United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship (British Father Sec 4E-J)

In the past, British nationality could pass from mother to child in the case of an illegitimate birth (in other words, a child born to parents who were not married at the time of birth). In some circumstances, the birth could be legitimised if the parents subsequently got married.

To take into account modern trends and to reflect that it is becoming socially more accepted for children to be borne out of wedlock, new legislation became effective from April 2015 to allow British nationality to flow from a British father to an illegitimate child.

This means that where someone has been disadvantaged in the past due to being classified as an illegitimate child, it will be possible to lodge a remedial application to give the subject the rights that they would have had from the start but for this prior discrimination. The new law even allows some to qualify if they were disadvantaged as an illegitimate child with the relevant country's independence arrangements.



However, there are catches as always. We can deem some illegitimate children British by operation of law using the domicile laws of other countries. If someone is already a British Citizen by operation of law, it would be wholly inappropriate to register that person as a British Citizen because it would;


a) Potentially remove rights from any children already born to that person, or

b) Remove citizenship of another country because the subject has made a voluntary application to acquire citizenship.


It therefore follows that anyone who might have a valid claim under these new proposals should always consider the potential negative implications. For this reason, this route to British Nationality is considered a Non-Standard one.


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

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.

WhatPassport.com is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.