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Philip Gamble is our UK Nationality expert - read more

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Countries > United Kingdom > Passport & Nationality

British Citizenship by Descent

"Do I qualify for a British Passport if my Mother or Father is British?" This is one of the most common questions faced in assessing British Citizenship by Descent. We set out below the criteria and requirements to qualify for British Nationality by Descent and to a British Passport by Descent - that is, qualifying through a parent.

British Nationality Assessment for DescentTo discover whether you are entitled to a British Passport because a parent is British or was born in the UK, take 2 minutes to complete our FREE Nationality Search...

British Citizenship by Descent is based on birth outside of the United Kingdom to a parent who is British or was born in the UK. Your date of Birth and the status of your parent is crucial in determining whether that parent can pass British Nationality to you. As a general rule, you qualify for British Citizenship if a parent was British Other Than by Descent at the time of your birth.

British Citizens (i.e. those who hold full British Nationality and the right to carry a British Passport) can be divided into two categories:

  • British by Descent
  • British Other Than by Descent

For more information on how British Nationality could be acquired by Descent from a British Parent, then watch this short video by Philip Gamble:

British Nationality by Descent

Being "British by Descent" is the less powerful. It does not give the right to automatically pass on British Nationality to one's children born outside the UK. It is a status achieved ONLY because your parent was British.

Being "British Other than by Descent" is the more powerful. It covers all those categories other than a British Citizen by Descent. With such a status, you can pass on British Nationality to your children, irrespective of where they are born.

Click here for more general rules on British Nationality.

The solutions that WhatPassport.com have discovered under this category are:

British Citizenship by Descent (1981-2-2)-Crown Service: Parent was British and working in UK Crown Service at the time of applicant's birth.

British Citizenship by Descent (Born before 1983): Applicant born outside of UK before 01.01.1983 to father who was British other than by Descent.

British Citizenship by Descent (PG-UKM2010): Applicant born outside of UK before 01.01.1983 to mother who was born in the UK or who was registered as a CUKC in a Commonwealth country before the applicant's birth. 

British Citizenship by Descent (1981-11): Conversion of any Citizen of the UK and Colonies (CUKC) who held Right of Abode.

British Citizenship by Descent (British Parent other than from Descent): Applicant born outside of UK to parent who was British other than by Descent at time of applicant's birth.

British Nationality Assessment for DescentTo discover whether you are entitled to a British Passport because a parent is British or was born in the UK, take 2 minutes to complete our FREE Nationality Search...

British Nationality Assessment