British Citizenship by Registration

If you do not qualify for British citizenship automatically, you may be eligible to apply for Registration as a British citizen, either by way of an entitlement or on a discretionary basis.

Eligibility:

In order to be entitled to register as a British citizen, you will need to satisfy the Home Office that you meet one of the following requirements:

  • You were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, you are not automatically a British citizen by birth, your mother and/or your father became British citizens or settled in the UK before your 18th birthday, and you applied for registration before your 18th birthday; or

  • You were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, you are not automatically a British citizen by birth, on or after 13 January 2010 your mother and/or your father became a member of the armed forces before your 18th birthday, and you applied for registration before your 18th birthday; or

  • You were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, you are not automatically a British citizen by birth, you were absent from the UK for no more than 90 days in each of the first ten years of your life, and you applied for registration at any time after your 10th birthday (you may therefore apply under this provision at any age); or

  • You were born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983, at the time of your birth one of your parents was a British citizen by descent, that parent’s father or mother was a British citizen otherwise than by descent, at any time prior to your birth that parent had been in the UK for a consecutive period of at least three years, during that three year period that parent had not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days, and you applied for registration before your 18th birthday; or

  • You were born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983, at the time of your birth one of your parents was a British citizen by descent, you apply for registration before your 18th birthday, you and your parents were in the UK on the day 3 years before the application is made, during the intervening 3 year period neither you nor your parents have been absent from the UK for more than 270 days, and both your mother and your father consent to the registration; or

  • You were born outside the UK and Colonies before 1 January 1983, at the time of your birth your mother was a Citizen of the UK and Colonies, you would have automatically been a Citizen of the UK and Colonies by descent through your mother if specific provisions of British nationality law had provided for this at the time of your birth in the same way as it provided for citizenship by descent through a father, and if in those circumstances you would have had the right of abode in the UK immediately before 1 January 1983; or

  • You were born in the UK before 1 July 2006, your parents were not married at the time of your birth, you have never been a British citizen, and you would have become a British citizen in certain specific circumstances had your parents been married at the time of your birth; or

  • You are a British Overseas Territories Citizen, a British National (Overseas), a British Overseas citizen, a British subject, or a British protected person, you apply for registration, you were in the UK five years before the date of application, during the intervening five year period you were not absent from the UK for more than 450 days or in the UK in breach of the immigration laws, and in the twelve months immediately before the date of application you were not absent from the UK for more than 90 days or subject to any restriction on the period for which you might remain in the UK; or

  • You are a British Overseas citizen, a British subject, a British protected person, or a British National (Overseas), you apply for registration, the Secretary of State is satisfied that you do not have any other citizenship or nationality, and the Secretary of State is satisfied that you have not voluntarily lost through action or inaction any other nationality at any time after 4 July 2002 (or, if you are only a British National (Overseas), after 19 March 2009); or

  • You were born outside the UK on or after 13 January 2010, at the time of your birth your mother or father was a member of the armed forces serving outside the UK, you apply for registration, and if you are under 18 at the date of application your parents consent to the registration.

You may also be entitled to be registered as a British citizen if you have previously renounced British citizenship, you are of full capacity, and your renunciation of British citizenship was necessary to enable you to acquire or retain some other citizenship or nationality.

If you are not entitled to be registered as a British citizen you may still apply for registration on a discretionary basis:

  • As a child, at any time before your 18th birthday;

  • As a British overseas territories citizen, at any time.

If a person is aged 10 or over when they apply for registration as a British citizen, the Secretary of State must be satisfied that the person is of good character. Although the Supreme Court has declared the good character requirement to be incompatible with Convention rights in relation to some applications for registration, the statutory requirement currently remains in place.

Applications for registration on a discretionary basis, particularly as a child, can be challenging. Before applying on this basis it can be helpful to consider the merits of the application, both in principle and in regard to the evidence available. One particularly relevant factor for children is often whether their future can clearly be seen to lie in the UK.

If you are over 18 when your application for registration as a British citizen is successful, you will have to attend a registration ceremony. At the end of the ceremony you will be presented with your certificate of registration as a British citizen.

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.