United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship from Father

We cover five scenarios:

  • A father born in the UK before 1983
  • A father born in the UK after 1982
  • A British father born outside of the UK
  • A father Naturalised in the UK before your birth 
  • Children under 18 with a British father


A father born in the UK before 1983*

You are eligible for British Citizenship by Descent (and what we would term a STANDARD route to British Citizenship) if you were born to a father who was born in the UK before 1 Jan 1983. In such situations, the father is considered as being British Other than by Descent, and can pass British Citizenship to his children. Read More

A father born in the UK after 1982*

An analysis of the circumstances of your father's birth must be undertaken, along with the status of his parents (i.e. your paternal grandparents at the time of his birth). Read More

A British father born outside of the UK*

An analysis of HOW your father became British must be done. There are several circumstances where the father could have been classified as British Otherwise Than By Descent, with the ability to pass British Citizenship to his children. We suggest you try our online Nationality Assessment.

A father Naturalised in the UK before your birth*

You are eligible for British Citizenship by Descent (and what we would term a STANDARD route to British Citizenship) if you were born to a father who was Naturalised in the UK before your birth. In such situations, the father is considered as being British Other than by Descent, and can pass British Citizenship to his children. Apply Now

Children under 18 with a British father*

Other than the Standard routes to British Citizenship set out above, there are other provisions allowing children under the age of 18 of a British father to claim British Citizenship. These are generally covered by the following situations:

  • A British father has spent at least 3 years in the UK in the past - read more
  • A British father 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 - read more
  • A British father 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 the father's nationality) - read more
  • A discretionary registration in exceptional cases (sporting excellence, for example).

Again, there are many MORE SOLUTIONS where children under 18 could qualify, and these require a case-by-case analysis of the circumstances.

* Exceptions to the rules above

It gets more complicated if:


How do I find out?

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 Citizenship solutions that we know of. Your Results Page - the final page on the assessment - will set out all your possible solutions.
  • Step 3: Status Trace. 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 UK Citizenship. Philip will respond by email with a Definite, Likely, Possible, Unlikely or Remote answer.
  • Step 4: Citizenship Report. 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 ask you to complete Steps 2 and 3 by:

  1. Completing our FREE online Nationality Assessment
  2. Ordering our FREE Status Trace

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 Status Trace. Once you have completed these two steps, we will contact you by phone or email to discuss your nationality situation and talk through what should happen next. This may involve advising you to instruct our team of British Citizenship specialists to look into your case further to provide a definitive answer (Step 4).


More information

British Citizens (i.e. those who hold full British Citizenship and the right to carry a British Passport) can be divided into two categories:

  • British by Descent
  • British Other Than by Descent

Key Terms

British Citizenship from Father
UK Citizenship from Father
Father British Citizenship


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.