United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Descent (British Father)
You are eligible for British Citizenship by Descent (and what we would term a STANDARD route to British Citizenship) if you were born legitimately to a father who:
- was born in the UK before 1 Jan 1983;
- was born in the UK after 31 Dec 1982 and was British at the time of your birth; OR
- naturalised as a British citizen before your birth.
In such situations, the father was considered as being British Other than by Descent, and passes British Citizenship to his children.
NON STANDARD ROUTE
If your father does not fall fall within the definitions above, your position becomes more complex. If your father was British at the time of your birth and he was not born in the UK, then:
- If his father (your paternal grandfather) was born in the UK (and your father was born in wedlock), then your father was (almost certainly) British by Descent at the time of your birth. It is unlikely (though there are exceptions) that he could pass on British nationality rights to his children.
- If his father (your grandfather) was a) born in the UK (and your father was born out of wedlock) or b) born outside of the UK, then the position is much more complex. An anlysis of your father's British nationality status must be undertaken in order to determine whether British nationality rights passed down to his children.
BIRTH OUT OF WEDLOCK
If your parents weren't married at the time of your birth, or only married after your birth, the situation is more complicated. As a general rule:
- if you were born AFTER 1 July 2006 to a British father (defined above), then you would have been born a British citizen by law and can apply for your British passport;
- if you were born before 1 July 2006 to a British father (defined above), then an application to register as a British could be made, but an analysis of your father's domicile must be made first.
RENUNCIATION AND RESUMPTION
If you have renounced your British nationality, it is possible to resume it again (but you can only do so once). Your right to resumption will depend on the right that you have to British nationality had you never renounced in the first place, as well as the circumstances of the renunciation.
This is often a complex situation, and we strongly advise that you seek specialist advice.
If you have spent (or can spend in the future) at least 3 consecutive years in the UK (this can be reduced to nearer 2 years and 3 months in some cases), then a child born to you can be registered as a British citizen, as long as:
- you are British at the time of your child's registration; AND
- your child is under 18.