If you need help with any type of UK visa, settlement (ILR), or British citizenship application, give us a call at 0203 959 7755 to schedule a consultation today.

British citizenship by descent refers to the category of British nationality acquired by a person born outside the UK to a parent who is a British citizen.

You may be eligible to apply for British citizenship by descent if you were born outside the UK to a parent who is a British citizen by birth or by naturalisation (but not through descent themselves). However, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria and you must carefully review each requirement and gather the necessary evidence to support your application.

Applying for British citizenship by descent can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is recommended to seek professional assistance to ensure your application is completed accurately and efficiently.

At Moeen & Co. Solicitors, our experienced team can guide you through the entire process, answering any questions you may have and providing expert assistance to maximise the chances of a successful application.

If you require professional assistance with your British citizenship by descent application, Moeen & Co. Solicitors is here to help. Contact us at 0203 959 7755 to speak with our experienced team of immigration specialists.

Table of Contents

  1. What is British citizenship by descent?
  2. What are the benefits of British citizenship?
  3. Who is eligible to apply for British citizenship by descent?
  4. What is the process to apply for British citizenship by descent?
  5. How long does it take to process a British citizenship application?
  6. How can solicitors help with British citizenship applications?
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. Contact immigration solicitors in London

What is British citizenship by descent?

British citizenship by descent refers to the acquisition of British nationality based on ancestry. If you have a parent or grandparent who was a British citizen at the time of your birth, you may be eligible to claim British citizenship by descent. This means that you can obtain British nationality even if you were born outside of the United Kingdom.

Parentage-Based

British citizenship by descent is acquired when a child is born outside the UK to a parent (or parents) who is a British citizen. This method of acquiring citizenship relies on the British citizenship of the parent(s) rather than the location of birth.

Not Automatically Transmissible

British citizenship by descent cannot be automatically passed to the next generation born abroad. There are specific circumstances under which children born abroad to British citizens by descent can acquire citizenship, often involving registration and meeting certain conditions.

Generation Limit

Generally, only the first generation born abroad to British citizens can acquire British citizenship by descent automatically. Subsequent generations born abroad may acquire it through registration under certain conditions but are not entitled to it automatically.

What are the benefits of British citizenship?

Gaining British citizenship by descent brings with it numerous advantages and opportunities. Being a British citizen grants you various privileges and rights that can significantly enhance your life in the United Kingdom.

Privileges of British citizenship:

  • Right to live and work in the United Kingdom without restrictions
  • Access to social welfare benefits and healthcare
  • Visa-free travel to numerous countries around the world
  • Ability to vote and participate in democratic processes
  • Opportunity to apply for a British passport
  • Possibility of sponsoring family members to join you in the UK

Who is eligible to apply for British citizenship by descent?

To qualify for British citizenship by descent, you must meet certain requirements based on where and when you were born, and your parents' circumstances.

You were born on or after 1 July 2006

You're automatically a British citizen if you were born outside the UK on or after 1 July 2006 and your mother or father was a British citizen when you were born. 

At the time of your birth, if your father was a British citizen and your mother was married to someone else, you may not automatically be a British citizen.

You were born between 1983 and June 2006 

You're automatically a British citizen if you were born outside the UK between 1983 and June 2006 and your mother or father was a British citizen when you were born (they must have been married if your father had British citizenship but your mother did not).

Your British parent could pass on their citizenship to you if they were born or adopted in the UK and given citizenship after applying for it in their own right (not based on having a British parent).

You were born before 1983 

You're automatically a British citizen if you were born outside the UK before 1 January 1983 and your father is British. When you were born, your father must have been a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, married to your mother and able to pass on his citizenship to you.

Your father could pass on his citizenship to you if he was born or adopted in the UK and given citizenship after applying for it in his own right (not based on having a British parent).

If you qualify for citizenship in this way, your children will not automatically become British if they're born outside the UK.

What is the process to apply for British citizenship by descent?

Applying for British citizenship by descent involves a step-by-step process that ensures a smooth and efficient application experience. Here, we will guide you through the necessary steps, including completing the application form, paying the fees, and submitting the required documents.

