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Dual nationalities pros and cons

(24 Posts)
VinoEsmeralda Fri 01-Jul-16 14:18:53

DH and DC have British nationality and I have been here 17 years, never applied for citizenship but in process now of doing so.

DH and I are at loggerheads as I let ( in hindsight stupidly) the DC Dutch passports expire. I like to renew them but he doesn't want them to have dual nationality because he fears in the future the laws might chance and they might decide to take the British nationality away.( small chance but nevertheless- decide it is the maternal line and not country of birth which decides the nationality which they changed in 2004- DC1 Dutch (2003) as we weren't married at the time, DC2 British (2005).

He also suggest to make it watertight for me to give up my Dutch nationality and have British citizenship only.

I, on the other hand think this is very far fetched and dual nationality will benefit the children as they will have an EU passport ( for now unless Holland comes out of EU too)meaning they have freedom of travel and possibility of going to Uni in EU.

My intention is too stay in UK as have been here all my adult life and firmly settled.

What would you do? I suppose its too early to tell but like to hear your opinions.

Lico Fri 01-Jul-16 14:29:41

I would press for the children to have dual nationality. This will give them more choices in the future in terms of studying and jobs.; EU with their Dutch passport, Commonwealth with their British passport.
DD has dual nationality which means that she will be able to go to an EU university should the university fees in UK become too prohibitive.
Why would you want to give up your nationality? You can have both . What does he mean by watertight?
I know some Australians who live here on their Irish passport. Not sure for how long though...

whatsagoodusername Fri 01-Jul-16 14:44:45

I have dual nationality (US/Canada) and I've only ever viewed it as an advantage. I am also in the process of gaining UK citizenship.

When I was growing up, the US laws were changing all the time regarding dual citizenship and plenty of people with dual citizenship born a few years before/after me had to choose at 18 which citizenship they wanted to choose. It was never an issue that they couldn't be American - just that they needed to choose to remain American - and it was their choice, not the US government's. I was lucky and was born in an inclusive time when it was not a problem to be a dual citizen and was not required to choose at 18.

Most countries, as far as I am aware, respect dual nationality if it was legal when it was acquired. My DC have dual nationality with the UK/US, and I am in the process of registering them as Canadian because all three countries (currently) allow me to do so. If your DC are British citizens, Britain is not going to take away their citizenship because they were also Dutch at time of birth. The most they would do is require the DC to choose when they become adults if they want to be Dutch or British.

I would keep your DC's Dutch nationality. They can always renounce it at a later date if it is not an advantage, but it is a PITA to acquire new citizenship, or reclaim citizenship once given up.

VinoEsmeralda Fri 01-Jul-16 14:49:06

Thanks Lico. Im with you, he is worried that there will be changes in the law (in the future) where dual nationality is restricted and he doesn't want the kids to loose their British nationality and ended up having to leave the UK at whatever stage of their lives. Bit like the Australians on their Irish passports...(that applies more to me then the DC)

Im all for it but sadly I need him to agree to it A) because they are our children and B) he needs to be in the Dutch embassy in person...

First time ever we are not agreeing on a big topic and its not pretty!

VinoEsmeralda Fri 01-Jul-16 14:50:44

exactly whatisagoodusername (might have to change my name to whatisagoodnationality)but he is not buying it!

AppleMagic Fri 01-Jul-16 14:53:59

I don't know about Dutch citizenship in particular but in general, citizenship doesn't depend upon holding an up to date passport. Presumably if they've held Dutch passports in the past they ARE Dutch citizens unless you actively renounce that citizenship. Sorry if I'm wrong in this case but that's definitely the case with the two countries I'm a citizen of.

Salmiak Fri 01-Jul-16 14:55:05

My dc have Dutch and British passports. Tell your dh that if the law does change (unlikely to though I think) then you can always renounce one citizenship.

There are massive benefits to having a Dutch passport - tuition fees in Maastricht are only €2000 per year, lots of courses in English, student grants, cheaper rent, etc. If the UK does leave the European union then they may not be able to go there and study. shudders at the thought of how much a uk degree will cost by the time my dc are older plus they will be able to work in any country in the European union regardless of whatever deal Britain ends up making ...

FraggleMountain Fri 01-Jul-16 14:55:41

I'm starting the process to get a Swedish passport for DS now. He has a UK one already and I never got around to sorting out the Swedish one before. I will also try to get UK citizenship for myself (shared). I think that if things change in the future there will be plenty of warning. I can't imagine a scenario where the NL or Sweden or the UK would take away citizenship without warning - if that happens there will be worse things going on to worry about!

That said though, it did make DH slightly uneasy, as it's something he won't share with us. But he realised he was not being rational.

user1467101855 Fri 01-Jul-16 14:58:37

Lots of things will change, but taking passports away from British nationals with british parents is never going to be one of them! Your husband is being a dick. He's trying to force you to give up your own nationality and force your children to do the same? I'd be giving him up first, tbh.

