British Citizenship can be obtained by Birth, Registration or Naturalisation. In addition there are circumstances in which a person who was not born a British Citizen automatically becomes one, without the need to be registered or naturalised. For example, this can happen where a child is adopted by British Citizen parents. It is a comprehensive and a detailed process due to the legislation that surrounds it and it is crucial that legal advice and assistance is sought at the beginning of the process to avoid any unnecessary complications or delays.
Individuals who have Indefinite Leave to Remain can, subject to fulfilling residence requirements, apply to naturalise as British Citizens.It is necessary to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the language, and of life in the UK, and to be good character.
Registration is the only way in which children can become British and is also used for adults in special circumstances. It is necessary for those over ten years old to be of good character, but it is not necessary to demonstrate knowledge of the language or of life in the UK.It is also possible for people born to certain British mothers between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983 to register as British.At the time when they were born, only British fathers could pass on their nationality to children born abroad, as indeed they still remain for people born abroad to British mothers before 7 February 1961.
In addition to British Citizenship, there are many forms of British nationality i.e.
- British Overseas Territories Citizenship
- British Subject
- British National (Overseas).
Unlike British Citizenship, these other forms of British nationality will not normally give you a right to live in the UK.