I am an Italian citizen resident in Italy and I have an Italian biometric passport. The last time I had a British passport was over 30 years ago, when it got stolen. The crime was reported but that was the last time I saw it.

Before Brexit, I would use my carta d'indentita (ID card) to travel in and around Europe but in 2016, when I last travelled to the UK, I used my Italian passport. I had no problems whatsoever, excluding the camera thingy in the ePassport gates. The camera said I was not the same person in the photo (I am) but...sigh... I have put on a significant amount of weight in the last five years. So, in a sense, the camera didn't lie.

  • I would like to know, is it a good idea to apply for a British passport? Am I still eligible?

I was born in the UK and I still have family in the UK but both my parents are dead, (my father was Scottish/British) and I have no siblings living in the UK. I feel I must point out that I lost my birth certificate in one of the six times I moved house in my lifetime.

  • If I qualify, what would be the quickest and easiest way to obtain a British passport while I am in Italy?

UPDATE

Many many thanks to @David who has provided me the link to the passport application for overseas citizens. However, it appears I must complete a LSO1 (Lost or stolen British passport notification) But the theft occurred over 30-33 years ago, and I do not have any documents detailing the theft. I was about 20 years old. I don't even remember if there ever was a document.
Furthermore, it says

Send or take this form to the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

The Italian post is notoriously slow, and I live miles away from the nearest Consulate. I would need to travel two hours to get there. Should I call the embassy before filling the form? More importantly,

  • After 30-33 years, do I still need to fill the LS01 form?

Original Query

  • What advantages are there in having a British passport vs. an Italian one?

Before Brexit, (for travelling purposes) I would have said "none" but now I am not so sure.

  • 2
    As to the "how to replace" part, you might start by navigating the UK.gov webpage gov.uk/overseas-passports that deals with adult passport replacements when the applicant is overseas. The UK's birth record system can likely provide you with a replacement birth certificate. – David Jul 19 at 15:19
  • The first question is easy to answer. You had a British passport. Unless you renounced your citizenship, you are still a citizen. The second is a duplicate of this question. The third is hard to answer. While you can easily find a list of countries you can access visa free with a British passport, you seem concerned about the UK leaving the EU. At the moment, no one knows what will happen after Britain leaves the EU. You won't lose citizenship though. I don't think this question is a good fit for the site. – MJeffryes Jul 19 at 15:32
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    Rather than calling the UK embassy/consulate, I would try calling the Passport Adviceline (+44 (0) 300 222 0000) listed at the bottom of the page linked by @David. – Michael Seifert Jul 19 at 16:12
  • 1
    You might need/want to report it 'lost' as 'I had it at one point, I do not have it now, I do not remember the details'. I know the police here accepts that, and our passport office also do it. But it will make getting your UK passport harder again. – Willeke Jul 19 at 16:17
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    At some point in the future you may want to exercise your rights as a UK citizen and you may be required to prove your citizenship. Getting a UK passport will help with this. Although your circumstances are not the same you should bear in mind what happened with the Windrush scandal, in which UK citizens were denied rights and even deported because they didn't have documentation to prove their citizenship. Your old passport and birth registration may be on record somewhere, but it could be a hassle to prove your identity - best get any potential hassle out of the way now. – Qwerky Jul 26 at 12:50
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Is it a good idea to apply for a British passport?

This depends on whether you want to travel to the UK (especially for long periods of time) after it leaves the freedom of movement regime, or to another jurisdiction where British citizens enjoy fewer requirements than Italian citizens. A cursory check of Wikipedia suggests that no such jurisdiction exists, however; see below for details.

Am I still eligible?

Almost certainly. You can only be deprived of British citizenship involuntarily in very limited circumstances. For most people, the only way to lose it is to renounce it formally.

If I qualify, what would be the quickest and easiest way to obtain a British passport while I am in Italy?

See Lost UK Passport on this site.

What advantages are there in having a British passport vs. an Italian one?

You can prove your right of abode in the UK with one and not the other. Depending on UK immigration requirements for EU citizens after the UK leaves the EU, and on your travel plans, this may or may not be significant to you.

A quick comparison of Wikipedia's articles on visa requirements for British and Italian citizens suggests that the only differences are in Turkey, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates; in each case, the requirements are more restrictive for British citizens. It's possible that some countries' visa policies for British citizens depend on the UK being in the EU, so more differences might arise after Brexit. But it seems likely that any changes would be more restrictive for British citizens rather than less.

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