or myself in the UK . I am a British Citizen born and lived in the UK all my life . My wife is a Philippine citizen born and lived in the Philippines all her life . Someone help me Please .
boner - 27-Jul-16 @ 9:32 AM
My daughter would like to denounce her British citizenship. She was born to an American mother and Danish father in the UK and was therefore American from birth at that time in 2001.She then applied for and became a dual British passport holder in 2010 because at that time Denmark did not allow dual citizenship. The rules in Denmark for dual citizenship changed in 2014 and she may hold a Danish passport, is considered Danish under the law, like her father. I can see that there is a rule that she must be 18 years old to denounce her British citizenship, but surely there must be an exception as she is considered both American and Danish by birthright? She is 15 years old.
Island - 21-Jul-16 @ 6:17 AM
Boulette - Your Question:
Hello,My daughter was born in the UK in 2008 but because my partner and I are both French nationals, and we had not been here long enough, she was not able to get a British passport. Would it be possible for her now, 8 years down the line, to get British nationality? What paperwork would we need to provide?Thank you for your advice. Regards.

Our Response:
Unless you are British citizens yourself, then she will not be eligible for British citizenship.
AboutImmigration - 29-Jun-16 @ 1:39 PM
Hello, My daughter was born in the UK in 2008 but because my partner and I are both French nationals, and we had not been here long enough, she was not able to get a British passport. Would it be possible for her now, 8 years down the line, to get British nationality? What paperwork would we need to provide? Thank you for your advice. Regards.
Boulette - 28-Jun-16 @ 4:32 PM
Bristolgirl - Your Question:
Hi I am British citizen living in the Netherlands. My eldest son was born in the uk and we moved to NL when he was 2. I had to give up his passport for a dutch one when it expired at 5 years old as they don't allow dual nationality. If I ever wanted to move back to UK with him or he wanted to live in uk in the future is he entit led to British citizenship still? Also my 2nd son was born in netherlands. Is he entitled to British citizenship due to a British mother?

Our Response:
You may be able to apply for your children (under 18 years of age) to be registered as a British citizen, for example if you’re a British citizen but your children were born or adopted outside the UK, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 24-Jun-16 @ 1:50 PM
Hi I am British citizen living in the Netherlands. My eldest son was born in the uk and we moved to NLwhen he was 2. I had to give up his passport for a dutch one when it expired at 5 years old as they don't allow dual nationality. If I ever wanted to move back to UK with him or he wanted to live in uk in the future is he entit led to British citizenship still? Also my 2nd son was born in netherlands. Is he entitled to British citizenship due to a British mother?
Bristolgirl - 24-Jun-16 @ 11:58 AM
Hi im just wondering if someone can help me. I renounced british citizenship and became irish citizen but looking to come back to be a british citizen can anyone help please
Spud - 24-Jun-16 @ 7:52 AM
Please help, I have a Haitian wife and a 2month old son.I want to give my son if possible a dual nationality. Plus I want my wife to come to the UK for up to a max ofmonths to do the usual things meet my family and have a break away from a place which is difficult to live in.My wifre has a haitian passport My son doesnt yet.. I live in haiti for you to 8 months a year with my wife in our rented apartment I/we have a mortgage free house in the UK and a substantial UK bank balance. The problem we have in Haiti is that there is not an Embassy there, we are refered to Santo Domingo in the DR, where there is an outsourced office, who basically gives you a DHL envelope and tell you to post all your documents to the British Embassy in New York. We are just frustrated, I want my son to see his aging grandparent and for my wife to see my country, neither of us want to settle here as we have a good life style in Haiti. plus it seems we need a visa for my wife and child for the USA too is this correct? Please help..thanks
kevinb - 4-Apr-16 @ 11:47 AM
Woo - Your Question:
Hello,I would like some advice as a British mother who lives aboard.I would like to know how I would go about getting my 2 year old son a British passport he was born in Italy and is registered a Italian citizen,but I myself is British and hold British citizenship but I want my son to have both citizenships as his father is Italian.how can I go about it.thank you.

Our Response:
You can see more about registering a child born abroad as a British citizen, via the article here .
AboutImmigration - 14-Mar-16 @ 2:20 PM
Hello,I would like some advice as a British mother who lives aboard.I would like to know how I would go about getting my 2 year old son a British passport he was born in Italy and is registered a Italian citizen,but I myself is British and hold British citizenship but I want my son to have both citizenships as his father is Italian.how can I go about it.thank you.
Woo - 13-Mar-16 @ 8:29 PM
I have dual nationality British & Australian. I became an Australian citizen in 2004. In 2000 my partner & I had a baby.We never married. I have a current British Passport is it possible for my daughter who is now 15 to get dual nationality & passport?
Steve - 4-Feb-16 @ 4:15 AM
I would like to know how to register my son for British Nationality, I am a British citizen living and working in Thailand married to a Thai, we have a son of nearly two years and are due to have a second child next year.As my son is over 1 year old can I still accuire his dual citizenship? any information would be appreciated. Thanks
Peter - 21-Nov-15 @ 1:39 AM
I am now appling to renounce my BNO. The payment had already charged & payed by Sept, but nothing comes back to me until this moment. I have sent enquires about my application but never got an answer. The official website told me that they only answer basic enquires, I got an email address from the embassy which is directly to homeoffice but never have answer... very anxious, can't really sleep tight... I saw someone like (Jane, Oct8) already had solid experience on this issue, is it possible to share if my situation is normal or not? Please help
Jance - 16-Nov-15 @ 4:08 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AboutImmigration website. Please read our Disclaimer.