United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - Ancestral Citizenship
Can you claim Ancestral Citizenship in the UK?
Yes, it is possible. There are provisions in nationality law allowing a claim from a grandparent (normally born in the UK, but they could have been born in another former British territory). There are also anomalies in the drafting of old colonial nationality law that derive Ancestral Citizenship to grandchildren (what is known as British Citizenship by Double Descent) in the modern day. It's a complex area, and any claim from a grandparent would be termed a Non-Standard route to British Citizenship.
What are the common routes?
These the most common circumstances (though there are hundreds of other more obscure ways):
- Born between 01.01.1949 and 31.12.1982
- Born after 01.01.1983
- Children under the age of 18
Born between 01.01.1949 and 31.12.1982
- You have a UK-born grandparent with a parent who was in Crown Service at the time of your birth;
- You were born in a British Protectorate, British Protected State, Mandated Territory or Foreign Country with ETJ and you have a UK-born grandparent;
- A parent was born in a British Protectorate, British Protected State, Mandated Territory or Foreign Country with ETJ and one of their parents (i.e. your grandparent) was born in the UK;
- A parent was born in a Post 1949 British Colony and one of their parents (i.e. your grandparent) was born in the UK;
- You were born in a Post 1949 British Colony and one of your grandparents was born in the UK;
- You were born in Rhodesia between 02.03.1970 and 18.04.1980 and you have a UK-born grandfather;
- A parent was born after 01.01.1949 and that parent had a parent born in the UK; OR
- You were born in South Africa between 30.05.1962 and 31.12.1982 and you have a UK-born grandparent.
Born after 01.01.1983
- You have a UK-born grandparent who was in Crown Service at the time of your parent's birth;
- A parent was born in a Post 1949 British Colony and one of their parents (i.e. your grandparent) was born in the UK; OR
- A parent was born before 1949 in a British Protectorate, British Protected State or Mandated Territory and one of their parents (i.e. your grandparent) was born in the UK.
Click here for more details on what territories are included in:
- British Protectorates
- British Protected States
- Mandated Territories
- Foreign Countries with ETJ
- Post 1949 Colonies
Children under the age of 18
There are additional provisions allowing children under the age of 18 to claim Ancestral Citizenship in the UK from a British parent who was born outside of the UK. In most cases, this parent is classified as British by Descent, and can normally not pass British Citizenship. These are generally covered by the following situations:
- A British parent has spent at least 3 years in the UK in the past;
- A British parent spends at least 3 years in the UK in the future, as long as the child is still under 18 at the time of application;
- A British parent gives birth to a child who is "Stateless" at the time of birth (in other words, the child does not automatically take on the citizenship of their country of birth or a parents' nationality);
- The UK-born grandparent was in Crown Service at the time of your parent's birth; OR
- A discretionary registration in exceptional cases (sporting excellence, for example).
Again, there are many more situations where children under 18 could qualify, and these require a case-by-case analysis of the circumstances.
How do I find out if I have a claim to Ancestral Citizenship?
Given the complexities of British nationality legislation, and because we handle hundreds of complex enquiries every day, we have developed a simple 4 STEP PROCESS as the most effective way of giving you the answer you’re looking for.
The steps are as follows:
- Step 1: Standard vs Non-Standard. Determine whether you have a Standard claim to British Citizenship. You have a Standard claim if you were born in the UK before 1983, a parent was Naturalised before your birth, or you have a parent born in the UK before 1983 (provided that your parents were married at the time of your birth). All other claims are considered Non-Standard.
- Step 2: Nationality Assessment: If you do NOT have a Standard Route (as determined in Step 1 above), complete our FREE on-line Nationality Assessment. Your input is filtered against the criteria of hundreds of Non-Standard British nationality solutions that we know of. Your Results Page - the final page on the assessment - will set out all your possible solutions.
- Step 3: British Passport Review. From your Results Page (reached in Step 2), you can instruct Philip Gamble (our founder and senior partner, and widely regarded as the world's leading expert on the subject) to review your family tree that you create in Step 2. By ordering this FREE review, you are asking Philip for his opinion on your chances of claiming British Citizenship. Philip will respond by email with a Definite, Likely, Possible, Unlikely or Remote answer.
- Step 4: Status Trace. You instruct Philip Gamble and his team of specialists in London to review copies of your family documents and research your rights to British Citizenship. After searching for any possible way in which you can qualify, they will write a detailed Nationality Report, giving you a Yes/No answer. A fee of £350 applies.
What should I do NOW?
To avoid incurring unnecessary research or application fees at this point, we suggest you complete Steps 2 and 3 by:
- Completing our FREE online Nationality Assessment
- Ordering our FREE British Passport Review
You will receive a series of emails, setting out clearly the solutions that you appear to qualify for, as well as Philip’s response to your British Passport Review. Once you have completed these two steps, we will contact you by phone or email and discuss your nationality situation and talk you through what steps you can take.
Ancestral Citizenship in the UK
British Ancestral Citizenship
UK Ancestral Citizenship