Right to British Citizenship

Introduction

A person can acquire British citizenship in many ways. In this article we will explore a person’s involuntary or direct claim to British citizenship without naturalisation.

Read Time: 5 minutes

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 What is on this page?

  • Introduction
  • British National
  • People Born in the UK before 1983
  • People Born before 1983 but Outside the UK
  • People Born in the UK after 1982
  • People Born outside the UK after 1982
  • Status of an Illegitimate Child
  • British Citizenship Otherwise by Decent
  • British Citizenship by Decent
  • Registration as a British Citizen
  • What would you do next?

British National

A British National or a person with the right of abode is entitled to enter the UK without any immigration control. Such a person cannot be removed and deported and can enter whenever he likes without any questions asked

People Born in the UK before 1983

A person is a British national or citizen if he was born in the United Kingdom before 1 January 1983 or up to and including 31st December 1982

People Born before 1983 but Outside the UK

A person will also be a British national who was born outside the UK before 1983, and

  1. His/her father was born in the UK; or
  2. His/her father was registered or naturalised as a British citizen in the UK before the his (child’s) birth, and
  3. His parents were married, or subsequently, married in a country which recognises such marriage and legitimises the child

Important

1. If the father became a British National after the birth of the child then this will not directly make the child British who was born before the father’s naturalisation as a British citizen

2.  Under immigration rules a father could only pass on his British nationality acquired in the UK to his legitimate child before 1983

3. A mother before 1983 could not pass on her British Nationality /citizenship to any child born outside the United Kingdom. However, Home Office allowed such a child to be registered as a British citizen during the childhood or in the adulthood of the child.

Examples

1. John was born in 1956, in the UK, he is a British National. In 1972 John travelled to Singapore and married Sue, who is not a British National. In 1975, they had a baby girl Jasmin born in Singapore. Jasmin is automatically a British national as she is allowed to acquire her British nationality through her father under immigration rules

2. John was born in 1956, in the UK, he is a British National. In 1972 John Travelled to Singapore and started a relationship with Sue, who is not a British National. In 1975, they had a baby girl Jasmin born in Singapore.  John and Sue are not married. Jasmin will not acquire British nationality as the immigration law only recognises the children of a marries.

3. Stacy was born in 1961 in the UK, she is a British national. In 1974 Stacy moved to Canada and married Paul, who is not a British national. In 1977, they had a baby girl Lilly, born in Canada. Stacy cannot pass her British Citizenship to Lilly directly. However, Lilly could have applied to register herself as a British national while she was a child or even as an adult.

People Born in the UK after 1982

A person will be treated as a British Citizen if he/she was born in the UK after 1982 (from and including 1 January 1983) and at the time of his/her birth either of his parents were

  • British Citizen, or
  • Settled Person in the UK i.e. held Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

People Born outside the UK after 1982

A person will be treated as a British citizen if he/she was born outside the UK after 1982 (from and including 1 January 1983) and at the time of his/her birth

  • Either the father or mother was a British national otherwise than by descent.

                                   or

  • The father or mother was a British national/citizen otherwise than by descent, having been registered or naturalised as British citizen in the UK before the birth of a child.

 If either a child’s mother or father has acquired British citizenship after the birth of the child, this will not subject the child automatically to a British citizen. The child has to register with the Home Office and will have to apply for citizenship.

Who is a Father?

A father is a person proven by the production of either a birth certificate which identifies him as father and which is issued by a competent authority, within 12 months of the birth of the child to which it claims to be a father.

                                              or

A person who provides evidence (DNA test report or Court Order) that he/she is the biological father.

Status of an Illegitimate Child

Where an illegitimate child is born in the UK on or after 1st July 2006, he will be a British citizen provided his father was either a British national or settled person at that time.

If a child is born in the UK before 1 July 2006 and his father was either a British national or settled person at that time, such a person can apply to the Home Office to register as a British citizen, which is at the discretion of Home Office.

Where an illegitimate child is born outside the UK on or after 1st July 2006 will be deemed British Citizen if such person’s father was a British national otherwise than descent or was a registered or naturalised as a British citizen.

British Citizenship Otherwise by Decent

Where a person acquires British citizenship by birth in the UK or as a child by registrationin the UK or as an adult by naturalisation in the UK, such person is classified as a British Citizen otherwise than by descent

Impact

The practical effect it may have is that such a person can automatically pass on British Citizenship to his child who is born Outside the UK

British Citizenship by Decent

These are the people who are born outside the United Kingdom and acquired British citizenship by the reason of the fact that one or both of their parents were British citizens.

Impact

The practical impact is that such a person cannot automatically pass on British citizenship to his child who is born Outside UK. It is important to know that some second-generation children can be registered abroad at the British Consulate as British citizens by further fulfilling certain conditions. It is a complex area of immigration law, please consult legalally’s experienced Immigration Lawyers for further advice if you are a second-generation child.

Registration as a British Citizen

A child can apply to register as a British citizen if he was born in the UK after 1982 or after his birth and before attaining the age of 18 years one of his parents acquired British citizenship or settled status in the UK.

Alternately such a child can also acquire British citizenship by remaining in the UK for the first 10 years of his life and he was not absent for the UK for more than 90 days in each year during these 10 years. It is important to note that certain exceptions to this rule.

British nationality is a complex area of immigration law. For further information and advice, you can ask the legalally’s experienced Immigration lawyer instantly through your mobile, tablet and laptop from anywhere in the world.

What would you do next?

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