In my work, I am deployed to a number of countries, Malawi and Tanzania being the most recent.

I will soon be applying for a British Passport (fully entitled by ancestry).

This would work in the company's favour as they would not need to a for Visas when I need to be deployed (in one of these 173 countries)

My question is, would it be acceptable for me to ask my company to sponsor the costs involved? The way I see it, I cannot be declined (both my parents and their parents were born in the UK and my father is still a British citizen). If so, how would I approach this? would I weigh up the pros and cons when speaking with my manager/HR?


I didn't quite make my nationality clear, I currently am a South Africa citizen.

I have spoken to others in my company that are currently dual-citizens and they have said it should be a personal expense.

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    If you don't ask you do not get. What is the possible harm in asking? – Ed Heal Oct 26 '15 at 10:12
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    You need to let them know why holding UK passport is an advantage. For example, it takes less time for UK passport holder to get visa. Once they know this, they'll pay for your passport.Otherwise, why would they pay for nothing? – scaaahu Oct 26 '15 at 10:51
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    Remember not to accept an answer too quickly! You might want to wait 24 to 48 hours before accepting to give other people a chance to give you a better answer. A question with an accepted answer isn't as likely to receive further attention as one without an accepted answer. – Lilienthal Oct 26 '15 at 12:00
  • @Lilienthal, good point but the answer does answer my question fully, so I feel it's best to not clog the board as it were. But for the sake of fair 'competition' I won't mark it just yet. – Darkestlyrics Oct 26 '15 at 12:47

Absolutely, it would be acceptable to ask. And if you present your case well — "If the company pays £100 for this new passport, it will save the company £200/year in visas and free up 10 hours of my time" — they will almost certainly say yes.

  • I thought as much, I have been told that it is a personal expense, however if it's saving the company money (one trip was $200 for a single entry visa) so let me draw up my case, thanks for the answer. – Darkestlyrics Oct 26 '15 at 11:01
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    It might not be quite that straightforward - there could be tax implications, as this is a personal expense and could be considered a fringe benefit. No harm in asking, but remember there may be many reasons to say no beyond the obvious – HorusKol Oct 27 '15 at 7:52

To add on to @jpatokal's answer above, I would like to add that I can see how it would be considered a personal expense, because your employer is not requiring that you get one. They are will within their right to decline it because you don't need one, but as @jpatokal said, if it would save them money, I certainly think that they would consider it.

I'm guessing that UK and US law has many differences, but here in the U.S., the IRS (Federal Tax Bureau) allows you to deduct a percentage of personal expenses used for work -- chairs, desks, cars, computers., if you can prove/provide documentation that you actually use it for that time. (Which has never been worth the time and effort for me personally.) That being said, if you are declined, and never travel internationally for personal reasons, you could look into that angle. That is, of course, if the British have any similar tax program.

If they didn't provide an alternative (the Visas) I can see how requesting them to pay for the passport would work. Again, different country different laws, so take that with a grain of salt.

  • It sounds to me that the thread starter isn't living in the UK, and has a valid non-British passport, and possibly no necessity to apply for a British passport for personal reasons. And it sounds like the company might actually save money. – gnasher729 Oct 26 '15 at 23:43

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