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I have just recently joined this forum and I am still trying to figure out the layout so I apologize if this has been covered already.:confused:

I am both and american and mexican citizen and i married a British citizen. I have recently been granted my spouse visa :clap2: and will be joining him in the UK in 2 weeks along with my (also dual citizen) daughter.

We still have a ways away to deciding about citizenship but I would still like to be informed so my question is how many citizenships can you have regarding the uk and us laws? I really dont want to give up either of my citizenships since I grew up and have family in both places. My husband plans on adopting my daughter so I assume she would gain british citizenship. If I do have to renounce one, what would the benefits be to me to become a british citizen?

Also if anyone has anyinformation regarding British adoption of an american citizen I would appreciate it. I cant seem to find anything past "hire a lawyer" which we may end up doing anyway but I would still rather be informed.

Thanks so much for any help you can provide :)
 

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Basically both the Americans and the Brits are pretty blasé about multiple citizenships these days. The Americans announced back in 1990 that they aren't going to object to multiple nationality - although there are still a number of laws on the books that allow them to strip someone of their US citizenship under certain circumstances. To my knowledge, they haven't invoked those laws since 1990. (And actually, since then they have made it quite difficult to give up your American citizenship, no matter how acquired!)

Mexico may be another story. You'd have to check with your consulate to be sure. But if they let you have dual US-Mexican citizenship, I doubt they'll object to your taking one more.

Of course the main disadvantage of the US citizenship is that you have to file US income taxes for the rest of your life, no matter where you live.

As for the advantages of taking British citizenship, you'll have some time to consider that for yourself, as I think you have to live in the UK for a number of years before you'll be eligible. These days, a legal resident is usually entitled to most of the same rights and benefits (and obligations - like paying taxes!) as a citizen - though within the EU, it is very handy to have an EU nationality for a whole variety of reasons (employment, travel, etc.). Within the UK, the primary benefit is that you can vote.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It takes at least 3 years' residence in UK (if you are married to a British citizen) before you can apply for naturalisation. First you need a marriage visa (spouse) to enter UK - a long drawn-out affair with lots of requirements. If you've been married less than 4 years, your visa is valid for 2 years (probationary period). Towards the end of your 2 years you apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). While UK has no objection to multiple citizenship, you need to check with consulates of other countries to check up on their rules.

As for your husband adopting your daughter, this needs to go through a UK court (family court) and your application needs to be supported by the social services dept of your local authority (it goes by the name of service for children and young people etc). So contact the adoption and fostering dept of your local council to start the ball rolling. They will conduct a background check on all three of you (and the child's other birth parent, if possible) and submit their report and recommendation to the court - you should also have your own solicitor to represent you - many firms have a division dealing with family matters. You will be subject to rules on intercountry adoption, and there are additional steps involved: Intercountry adoption : Directgov - Parents
But social services will know what you need to do. Instead of full adoption, there is an alternative of a residence order, which gives parental responsibility without removing other birth parent's parental rights.
Adopting a stepchild : Directgov - Parents
Or special guardianship can be considered. Again social services can advise you of these alternatives.
 

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I realize this is a bit off topic, but I'm curious about what Bev said about the US making it difficult to renounce your US citizenship. What sort of process is that? I've no desire to pay double taxes on "unearned" income like pensions for the rest of my life, nor to have to enter the US on a US passport (yes I am an untrusting sort and would like UK consulate protection in the US - it's a very long and nasty story). I'd planned to renounce my US citizenship once granted UK citizenship, but I never considered that I might have to do a lot of planning in order to do so! Where does one find such information?

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
 

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Wow thanks for that info, its a very helpful start in looking in what direction I need to go.

I forgot to mention that there is no father on my daughters birth certificate. He does not know about her (long story, one night stand he never called me) and i have no way of contacting him. I also dont have any information on him at all. Here in the US from what I understand, the courts have to put something in the paper saying "so and so is being adopted by yadda yadda" and give 2 weeks or something for the father to come forward and protest. Is that going to make things more difficult in england?
 

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I realize this is a bit off topic, but I'm curious about what Bev said about the US making it difficult to renounce your US citizenship. What sort of process is that? I've no desire to pay double taxes on "unearned" income like pensions for the rest of my life, nor to have to enter the US on a US passport (yes I am an untrusting sort and would like UK consulate protection in the US - it's a very long and nasty story). I'd planned to renounce my US citizenship once granted UK citizenship, but I never considered that I might have to do a lot of planning in order to do so! Where does one find such information?
Not being a US citizen, my information is a hearsay, but I've read that the only sort of citizenship renunciation the US accepts is the one done in front of a US official, and outside of US it means a consular official. So you need to contact the US embassy in Lonon to get the lowdown!
 

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I realize this is a bit off topic, but I'm curious about what Bev said about the US making it difficult to renounce your US citizenship. What sort of process is that? I've no desire to pay double taxes on "unearned" income like pensions for the rest of my life, nor to have to enter the US on a US passport (yes I am an untrusting sort and would like UK consulate protection in the US - it's a very long and nasty story). I'd planned to renounce my US citizenship once granted UK citizenship, but I never considered that I might have to do a lot of planning in order to do so! Where does one find such information?

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
I got my information through AARO (Association of Americans Resident Overseas) plus some online research on my own - usually through the US Consulate websites.

The only way you can renounce your US citizenship is by making a formal statement in front of a US consular officer. If there is any suspicion that you are doing so "for tax reasons" they can require you to be subject to US income taxes for a 10 year period after your renunciation. In addition the Attorney General may refuse you any sort of visa to enter the US ever again. Now, whether they'd actually invoke all this for someone who wasn't a millionaire, seeking to avoid US taxes in large amounts, is anyone's guess.

