What am I?


The nationality question has undergone a lot of mental and legal changes since the Second World War and the development of the European Union.

Certain countries such as Britain have long had the principle of “Jus Soli” which means that the place of birth defines the nationality. As I was born in Stafford, England my nationality was British from birth. Portugal in turn defines nationality as connected with the father’s nationality “Jus Sanguinis”. From the moment I was registered at a Portuguese consulate I became Portuguese.

Britain was one of the countries that first accepted dual nationality. That meant for practical purpose that in Britain I was both British and Portuguese whereas in Portugal only Portuguese. This created a problem and in order to be able to return to Portugal without risking being drafted to the war it was necessary to renounce the Portuguese nationality which was done through the consulate in London. I learned that this renouncement was finally granted but already after the 25th of April 1974. Soon after, and to comply with the interest of many Portuguese immigrated citizens, Portugal accepted dual nationality! For my part I had wasted time, money and fidelity points!


After many years, living in Sweden and because I did not have full political rights here, I decided to apply for Swedish nationality. This was granted but I was obliged to write to British authorities in order to explain that I no longer wished to be a British national. After this process was finalized and I had obtained a Swedish passport it was finally decide that Sweden would accept dual nationality.

It all boils down to the fact that I could have had three nationalities but have only one! My first passport is Portuguese and if it hasn’t been destroyed it will be filed in some Lisbon office dealing with nationality!

3 thoughts on “What am I?

  1. Ora portanto, não és Bife, não és Tuga nem és Viking… serás apátrida, jus soli ou jus sanguinis? LOL

    • Obrigado Ana! Só sei que nada seui…Vou corrigir os termos pois não tinha confirmado e já não usava há muito tempo! Um abraco do Man of the world!

  2. Ora, outra coincidencia, Joao. Eu nasci na Inglaterra, de mae inglesa e pai portugues. Vim para Portugal ainda bebe e ai fiquei ate’ 1975, quando imigrei para os Estados Unidos. Tenho passaporte Britanico e Portugues. A minha filha mais velha, que nasceu nos Estados Unidos, tem passaporte Americano, Britanico e Portugues!
    Abraco, Betty.

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