British Citizenship by Automatic Acquisition

British nationality law provides that many people automatically acquire British citizenship by law without having to make any form of application. If you have British citizenship by Automatic Acquisition then you will have the right to enter and reside in the United Kingdom free of immigration restrictions.

Eligibility:

In order to qualify for British Citizenship by Automatic Acquisition you will need to show that you are a British citizen by operation of law.

The most common ways to automatically acquire British citizenship by law are:

  • To have been born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth either your mother or your father was a British citizen or settled in the UK;

  • To have been born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth either your mother or your father was a British citizen otherwise than by descent; or

  • To have been born before 1 January 1983 and immediately before that date to have been a Citizen of the UK and Colonies with a right of abode in the United Kingdom.

British nationality law can be complex. Your precise circumstances are different to those of every other person. This means, for example, that you may have a claim to British citizenship by Automatic Acquisition even if one or more of your siblings has not.

You will need to show that you were:

  • Born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and your mother or your father was settled in the UK at the time of your birth; or

  • Adopted in the UK as a child on or after 1 January 1983 and one of your adopters was a British citizen at the time of your adoption; or

  • Found abandoned as a new-born infant in the UK on or after 1 January 1983; or

  • Born in the UK on or after 13 January 2010 and your mother or father was a member of the armed forces; or

  • Born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and your mother or your father was a British citizen otherwise than by descent at the time of your birth; or

  • Born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth your mother or father was a British citizen serving outside the UK in a qualifying service having been recruited for that service in the UK; or

  • Adopted outside the UK as a child under a Convention adoption on or after 1 January 1983 and one of your adopters was a British citizen at the time of your adoption and the adopters were habitually resident in the UK at the time of your adoption; or

  • Born in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • Adopted in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • Naturalised as a Citizen of the UK and Colonies in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • Registered as a Citizen of the UK and Colonies in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • A Citizen of the UK and Colonies immediately before 1 January 1983 and were born to or adopted by a parent who at the time of your birth or adoption was a Citizen of the UK and Colonies by birth, adoption, naturalisation or registration in the UK; or

  • A Citizen of the UK and Colonies immediately before 1 January 1983 and at any time before then had been settled in the UK and at that time had been ordinarily resident in the UK for five years while a Citizen of the UK and Colonies; or

  • A Commonwealth citizen immediately before 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth or adoption your mother or father (or adoptive parent) was a Citizen of the UK and Colonies by birth in the UK.

The term ‘father’ has a specific definition in British nationality law and this definition has varied over time. It is therefore essential to confirm your precise circumstances as the person you consider to be your father may or may not be recognised as your father for the purposes of British nationality law.

British citizenship by descent is also defined in British nationality law. If you were born outside the UK it is essential to confirm the basis on which your parents acquired their British citizenship.

In relation to the above summary, the UK includes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and from specific dates certain qualifying territories.

If you wish to obtain advice or legal assistance in respect of your immigration matter, we offer an affordable and confidential consultation at a fixed fee with and experienced immigration lawyer where we can answer your questions and explain the processes that will apply. Your consultation fees will be set off against your instructions to the firm if you go on to instruct us.

For more information or to book an initial consultation, please contact us

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KB Law Solicitors is the trading name of KB Law Solicitors Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA registration number 638922. KB Law Solicitors Ltd is a limited Company registered in England and Wales under registration number 10194135.