Immigration Corner | Renouncing British citizenship
Dear Mr Bassie,
I am considering giving up my British citizenship and I am not sure if this can easily be done. I am hoping that you will be able to advise me.
Persons can apply to give up or renounce their British citizenship or status. If accepted, they will get a 'declaration of renunciation' that can be used to show that they are no longer British.
Persons might do this, for example, if they want to become a citizen of another country that does not allow dual citizenship.
Persons can apply to renounce their:
- British citizenship
- British overseas territories citizenship
- British overseas citizenship
- British subject status
- British national (overseas) status
Please note that it is possible to give up more than one at a time. Also, please be aware that giving up the citizenship or status only affects the applicant and does not affect any other member of their family. However, such actions could affect the status of any children that an applicant may have in the future. In addition, a person's right to live in the United Kingdom will be affected if the citizenship is given up.
There are only certain conditions when a person can give up their citizenship. Persons can only give up their British citizenship or status if either they already have another citizenship or nationality, or they are going to get another citizenship or nationality after giving up their British citizenship or status.
Persons must also be over 18 years old, unless they are under 18 years old and married. Persons must also be of sound mind, unless it has been decided that it is in their best interest.
Persons can either make an application online or apply by post. If applying by post, persons should fill in both parts of Form RN and get the form countersigned by someone over 18 years of age who knows the applicant personally. Please note that there are two parts to the form, and applicants should make sure that they put the same answers in both.
Persons can use the same form to give up more than one type of British nationality at the same time, unless one of them is British overseas territories citizenship. If so, persons will need to fill in two forms.
On completion, persons should send their application form, fee and any supporting documents to:
- Department 1
- The Capital
- New Hall Place
- L3 9PP
Please note that the address is different if they are in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, then the application is to be sent to the lieutenant governor and if in a British overseas territory, then the application is to be sent to the governor of the territory.
With respect to supporting documents, persons will need to send their passport as evidence of their current citizenship status. If they do not have one, those persons should send their birth certificate or certificate of registration or naturalisation.
If persons got their citizenship or status through descent from their parent or grandparent, they will need to send documents proving their citizenship or status or the relationship to them.
It is necessary to show evidence of future status. Persons must send evidence showing either that they have another citizenship or nationa-lity, or will have one when they have made their declaration to give up their British status. For example, this may be providing a passport for the other country or an official statement from that country stating that they are a national.
Persons may also show that they are about to become a citizen of another country. Persons should provide an official letter from the country stating that they will be granted citizenship there when they have renounced their British citizenship or status. If persons are under 18 years of age, then they should send their marriage certificate, if they have been married.
The cost will vary depending on the citizenship applications. The fees for citizenship applications and payment can be made by cheque, credit card or debit card. Persons are advised to include a payment slip when making the application.
Persons will get a 'declaration of renunciation' if your application is successful and this will be the application form, officially signed and stamped. The date that the citizenship or status stops will be shown on the form. Please be aware that applicants' supporting documents will be returned to them whether they are successful or not.
It is important to note that there are time limits if persons are applying to get another citizenship. Persons will have six months from when the declaration is received to get another citizenship, otherwise the declaration will no longer be valid and the applicant will keep their British citizenship or status.
- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org