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.
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)
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
STATUS OF SRI LANKA
Between 1802 and 31.12.1948, Ceylon fell within the Crown’s Dominion as the Colony of Ceylon and then as independent Ceylon.
From 01.01.1949 up until the present day, Sri Lanka was an independent Commonwealth country.
NOTE: Sri Lankans with an Indian parent or grandparent have a real possibility of being granted one of the five forms of British Nationality.
People born in Ceylon (i.e. before Independence on 31.12.1948) with a father NOT born in Ceylon, can claim the British Overseas Citizen (BOC) status. This is most common where the father was born in India.
If this person has a grandparent born in the United Kingdom (or Ireland before 31.03.1922), then this BOC status can be upgraded automatically to full British Nationality. See British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Ceylon Upgrade.