Why is British Citizenship Important?
An opportunity to apply for British citizenship is usually an after-thought to most EU/EEA/Swiss nationals especially before Brexit.
As soon as the date for the British Referendum was announced in 2016 to cast the Brexit vote, my phone did not stop ringing.
Mostly, these were EU nationals who were looking for the last chance to bag the right to live permanently in the UK and more importantly the right to come back.
I received a number of emails and phone calls from EU nationals now based overseas, but who had property and investments in the UK and who wanted to come back freely to the UK and continue to be unrestricted by UK immigration.
Unfortunately, I had to tell these people that they were no longer eligible to apply for British citizenship.
5 Reasons to apply for British Citizenship
Let’s revisit what triggers my clients to apply and secure their British citizenship.
1. The Right to Return
Only British citizenship guarantees the ultimate right to return to the UK. Many Brits have established their lives overseas. However, their citizenship allows them to always return home, which is the United Kingdom.
2. To Remain Free from UK Immigration Control
Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is the ultimate rite of passage, which allows EU and non-EU citizens to remain in the UK free from UK immigration control.
However, one loses this status if they choose to remain outside the UK for too long and no longer return within the prescribed time.
Should you choose to return to the UK after your indefinite leave to remain lapses, this means that you have to start your UK immigration journey all over again.
3. Dual Citizenship
The UK is one of the countries that allow dual citizenship. This means that you are able to keep the citizenship of your own country while you acquire British citizenship.
This may be tricky for nationals of countries that only permit single citizenship. However, this is a different topic.
4. The Right to Vote
British citizenship allows you to fully participate in political life in the UK. You get to decide which party is more suitable to represent your vision and interests.
5. The Right to Run for National Elections
Boris Johnson’s government prided itself on representing the ultimate diversity of its cabinet.
Many of the ministers currently undertake important roles and are viewed as more non-compromising especially in the area of immigration notwithstanding their own specific family background and heritage.
The Ultimate Value of British Citizenship – How did EU Nationals ultimately lose out because of Brexit?
As my clients shared with me, their ultimate regret was not making an effort to secure their British citizenship while still in the UK.
Suddenly, they realised that without British citizenship they could not:
- Look after or enjoy their property more in the UK;
- Send their children to school or some of the best universities globally in the UK;
- Return to the UK on the whim the way they could do previously.
Therefore, as soon as I see my clients are becoming eligible for British citizenship, I encourage them to apply without any delay.
The family dynamics and circumstances change swiftly and nothing stays the same.
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Saule Voluckyte, M.A.E.S, LL.B, FAIA
I have been working exclusively with UHNWI in Mayfair, London since January 2008. I built specialist knowledge and expertise required to serve ultra high net worth individuals investing, operating and relocating to the UK or Switzerland.
Within the industry, I am the single adviser who is able to traverse the different areas of expertise and bring a comprehensive approach across: global structuring, UK immigration, international taxation and FOREX to develop their global wealth strategy, while they build, grow and expand their wealth worldwide.
Previous experience as one of the senior advisors for the government, made me a go-to person when delicate and uncomfortable scenarios involving heads of state need to be handled with care and preserve privacy.