TLDR: Can my children have 3 citizenships/passports?


In my mind I believe the idea of dual-citizenship, is an "agreement" between 2 countries, however this does not limit you from only having 2 citizenships.

I know that some countries you need to "ask" for and be granted permission before taking up another citizen (i.e. South Africa has this rule). I also believe minor's do not have to ask permission?

Anyhow, my children have South African & Italian (as I hold these), however we're in a position to apply for British citizenship too (we're more interested now due to brexit, previously not worried at all because of the EU treaty).

We've done the 5 years & have settled status, it's just a matter of applying at this point. We just want to understand the legalities/complexity around it.

P.s. Bonus points if someone can clear up the process for Adults too

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    There’s no “agreement” in most cases. The UK doesn’t care about dual citizenship as long as you have the same name in all your passports. – MJeffryes Feb 7 '20 at 10:49
  • We used to have a member here who had three passports and voting rights in each of those three countries and a fourth citizenship for which he did not have a passport. So it is not impossible. – Willeke Feb 7 '20 at 13:43
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    I’m voting to close this question because it’s a legal question about citizenship, not one about travel. – Jan Jun 29 '20 at 11:35

Citizenship and passport are issued by a sovereign country. They are generally accepted as valid by other countries which recognize that country. It is the issuing country which has to decide if other citizenships are acceptable.

  • Most countries have rules to give their citizenship to people at birth, either because of the citizenship of a parent or because of the place of birth.
  • Most countries have rules to give their citizenship at a later stage, both to children and adults. Some have rules which require the new citizen to renounce all other citizenships. There may be exceptions for nationalities which make it difficult to renounce citizenship.

For instance, the child of a French citizen and a Spanish citizen born in the US would be a French, Spanish, and US citizen. If he later wants to become a German citizen, Germany would require him to renounce the US citizenship, but not other EU citizenships.

  • There can also be exceptions that depend on the nationality of the person's spouse or place of birth. – phoog Feb 8 '20 at 13:05

I reckon they can have. I have a friend of mine whose father is from Australia, his mom is British and he was born in Canada.

He has three passports from each country and the only problem he used to have is getting stopped in airports for further control but when he updated his passports to biometric, he never gets any suspicious looks from border control.

In a nutshell, it's possible to get multiple citizenship but it's not very common that's why it may attract attention.

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