Do I have to get a British passport to enter the UK if my father is British? My family is from Singapore, except my father, who is British. We are being relocated to the UK because of his work and I've been told because we are entitled to a British citizenship, we have to enter the UK with a British passport.

We have been there on holiday several times without any issues but just recently we've been advised this is wrong. We are looking to settle there for a couple of years only, so why do I need to apply for citizenship?

  • With various caveats it sounds like you are a British citizen by descent. You don't need to apply for that, but you should be able to get a British representation to issue a document (namely, a passport) that certifies this already-true fact. Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 20:06
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    With one major caveat about how SG is very strict about not allowing dual citizenship
    – Scott Earle
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


Normally, I would say that being entitled to another citizenship is a good thing. It can open doors otherwise not open to you, and allows you to live and work in more places around the world than you otherwise easily could.

But in this case, if you were to get a British passport, you might find that you no longer have Singaporean citizenship, as Singapore is very strict about not allowing dual citizenship.

While there are many people in Singapore who would gladly follow this path (largely to avoid national service), this would then mean that if you ever want to go to Singapore (the place you have called 'home' all your life), you would be treated as a foreigner. This means visas, work permits and perhaps applying for permanent residence in the future.

There is always the chance that Singapore looks badly on people who have given up Singaporean citizenship who then want to come back and live as a foreigner - and they may not even grant PR to such people.

I would have a word with an immigration lawyer in Singapore who would have experience in this matter. They can tell you the actual law and how it applies - don't listen to agents who would happily charge you a fee for each person to apply for a British passport, as well as all the other documents for your trip to the UK. Get solid legal advice as to how this will affect you all (your whole family), and what the actual requirements are.

  • 1
    Best advice. The OP doesn't have to get a British passport and citizenship, especially considering the adverse consequences on Singaporean citizenship.
    – dda
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 11:23

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