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25 years' experience in dual citizenship cases

Most countries allow dual nationality – the right to become a citizen of another country and to hold second (or multiple) passports. Countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Portugal allow dual nationality. It gets more complicated with Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the UK.

South Africa
SA allows dual nationality but you must get permission first
Kenya
Kenya has recently changed its dual nationality laws
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has recently changed its dual nationality laws

Consequences of dual citizenship

There are several consequences of dual nationality that you should note:

  • The nationality laws of the country of which you’re already a citizen may not allow dual nationality.
  • Under the nationality laws of some countries, a married person automatically takes on their partner's nationality. Children may also automatically take on a parent's nationality even if they were born abroad.
  • Under international law, a country cannot give diplomatic assistance if you are resident in a country of which you are a national. For example, if you hold both UK and Chinese nationality, the UK would be unable to give you diplomatic assistance when you are visiting or resident in China.

Your existing nationality, and that of your partner or children, could be compromised if you take on Australian nationality. You should always seek professional advice when obtaining dual nationality, especially before you travel internationally.

UK and dual citizenship

The United Kingdom allows dual nationality. However, if you hold one of the other four forms of British nationality, different rules apply and you must seek further advice.

Please note: Obtaining a second nationality can mean the automatic loss of one of these four British nationalities. Always consult an expert when applying for a new nationality.

Get in touch with our nationality experts to find out if you’re eligible for a second nationality.

South Africa

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
Cape Town
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1DG
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

Australia

Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

Hong Kong

Level 1102
The Lee Gardens
33 Hysan Avenue
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
t: +852 3959 8681

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