You are a British citizen if
- you were born in the UK prior to January 1, 1983 to married parents;
- you were born in the UK on or after January 1, 1983 to married parents and at least one of your parents was a British citizen at the time of your birth
- you were born in the UK on or after July 1, 2006 and at least one of your parents was a British citizen
- you were born abroad to a UK citizen who was born in the UK and you meet the other requirements.
British nationality law is exceedingly complex. The first thing you need to know is that a British National is not the same as a British Citizen.
And though you might be entitled to one of the two current forms of British Nationality, that nationality may not actually entitle you to British Citizenship. (There are four other categories of British nationality that are being retired and are, normally, not inheritable.)
British Citizenship Vs Nationality
There are six types of British Nationality, only one of which is British Citizenship.
British Citizenship entitles you to all rights of a British National plus the right of abode.
The right of abode is the right to live and work in the UK and is what most people who are claiming British citizenship are really interested in.
The only other form of British nationality that is currently inheritable is British Overseas Territories Citizenship (BOTC). If your British parent only has British Overseas Territory Citizenship (BOTC), you will have to take extra steps to become a British Citizen, steps which the child of a British citizen would not have to take to claim their citizenship.
If your parent has a different form of British Nationality then either of the above nationalities, that nationality is not inheritable and you are not a British National nor a British citizen.
How do I know whether my British parent is a Citizen or not?
You need to look at your parent’s passport to see what it says on it. Check whether or not the passport says “citizen” and, if it doesn’t, note the code that is listed on the passport. That code will tell you the type of nationality.
|Passport Code||Type of British Nationality||Pathway to Citizenship/Right of Abode||Status inheritable from a parent?|
|GBD||British Overseas Territories Citizens||Most BOTCs are also British Citizens as of 2002 (excepting BOTCs of Akrotiri and Dhekelia)||Yes, provided your parent was born in the UK or naturalized before your birth|
|GBN||British Nationals (Overseas)||Apply after living in the UK||No|
|GBO||British Overseas Citizens||Apply after living in the UK||No|
|GBP||British Protected Persons||Apply after living in the UK||No|
|GBR||British Citizens||N/A (already have full citizenship)||Yes, provided your parent was born in the UK or naturalized before your birth|
|GBS||British subjects||Apply after living in the UK||No|
Am I British?
You are British if you were born in the UK, provided at least one of your parents was a citizen or “settled” in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands at the time of your birth.
If you were not born in the UK, you are a British citizen if one of your parents was born or naturalized in the UK, you are likely British. There are some qualifying factors:
- If both parents are British citizens by birth or naturalization, you are British and can apply for a passport now.
- If your father is the British citizen, you are British, provided your parents were married at the time of your birth. However, if your parents were not married at the time of your birth, you are not a citizen unless
- you were born after June 30, 2006
- your parents married after your birth and you were “legitimated” at that time
- you were born in Canada after February 14, 1977
- you were born in a country that recognized births out of wedlock as legitimate at the time you were born.
If you fall into any of these above categories, additional steps apply.
- If your mother is the British citizen, you are British. However, if you were born before January 1, 1983, additional steps apply. You cannot just apply for your passport.
If you do not fall into any of these categories, but believe you are a British citizen, contact us for a consultation. Immigroup are the British Passport and Citizenship Experts in Canada.
Do I have to Register for British Citizenship before I get a Passport?
If you were born outside of the UK to a British mother prior to January 1, 1983 then you do have to Register. If you were born out of wedlock to a British father prior to July 1, 2006, you also have to Register first.
Otherwise, you can apply for a UK passport straight away.
Apply for your First British Passport
Claim Your UK Citizenship.
We’ll review your application for accuracy and completeness and file it with the UK passport office in Durham.