By Birth

If you were born in the UK before 1 January 1983, you are almost certainly a British citizen. The only exception is if you were born to certain diplomatic staff of foreign missions who had diplomatic immunity.

If you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, you are a British citizen if at the time of your birth one of your parents was:

• a British citizen; or
• legally settled in the UK.

By Descent

If one of your parents was born in the UK it is likely that you will be a British Citizen by descent. The descent provisions generally only stretch one generation. This area of UK British nationality law is complex and professional advice is highly recommended.

By Naturalisation

If you are over 18 and have been living in the United Kingdom for the last five years (or three years if you are married to or a partner or a civil partner of a British citizen) you may be able to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen. You may also be able to apply for naturalisation if you or your husband, wife or civil partner is in crown or designated service outside the United Kingdom. Unless you are applying through your British spouse/partner you will generally need to wait for a period of at least 12 months from the date of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain before you will be eligible to naturalise.

By Registration

There are a number of ways in which one can apply for registration as a British Citizen. These are a few of the more common ways in which a child under the age of 18 may apply.
- Birth in the UK to parents who are now settled in the UK or who have become British Citizens;
- Children whose parents are applying for British Citizenship;
- Birth abroad to British citizens who are British by descent and have lived in the UK;
- Birth abroad to parents who are British by descent but are now living in the UK.

Once a child reaches 18 they should apply under the Naturalisation provisions.


The above summary constitutes a very brief overview of the relevant details under UK Immigration Law. Please contact Beder-Harrison & Co to obtain comprehensive, clear and concise professional advice relevant to your circumstances.