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British Nationality Assessment

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Get Philip Gamble (£650) or his Nationality colleagues (£350) to do a Status Trace on your rights to British Nationality (read more).

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Countries > Canada

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Can you claim British Nationality?

Getting a British passport might be easier than you think. Thanks to the UK's historical laws and agreements with former territories, you may qualify for British nationality depending on where you, your parents and grandparents were born. 


You could qualify for a British Passport if:

  • Born to a parent (a father or mother) who was born in the UK before 1983;
  • Born before 1983 to a parent who was born after 1949 – as long as that parent a) was a British Citizen, or b) had a parent born in the UK; OR
  • Born after 1948, and your parents were married before 1949 and your paternal grandfather (your dad’s dad) was born in the UK.

There are hundreds of other ways to qualify. As a general rule, if you were born in a country that is different to either parent or any of your grandparents, or you have a connection back to the UK, Ireland or a former British Territory, then you might have a claim.

Expert UK immigration and nationality advice

We are the world’s leading experts in UK immigration and nationality. For over 22 years, we have been helping thousands of people navigate the complex path to British citizenship.

Some claims to British nationality are relatively straightforward and can be completed quickly if you meet the above requirements. Other claims can be extremely complex and can only be determined by researching old nationality laws.

Complete our nationality assessment

To find out whether you or your children might have a claim, take a couple of moments to complete our FREE online passport assessment.

British Nationality Assessment

The most common route to British Citizenship for Canadians is often through residency in the UK while on a UK Ancestry Visa. This Ancestry Visa for the UK is available to a Canadian aged 17 or over, and entitles you to live and work in the UK. It is possible to obtain a UK Ancestry Visa Extension, and then then to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) leading to British Nationality.

Another popular route is through the Tier 5 Working Holiday Visa. This is available to a Canadian aged between 18 and 30 and entitles you to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. While this time does not qualify for time spent in the UK for the purposes of claim British Nationality, it does provide further opportunities to extend ones stay in the UK.

British Nationality for a Canadian is available to those with a family link to the UK or its former colonial empire. Broadly speaking (and there are exceptions), where a parent or grandparent has been British or was born in the UK or Ireland (before 1922), then it may be possible to have a claim to a British Passport. Our research has found that 13% of Canadians who have a UK born grandparent already qualify for British Nationality. 

For these and other forms of British Nationality available to Canadians, click on British Citizenship for Canadians. To discover whether you are entitled to a British Passport based on your birth in Canada, take 2 minutes to complete our FREE Nationality Search...


From 1870 to 31.03.1949, Canada fell within the British Crown Dominions.

From 01.04.1949, Canada became an independent Commonwealth country.


From 1713 to 31.12.1948, Newfoundland fell within the British Crown Dominions.

From 01.04.1949 until 22.05.1950, Newfoundland was an independent Commonwealth country.

On 23.05.1950, Newfoundland ceased to be an independent Commonwealth country and became part of Canada.

Canadians aged between 18-30 qualify for a Working Holiday Visa for the following countries:

British Nationality Assessment