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Regain/Resume UK Citizenship after Renouncing it

In certain circumstances, it may be possible to regain UK citizenship, having previously renounced it. It is important to note that renouncing UK citizenship is not the same as having it revoked. Revocation of British citizenship by the Home Office happens when they believe that an individual has carried out an act that poses a threat to national security (e.g. espionage and terrorism), unacceptable behaviour (e.g. ‘glorification’ of terrorism), war crimes, or serious organised crime.

Requirements to resume British citizenship

To make a successful application to resume UK citizenship, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have previously made a declaration of renunciation of British citizenship, and this must have been necessary to enable you to retain or acquire citizenship or nationality of another country.
  • Have full mental capacity (i.e. be of sound mind).
  • The Secretary of State must be satisfied that you are of good character.

When assessing whether you meet the good character requirements, the Home Office may check a range of sources, including your overseas criminal records, compliance with the tax rules, and whether there is any evidence of prior deception (e.g. if you provided false information in a visa application or you provided income details that did not match the records held by HMRC). These are similar to common ILR refusal reasons.

Reasons behind renouncing UK citizenship

When assessing your application to resume British citizenship, the Home Office will review the reason why you originally renounced your UK citizenship. Some of the common reasons for renouncing British citizenship may include:

Unable to hold dual citizenship

A common reason for renouncing British citizenship is the wish to apply for citizenship of another country that does not permit dual citizenship. In this case, the individual may decide to relinquish their British citizenship in favour of applying for citizenship of their new home country.

The reason (or reasons) for renouncing your British citizenship will ultimately determine whether you are successful in regaining British citizenship.

Dislike of the UK

In some cases, an individual may decide to give up their British citizenship due to their dislike of the country. It is highly unlikely that such individuals would receive an automatic approval of an application to resume British citizenship. It is important to note that the Home Office has broad discretion over such applications, and if an applicant can show they have strong reasons which justify why they should regain British citizenship, there is a possibility it may be granted.

Terrorism involvement

Where an individual has renounced their British citizenship because they want to represent a terrorist organisation. In such situations, it is highly likely that an application for resumption of British citizenship would be rejected.

Applications to regain UK citizenship are highly scrutinised by the Home Office. If you are considering applying to resume your British citizenship but are concerned you may be refused for the above or other reasons, it is important to seek specialist immigration advice from an immigration solicitor.

Documents required to resume UK citizenship

The documents you will need to provide to the Home Office to support your application to resume your British citizenship status will depend on the reasons for renouncing your UK citizenship in the first place. The documents you may need to provide include:

Evidence of

Evidence example

Proof of nationality / citizenship

  • passport/travel document
  • birth, marriage death certificates
  • adoption, registration, or naturalisation certificates

Renunciation of British citizenship

  • Declaration of renunciation (form RN1 or R6)

Inability to hold dual citizenship

  • Letter from the authorities of the overseas country concerned confirming that the individual was required to renounce their British citizenship to acquire or retain that country’s citizenship

Ties to the UK

  • Evidence of immediate family in the UK – marriage certificate, birth certificates, proof of an ongoing relationship with a UK-based partner (e.g. emails, correspondence, messages)

Renunciation of United Kingdom and Colonies citizenship

  • Birth, naturalisation, or registration certificate showing you have a connection to the UK, and
  • Evidence of relationship, e.g. birth, marriage, or civil partnership certificate, and
  • Letter explaining why you believed you might be deprived of your citizenship of a Commonwealth country

How to regain British citizenship

To apply to regain your British citizenship, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete and submit an application to resume British citizenship1
  2. Pay the application fee of £1,206
  3. Submit any documents requested by the Home Office
  4. Book and attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to have your fingerprints scanned and a photo taken

In most cases, it takes between 3 and 6 months to receive a decision on an application to regain British citizenship. If approved, applicants must attend a UK citizenship ceremony and pledge an oath of allegiance.

UK Citizenship Refused

Applications to resume UK citizenship may be refused where the Home Office believes that approval may:

  • have a detrimental impact on international relations.
  • undermine confidence in the UK’s immigration and nationality system.
  • act as a deterrent to others against behaviour that is not conducive to the public good.
  • be undesirable due to the applicant’s associations. This includes family relationships and relationships with those engaged in terrorism or unacceptable extremist behaviour. The Home Office’s guidance states that they will take into account whether the association is current and whether family ties may have been severed.

If your application is refused, the possible options available to you include:

  • Submitting a request to have your application reconsidered
  • Submitting a fresh application
  • Applying for a judicial review

For assistance with a UK citizenship refusal, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at


1 GOV.UK: Application to resume British citizenship

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