  1. Determine your eligibility
  2. Gather the required documents
  3. Complete the application form
  4. Pay the application fees
  5. Submit your application
  6. Attend the citizenship ceremony
  7. Receive your British citizenship certificate

Step 1: Determine your eligibility

Before starting the application process, it is crucial to ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements for British citizenship. This includes fulfilling the residency requirements, meeting the age criteria, and demonstrating good character.

Step 2: Gather the required documents

To support your application, you will need to provide various documents, including proof of identity, proof of residency, and evidence of your knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK. Make sure to gather all the necessary documents and keep them readily available.

Step 3: Complete the application form

Once you have confirmed your eligibility and gathered all the required documents, you can proceed to complete the British citizenship application form. Pay close attention to the instructions and provide accurate and honest information.

Step 4: Pay the application fees

There is a fee associated with applying for British citizenship. Ensure that you pay the correct amount and retain the payment confirmation, as you will need it during the submission process.

Step 5: Submit your application

After completing the application form and paying the fees, it is time to submit your application. Make sure to include all the necessary documents and double-check that everything is filled out correctly. You can submit your application by post or through the online system.

Step 6: Attend the citizenship ceremony

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony. At the ceremony, you will take an oath and pledge your loyalty to the United Kingdom, officially becoming a British citizen.

Step 7: Receive your British citizenship certificate

Following the citizenship ceremony, you will receive your British citizenship certificate. This certificate serves as evidence of your citizenship and can be used to apply for a British passport.

Please note that the requirements and procedures may change, and the processing times can vary. Always consult with an immigration solicitor for the most up-to-date information and guidance on the British citizenship application process.

How long does it take to process a British citizenship application?

You should receive a decision within 6 months, once you've applied for British citizenship by descent and attended your biometric appointment.

However, complex cases or delays in document verification may extend this timeframe. It is important to submit a complete and accurate application to avoid unnecessary delays.

All the applicants are advised to check the latest information about UK visa application processing time on the official UK government website.

How can solicitors help with British citizenship applications?

At Moeen & Co. Solicitors, we are dedicated to providing expert legal advice and guidance throughout the British citizenship application process. Our experienced immigration solicitors understand the complexities of UK citizenship applications and can help you navigate the requirements with ease.

Here are some ways in which our team of highly experienced UK immigration solicitors can assist:

  • Legal Expertise: Our immigration solicitors have in-depth knowledge of UK immigration & nationality laws, policies, and procedures. We can assess your eligibility for British citizenship, advise you on the most suitable option, and ensure that your British citizenship application complies with all relevant legal requirements.
  • Application Preparation: Our immigration solicitors will fill in your British citizenship application forms accurately and submit them.
  • Supporting Documents: We will advise you on the required documents to be submitted in support of your British citizenship application and ensure that they meet the specific requirements.
  • Legal Representation: We can represent you in communications with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department, embassy, or consulate handling your application. We can correspond with immigration authorities on your behalf, respond to requests for additional information, and address any concerns or queries raised during the processing of your application.

If you have any questions or want assistance with your British citizenship application, please call our expert immigration solicitors based in London at 0203 959 7755. Alternatively, fill in our online contact form, and one of our UK immigration experts will get back in touch with you soon!

Frequently asked questions

If you were born outside the UK and one or both of your parents were British citizens not by descent (meaning they were born, naturalised, or registered in the UK) at the time of your birth, you are likely a British citizen by descent.

Generally, British citizenship by descent cannot be automatically passed on to the next generation born abroad. However, there are provisions under which children born abroad to British citizens by descent can be registered as British citizens under certain conditions.

Yes, if you are recognised as a British citizen (whether by descent or otherwise), you are eligible to apply for a British passport.

Hiring an immigration lawyer can significantly increase your chances of a successful application. They have expertise in navigating the complexities of UK immigration law, ensuring that your application is complete, accurate, and meets all eligibility requirements.

To schedule a consultation with our immigration solicitor regarding your ILR as a health and care worker application, you can contact us by calling 0203 959 7755. Alternatively, you can fill out the online contact form, and a member of our team will reach out to you promptly to arrange a suitable time for a consultation.

Contact Immigration Solicitors in London

If you need immigration advice or help with any type of UK visa application, British citizenship application or sponsorship licence application, contact our team of immigration solicitors in London on 0203 959 7755 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential advice and help you need.

We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

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