Natsku Fri 01-Jul-16 15:02:39

Definitely keep their dual nationality. Britain won't take away their nationality even if they do change the laws - only ask them to choose. But I highly doubt they'll change the law in the way anyway. Keeping an EU nationality would be very wise now to give them more opportunities in the future.

Auti Fri 01-Jul-16 15:03:13

I have dual nationality.
I will also get dual nationality for my DC, it gives them more options and flexibility.
The world changes so best to hedge your bets if you can.

Pangurban1 Fri 01-Jul-16 15:08:02

Salmiak, I have a relative doing a degree in Maastricht and their course is through English.

I wonder how many people look at these European options when applying for university. If you are going to pay the fees along with accommodation away from home, it may be cheaper in the long run to access these many degree courses run in English across the EU. It also gives you more chances to do the course you want.

Of course, the way the fees in the UK can be taken as a loan, with very favourable repayment conditions is quite a good deal.

RainbowFlower24 Fri 01-Jul-16 15:09:26

What salmiack said. I'm getting dd her British passport sorted and my application for eu country where we are done as fast as possible while dual nationality is still allowed.

DXBMermaid Fri 01-Jul-16 16:48:14

You better be quick in renewing!! I think they recently chaged the law that if adults let their passport expire they lose their Dutch nationality.

Theoretician Fri 01-Jul-16 17:30:00

I know nothing about Dutch law, but to reiterate what someone said, but nationality and passports are separate things. You may have to be a citizen to get a passport, but not having a passport has no effect on whether you are a citizen.

There's no chance in a million years that any British government is going to take away British citizenship from a British resident just because they have another citizenship.

Having two citizenships can only be a good thing, if it makes any difference at all.

Theoretician Fri 01-Jul-16 17:33:42

It turns out that knowing Dutch law is relevant: apparently you can lose your citizenship if you don't keep your passport.

www.government.nl/topics/dutch-nationality/contents/loss-of-dutch-nationality

eyebrowsonfleek Fri 01-Jul-16 17:34:09

I had dual nationality but had to give one up when I became an adult. In theory if I give up my UK passport, I could have my other one reinstated but I'm happy with my UK one.

Personally I'd keep both. Does your H know how little uni fees are in the Netherlands? He's insane to give up Ditch nationality for the kids!!

eyebrowsonfleek Fri 01-Jul-16 17:36:20

Personally I think it's highly unlikely for the UK to force people to choose because of the close ties with the Commonwealth and not wanting to be seen as imposing Imperialistic and imposing Britishness on ex-Empire countries.

AveEldon Fri 01-Jul-16 17:38:51

I think the only downside is the cost/hassle of the renewals
We have previously let one EU passport expire provided another EU one is still valid
We don't instantly renew all of them

FraggleMountain - if you are travelling to Sweden it's cheaper and quicker to sort out passports there than at the embassy in London

AnotherEmma Fri 01-Jul-16 17:46:06

I think it's very unlikely Britain will disallow dual citizenship, but if they do there's no way they will do it retrospectively - it will only apply to new citizenship applications. People who already have dual citizenship shouldn't be affected.

In the extremely tiny likelihood that you or your DC have to choose between nationalities, you can cross that bridge when you come to it.

Basically your husband is being ridiculous.

HTH wink

AnotherEmma Fri 01-Jul-16 17:48:45

No government is EVER going to force someone born in this country and/or with a parent from this country to give up their British nationality. It's such a ridiculous idea.

FWIW I am British, born here with British parents. My DH is French and because we're married I can apply for French nationality. I'm absolutely going to do it - for the princely sum of 55€ I can stay an EU citizen and we don't even live in France!

AmysTiara Fri 01-Jul-16 18:01:55

I used to work for citizenship applications. We could deprive people of British citizenship after they had been naturalised but only for very serious crimes.

There is no way on this earth anyone in your family will have to renounce so please don't worry.

Pangurban1 Fri 01-Jul-16 18:21:09

I don't know how the UK not allowing dual citizenship would work because of Northern Ireland. People there are entitled to Irish Nationality as well (a few caveats). I imagine Ireland would still hand out the passports to qualified applicants, even if not recognised by UK.

Mind you Gove might rip up the Good Friday Agreement.

Draylon Fri 01-Jul-16 22:54:32

Just weighing in: The process is to establish a citizenship, not necessarily getting that passport. Once you have that citizenship, (by and large - can't speak for 3rd world country requirements) getting a passport for it is a formality.

My entire family have dual citizenship. DH was born forrin, as were the DC but of a UK mother in that country (obvs me, tho myself forrin born while my parents were working for the British Crown, overseas, 1960s).

Transpires DH could either have gained UK right-to-remain via his grandfather or being married to me. Chose the latter! Not cheap and with no recourse to public funds... He has subsequently done the British citizenship thing; Life In The UK thing etc.

I got permanent residence abroad due to the shortage of my profession, and turned that into Citizenship, 2 (two!) years later..

So the DC's are dual. Only DH's forrin passport is still valid; all of ours have expired, but it doesn't matter, we have the right to reapply and gain them.

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