I was born in England 1970. By birthright of my father, I became a US citizen in 1991 and moved to the US. Unfortunately I let my UK passport expire. I would like to renew as I might possibly move to New Zealand which is a commonwealth and would be able to apply for a work visa under this law. What I would like to know is, am I still able to renew my British passport? US does not recognize dual citizenship but I am not sure about England. Thank you for the advise. ~N~

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    The US does recognize dual citizenship (or at least, doesn't prohibit it). As long as you have proof of your UK citizenship there should be no problems to get a new UK passport. See travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/… on US dual nationality issues and gov.uk/dual-citizenship for the UK.
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 6, 2016 at 19:42
  • ok great. I ask because when I came thru customs I was asked by the customs officer if I was an American Citizen and I said yes; but I am also an English citizen and he asked again and I replied again and he asked again in a heated voice and replied yes the same way without stating the English and was let thru. So I assumed they didn't recognize it.
    – Naomi
    Feb 6, 2016 at 20:55
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    Most countries require you to enter using the citizenship of that country if you have it. So you must enter the US on a US passport. I don't think the UK has this as a formal requirement, but if you have one you should enter the UK on a UK passport. And generally telling Immigration officials more information than they need seems to annoy them. So for the purposes of entering the US, you are a US citizen, and they don't want to know about any other citizenships you may have (unless they ask explicitly).
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 6, 2016 at 20:59
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    @AlanMunn It is not required for a British Citizen to enter the UK on a UK passport. However immigration may question why a foreign passport is being used and if the holder is also a British Citizen (based on the "place of birth" field in the passport). A British friend of mine has this question each time he enters the UK---but his employment contract with the US government requires him never to assert his non-US citizenship in any way.
    – Calchas
    Feb 7, 2016 at 1:40
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    I have three passports, including a US passport. During the process of becoming a US citizen, two USCIS officers asserted that no US citizen was allowed to hold dual citizenship. I mumbled politely and ignored them. If Michelle Bachmann (former GOP presidential hopeful) can have Swiss citizenship... :-). As others have said, dual citizenship is upheld by SCOTUS.
    – Peter K.
    Feb 7, 2016 at 22:11

2 Answers 2


You are a British citizen. First of all, from what you said ("birthright"), you didn't "become a US citizen in 1991" -- you were a US citizen from birth. Second, even if you acquired a foreign nationality after birth, since 1948, British citizenship is not lost upon voluntarily acquiring a foreign nationality.

  • For completeness, although this is true for British Citizens, certain kinds of British nationality [such as British Subject] can be lost on acquisition of another nationality.
    – Calchas
    Feb 7, 2016 at 1:50

You don't lose British nationality simply by having dual citizenship.

As for renewing your expired British passport:

  • If your previous passport had a red cover, you can renew it online. The cost is £102.86 (£110.86 for 48 pages) and you should expect to receive it in about 4 weeks after your supporting documents are received in the UK.
  • If your previous passport is old and had a black or blue cover, you can also renew it online. The cost is the same but the processing time is 6 weeks.

In either case you fill out an application and make payment online, then post your supporting documents to HM Passport Office in the UK. In your case, this is your old British passport, color copies of every page of your US passport including blank pages, and two passport photos.

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