How Do I Prove UK Citizenship?

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  • A British passport which indicates you are a citizen is the best proof of citizenship
  • A birth certificate is acceptable if you were born prior to January 1, 1983. If you were born after, you will have to prove that one of your parents was a citizen or at least had the “right of abode” at the time of your birth.
  • If you were not born in the UK, you will have to prove that you were born to a British citizen who was eligible to pass on British citizenship to you.

For most renewal passport applications, the process of proving your citizenship is simple (unless it has been longer than 10 years): you just need to provide your last UK passport.

For first time passport applications, you will need your birth certificate, whether or not you were born in the UK.

If you were not born in the UK, that birth certificate will have to be “long form,” i.e. it will have to have your parents on it, including your British parent. You will also have to prove your British parent’s citizenship, which involves submitting either their passport or their UK birth certificate.

Proof of British Citizenship

Acceptable proofs of UK citizenship include:

UK Passport

A valid UK passport is the best proof of British citizenship. If your passport is expired, you should renew it. To ensure your British passport indicates you are a citizen, look for GBR. If your UK passport says anything other than GBR, you either are a British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC), which means you’ll have to register for UK citizenship, or you are a British national, most likely not eligible for citizenship.

UK Birth Certificate

Your birth certificate from any of the following areas is only acceptable proof of your UK citizenship if you were born prior to January 1, 1983

  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Isle of Man
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey

If you were born after January 1, 1983, you will also have to demonstrate your parent’s status at the time of your birth, which is why a UK passport is a better proof of citizenship.

Next: How Do I Know If I’m a British Citizen?

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