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Myths busted

Champnet
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Myths busted

2 myths busted Yesterday....

I ignorantly believed there was a legal recognition of common law rights to couples living together without being married. Wrong, no such law.

I also believed a person born in the British Isles had an automatic right to British Citizenship.

Wrong.  This really surprised me, I'm going to have to check my parentage....

10 REPLIES 10
Jonpe
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Re: Myths busted

The common law myth has been widely reported over the years, often in relation to the importance of making a will if you want your partner to inherit from you.

I think the birthright to UK citizenship was changed (watered down) in 1981 or thereabouts.  It is not always fair to award citizenship to someone just because they happen to be born in a certain country.  In my view UK citizenship is far too easy to obtain and far too infrequently revoked.  We also allow dual/multiple citizenship, some countries don't.  Can one be truly loyal to more than one country?  As we have seen with the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case, dual citizenship can cause problems, and there have been other cases over the years.  Some countries don't allow their citizens to renounce their citizenship of birth when they become citizens of another country, thereby forcing them to have dual citizenship.  The oath taken when someone becomes a US citizen includes "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen".  This should in theory make dual citizenship impossible for a naturalised US citizen, but it isn't enforced.  The one thing they expect is that you enter and leave the US using your US passport, and who in their right mind wouldn't do that.

christmas
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Re: Myths busted


@Jonpe wrote:

.......  The one thing they expect is that you enter and leave the US using your US passport, and who in their right mind wouldn't do that.


The American born Boris Johnson, who didn't like paying US taxes?

Didn't he say as a consequence he had renounced his American Citizenship, is that possible, how?

 Update...according to this article there is no record of him renouncing his American Citizenship, that in 2012 he renewed his American passport. 

Correction: Surely merely not having a passport doesn't stop someone being a citizen of a country?

shutter
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Re: Myths busted


@christmas wrote:

Surely merely not having a passport stops someone being a citizen of a country?


 

I served in the Royal Navy for 12 years.... never had a passport.... didn`t get one until about 4 years ago... thought I may want to go to a forren country ! !! ...

So... all this time I have been a "non - citizen" of G.B. ? ? ? ? ?  

strange how I was allowed to serve for 12 years in it`s defence ...... Undecided

Champnet
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Re: Myths busted

My Dad went all over Europe & the Middle East without a passport.

I don't suppose there were many border controls during WWII....

Jonpe
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Re: Myths busted

Boris Johnson is/was a US citizen by birth.  It is possible to renounce one's US citizenship although I understand the price has gone up from $450 to $2,350 (not that that would bother Boris I imagine).  I noticed that the last couple of times I've renewed my (UK) passport the form asks me to confirm that I haven't renounced my UK citizenship since my last application; I'm sure that question wasn't there before.  Who'd be stupid enough to apply if they'd done so?

A lot of people seem to confuse passport with citizenship.  You are of course only entitled to a UK passport if you are a UK citizen, but you are no less a citizen if you don't have a passport.  I'm pretty sure it's rarer for Americans to possess a passport than it is for us (and other Europeans).

The UK, and possibly other countries, allows suspension of citizenship so that someone who is applying for citizenship of a country that doesn't allow dual nationality can apply, but the UK citizenship is automatically reinstated after a certain time if the application is unsuccessful.

christmas
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Re: Myths busted

 

I often wondered how people renounced their citizenship by just publicly announcing it, but it seems you have to make an official application and in the UK it costs £372.

 

We started with Common Law and according to Wikipedia....

 

The common law doctrine of perpetual allegiance denied an individual the right to renounce obligations to his sovereign. The bonds of subjecthood were conceived in principle to be both singular and immutable. These practices held on in varying ways until the late 19th century.[1][2]

The refusal of many states to recognize expatriation became problematic for the United States, which had a large immigrant population. The War of 1812 was caused partly by Britain's impressment of U.S. citizens born in the UK into the British Royal Navy.

 

christmas
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Re: Myths busted

Boris Johnson officially renounced his American citizenship towards the end of 2016, could that be because he became Foreign Secretary?

Jonpe
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Re: Myths busted

I'm not sure whether being a citizen of another 'friendly' country would automatically exlude someone form being foreign secretary or hold any other position in HM Government, but had he also been, say, a Russian citizen that might be a different story.

Now here is one to ponder: Stephen Kinnock MP is married to Helle Thorning-Schmidt who was PM of Denmark.  What would the situation be had Mr Kinnock become PM of the UK while Ms Thorning-Schmidt was PM of Denmark?  Would they simply have had to agree not to 'talk shop'?  At least he could have claimed to have consulted another EU leader on every issue!

Churchill's mother was American and he may have been entitled to US citizenship, although in those days it may only have been possible to 'inherit' your father's citizenship.  In about 1980 I remember reading on my passport application form that someone born abroad was only British if their father was British and the parents were married; this has obviously changed.

John_Hull
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Re: Myths busted

Having had the good fortune to be born in Belfast, I automatically have dual nationality (Irish and British). Of course it's up to the individual, whether or not they wish to take advantage of that, and until recently, it really didn't affect my life, but I understand that there has been a large increase in requests for Irish passports recently; not only from people born in the six counties, but also from their children and grandchildren born further afield in the UK. Something happened; I can't quite remember what it was ... Wink

As to American nationality; it's always interested me that there don't seem to be many Americans. There are Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, African-Americans and so on (interestingly, I've never heard anyone describe themselves as English-American) Smiley

Jonpe
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Re: Myths busted

The current president is in part Scottish American although I've heard him called numerous other - less flattering - things.