British Nationality

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.

Cyprus

You could be eligible for British citizenship if you were:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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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.

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British Nationality Assessment

 

Residents and those born in Cyprus (including the two UK Military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekalia) had several ways in which to claim British Nationality. These are:

  • A British or UK-born mother or father
  • Not having gained nationality of Cyprus on Independence Day
  • A grandparent born in the UK
  • A parent or grandparent born outside of Cyprus
  • A parent or grandparent holding a nationality other than Cyprus
  • Birth in the two UK Military bases

The Independence Day arrangements on 16.08.1960 also give rise to many Cyprus residents gaining one of the various forms of British Nationality. As a general rule, those born when it was a Protectorate gained British Protected Person (BPP) status. This status would have been lost on the termination of the Protectorate on 05.11.1914. Those born when in Cyprus thereafter would have held Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) status. This status would have been lost if the new Cypriot constitution granted nationality. If not, then British Overseas Citizen (BOC) status would have been achieved and, in some cases, this can be upgraded to full British Nationality.

If either of your parents where in Crown service at the two Military bases, then you would almost certainly be granted British Nationality since the territory would be considered British for nationality purposes. For these and other forms of British Nationality available to Cypriot residents, those born in Cyprus or Cypriot nationals, click on British Citizenship.

Acquisition of Cyrus Citizenship

a) Those connected to Cyprus by birth, by descent (male line only) and annexation automatically became Citizens of Cyprus on 16/8/60 only if ordinarily resident there at some stage in the preceding five years.

b) There are 13 exceptions to the general rule of automatic loss here. The Exceptions are as follows;

(i) Wives of CUKC’s who are not subject to automatic loss.

(ii) Those who would otherwise become stateless.

(iii) A person born outside Cyprus in the UK or a Colony (as at 16/2/61)

(iv) A person naturalised in the UK and Colonies (no reference to the Colony needing to be such on 16/2/61)

(v) A person registered as a Citizen of the UK and Colonies  (no reference to the Colony needing to be such on 16/2/61)

(vi) A person who became a British Subject by Annexation of territory included in a Colony.

(vii) A person whose father or father’s father would qualify in (v), (iv) & (iii) & (vi)

(viii) A person born in a Protectorate, Protected State or UK Trust Territory (as at 16/2/61)

(ix) A person whose father or father’s father was born in a Protectorate, Protected State or UK Trust Territory where that person was at any time a British Subject.

x) A person born after 1/1/49 whose father was a British Subject without Citizenship at

 the date of the persons birth and immediately before 16/2/61.

xi) A person who was born before 1/1/49 whose father was a British Subject at the time of the birth and a British Subject without Citizenship immediately before 16/2/61.

xii) A person who was ordinarily resident in the UK , a Colony, protectorate, protected state, UK Trust Territory or any Independent Commonwealth Country and it’s dependencies. 

xiii) A person born after 16/2/61 and a later uncertain agreed date where the father was a CUKC at the time of birth and was ordinarily resident in any of the places in (xii) on 16/2/61.

c) Those that later registered as Citizens of Cyprus also were subject to the automatic loss of Citizenship of the UK and Colonies – this is different to all the other former Colonies.

STATUS OF CYPRUS

Up to 04.11.1914, Cyprus was a British Protectorate. Click here for more information on the status of a British Protected Person (based on birth in a British Protectorate).

Between 05.11.1914 and 31.12.1948, it fell within the British Crown Dominions.

From 01.01.1949 until 15.08.1960, it fell within the UK and Colonies. Click here for more information on the status of Citizen of the United Kingdom & Colonies (CUKC), a status achieved by birth in the Colony.

From 16.08.1960 and up to the present day, it was an independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.

Cyprus is a member of the European Union.

Click here for more information on the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

STATUS OF Akrotiri & Dhekelia UK Cyprus Military Bases

Up to 04.11.1914, the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus were a British Protectorate. Click here for more information on the status of a British Protected Person (based on birth in a British Protectorate).

Between 05.11.1914 and 31.12.1948, they fell within the British Crown Dominions.

From 01.01.1949 until 31.12.1982, they fell within the UK and Colonies. Click here for more information on the status of Citizen of the United Kingdom & Colonies (CUKC), a status achieved by birth in the Colony.

From 01.01.1983 until the present day, they are a British Dependent Territory. Click here for more information on the status of a  British Overseas Dependent Territory.

Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

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Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.