Today's article is a guest submission from one of our readers who also happens to regularly add useful comments to the site. David (@dorzak), has kindly offered an informative guide for how dual citizenship children of UK citizens navigate through the process of formalizing their own UK citizenship. Now you may be asking why we're publishing this information here, on a website dedicated to people moving to Ireland. Well, this information will be very useful to anybody (particularly US citizens) who qualifies for UK citizenship, as they can then freely move to almost anywhere in the EU with their family, including Ireland.

Please use this information as a guide only. As much as David has personally gone through the process, his information is not meant to cover every detail and circumstance that could arise. David has included many references at the end of the article, and those references are where you will find the official and most current information on the topic. Over to David...


When my Grandparents brought my father to the United States in 1955 that opened the door for me to be a dual citizen of the UK and US. This does not extend to my children unless they lived with me for at least 5 years before age 18 while living and work in the UK, or you have established residency at some point in the UK before they are born. In 2014 I claimed my UK passport as proof of my British citizenship. You can pay more to register as a British citizen, and not have a passport.

There are benefits and a few downsides to being a dual citizen. As a dual US/UK citizen you can travel and work in an EU country and bring your family with you except for the UK. Your family would qualify for a permanent resident card, and could also work and study in EU countries besides the UK. That will change if the UK exits the EU. It is also possible some ongoing litigation before the EU courts may make it easier for bringing your spouse and children when working. The EU defines the family to be up to your grandparents, and down to your grandchildren if they depend on you. ( and

As a dual UK/US citizen you can travel on either passport, and there are several countries that do not require a visa, or a fee for UK citizens, but do for US citizens. For example US citizens pay about $160 for a visa in Brazil. UK citizens have no fee for Brazil.

When traveling provide the airline with the passport you will use when you land. If asked to show a passport when leaving a country show the passport for that country (US or UK) if one of your “home” countries. For other countries show the same passport you entered the country with. Failing to do so can lead to additional time in customs.

Being a dual UK/US citizen does not mean additional taxation while living or working in the US. All US Citizens, dual or not, are supposed to pay income tax in the US even if working abroad. UK citizens (and most other countries) only tax those living and working within their borders.

Here is the information I have for dealing with the Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO). As soon as you submit your application you will need to pay the fee. You will then be given about 30 days to get your information mailed in. Save the information you get during the form. It is how you check on the status.

Before you begin the process you will need the following information:

1. Your parent’s UK long form birth certificate. To obtain it you would order it from this site, and need to know the GRO registration information. You want the long form, and it is going to cost about $15 and take about a month to arrive. England/Wales. For Scotland and Northern Ireland see the addendum.

2. Your parent’s UK passport number if they have one. Contact information for them in case there is questions for them.

2. Notarized copy of your parents marriage certificate. The official seal for the county in the US it is from is sufficient. For those married in the US the county it was registered in could be different. For example my parents were married in the Oakland, CA (Alameda county) but it was registered in Humboldt county where they lived.

3. Notarized copy of your own birth certificate

4. Your own marriage certificate if not applying with your maiden name

UK Passport
5. Two passport photos, sized for the UK standard which is different from the US standard. Walgreen’s has a preset for it, and can take them for about $10 if you download their online coupon. Size and posing information is here and will be in the printout you get at the end of the application.

6. Proof of your current address/name in use with a government letter. I used a tax notice.

7. After April 6, 2015 they require your other passports that have not been cancelled. Expired is ok, cancelled is not. So you may need to obtain your US one first. Looking at the law change it seems to be they are trying to track dual citizenship which may or may not be related to some issues occurring in the Middle East.

8. A counter-signor to sign a form and the back of your passport photos. This person needs to hold a passport. Where the passport is from will affect how long your application takes. UK passport the fastest, Irish second, EU third, Commonwealth countries, US fourth, and other countries. My countersignor was sent a letter asking them to verify they had countersigned. They have to know you personally, not just professionally, not a relative, and work in or be retired from a recognized profession. This list of professions is here (and includes ministers including Lay ministers):

9. About $160 on a Visa or £83.00+£19.86 courier fee. (£102.86) Some banks will charge you a currency conversion fee. For example Bank of America charged me a 3% fee. The current passport fee as of June 11, 2015 conversion to realtime exchange rate -

10. A printer to print the application. The printout will be a summary and the form for your counter-signor to fill out.

11. It cost me about $20 to mail it to the UK as express mail.

References -

Birth Certificates -

HMPO page for applying for passport from overseas - including link to application -

Help Page for filling out the online form -

Supported documentation page -

Countersigning information:

Application page -

Passport photo information:

HMPO advice line -

British citizen Visa requirements by country -

US citizen visa requirements by country -

Site for looking up GRO index numbers -

Addendum -
Scotland Birth Certificates -

Northern Ireland Birth Certificates

Irish Nationality Law -

UK Passport image credit: Flickr/johnonolan