In order to renounce your US citizenship without being subject to penalties, you have to advise the Consulate ahead of time if you are renouncing for certain specific reasons - such as taking the nationality of your spouse in a country where you are required to renounce all previous nationalities (like Germany).

Basically, the double taxation argument doesn't really apply. While "unearned" income remains subject to US taxation, you do get a credit for income taxes paid in any other country, so technically your income isn't being double taxed. (It can just be tricky to sort out exactly how to manage it all, but many expat groups can give you advice on your US taxes.)

This is the official State Department site on renunciation: Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship It's those IRS regulations mentioned only briefly that hold most of the "gotchas". One set of laws was enacted back in 1996, and I've seen reference to some others passed more recently (2002 or 2005, I think it was).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Not being a US citizen, my information is a hearsay, but I've read that the only sort of citizenship renunciation the US accepts is the one done in front of a US official, and outside of US it means a consular official. So you need to contact the US embassy in Lonon to get the lowdown!
Yep -- it's the same if you want to dump your British citizenship, too.
 

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I realize this is a bit off topic, but I'm curious about what Bev said about the US making it difficult to renounce your US citizenship. What sort of process is that? I've no desire to pay double taxes on "unearned" income like pensions for the rest of my life, nor to have to enter the US on a US passport (yes I am an untrusting sort and would like UK consulate protection in the US - it's a very long and nasty story). I'd planned to renounce my US citizenship once granted UK citizenship, but I never considered that I might have to do a lot of planning in order to do so! Where does one find such information?

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
Not the best of ideas usually -- even with long stories!
 

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I got my information through AARO (Association of Americans Resident Overseas) plus some online research on my own - usually through the US Consulate websites.

The only way you can renounce your US citizenship is by making a formal statement in front of a US consular officer. If there is any suspicion that you are doing so "for tax reasons" they can require you to be subject to US income taxes for a 10 year period after your renunciation. In addition the Attorney General may refuse you any sort of visa to enter the US ever again. Now, whether they'd actually invoke all this for someone who wasn't a millionaire, seeking to avoid US taxes in large amounts, is anyone's guess.

In order to renounce your US citizenship without being subject to penalties, you have to advise the Consulate ahead of time if you are renouncing for certain specific reasons - such as taking the nationality of your spouse in a country where you are required to renounce all previous nationalities (like Germany).

Basically, the double taxation argument doesn't really apply. While "unearned" income remains subject to US taxation, you do get a credit for income taxes paid in any other country, so technically your income isn't being double taxed. (It can just be tricky to sort out exactly how to manage it all, but many expat groups can give you advice on your US taxes.)

This is the official State Department site on renunciation: travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship It's those IRS regulations mentioned only briefly that hold most of the "gotchas". One set of laws was enacted back in 1996, and I've seen reference to some others passed more recently (2002 or 2005, I think it was).
Cheers,
Bev

Just to add to this, I checked the Bureau of Consular Affairs website (sorry I cant post links yet) and called them about both adoption and multiple citizenships. What I found out is that the US discourages multiple citizenships due to complications it can cause but they will not make you renounce your citizenship if you are acquiring citizenship through adoption, birth or marriage (there may be a few others but I don't remember). Basically if you are claiming citizenship just because then thats where you might have to renounce.

I have not yet found out if Mexico will make me renounce my citizenship but Ill keep you posted.

As far as adoption, I basically called to see if I had to do anything specific since my daughter is a US citizen but I was told I need to contact a private attorney. Not much information about that there. Ill add to this if I find anything else out.
 

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Just to add to this, I checked the Bureau of Consular Affairs website (sorry I cant post links yet) and called them about both adoption and multiple citizenships. What I found out is that the US discourages multiple citizenships due to complications it can cause but they will not make you renounce your citizenship if you are acquiring citizenship through adoption, birth or marriage (there may be a few others but I don't remember). Basically if you are claiming citizenship just because then thats where you might have to renounce.
There's no better research on the legal position of US dual citizens than at Dual Citizenship FAQ. BTW, never tale legal advice from federal officials or their propaganda -- they're allowed to lie to you!
 

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Just to add to this, I checked the Bureau of Consular Affairs website (sorry I cant post links yet) and called them about both adoption and multiple citizenships. What I found out is that the US discourages multiple citizenships due to complications it can cause but they will not make you renounce your citizenship if you are acquiring citizenship through adoption, birth or marriage (there may be a few others but I don't remember). Basically if you are claiming citizenship just because then thats where you might have to renounce.

I have not yet found out if Mexico will make me renounce my citizenship but Ill keep you posted.

As far as adoption, I basically called to see if I had to do anything specific since my daughter is a US citizen but I was told I need to contact a private attorney. Not much information about that there. Ill add to this if I find anything else out.
Practically speaking, if you go to any US consulate to attempt to renounce your US citizenship (since you can't do so anywhere in the US anyhow), the first thing they will do is to try and talk you out of it. The US government can't make you renounce - if they really get mad at you, they can take your US citizenship away, but I don't think they've actually done this to anyone in a couple of decades.

If you do renounce, it's permanent. No changing your mind. No going back, and no chance to take US citizenship at a later date.

There are still laws on the books that say they can take away your citizenship if you serve in a foreign army, work for a foreign government in certain types of positions or if you voluntarily take another nationality (i.e. if you have to apply for it rather than it being automatically bestowed upon you). These laws have been ignored now since 1990 - however they periodically are cited on government websites as warnings. I suppose that's what they mean when they say that the US government "doesn't encourage" dual nationality.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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