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Adult Whose Parents are British but was Born Abroad

British citizenship can be an awkward subject if either one, or indeed both of your parents were born in the UK. This is especially true if you are now an adult. You may be somewhat concerned as to what your personal status is and as to whether you are yourself eligible to become a British citizen. In this article we are going to take a look at the rights of those who have British parents, and look at individual scenarios in which you may yourself be eligible for British citizenship.

One or both of my parents are British citizens and not by descent what are my rights?

If you were born outside of the UK and either one, or both of your parents are British citizens in any other way but by descent then you will be eligible to become a British citizen. The descent rules were changed to try to make the law a little fairer on those children who were born abroad but to British parents and to allow them then to return to the UK at a later stage in order to continue their life and have their child gain British citizenship.

My parents are British by descent, am I entitled to British citizenship?

Not automatically no. there are some exceptions to this and these will generally revolve around the jobs that your parents worked or work in. If they fall in to one of the following overseas jobs then you will be entitled:

  • Crown Service
  • Special Designated Service
  • European Community Institution Service

If you fall into one of these categories then please get in touch and we can help to work on your case and to find out if you are indeed entitled to claim British citizenship. More often than not, if you are not eligible then there are alternative options via the visa routes such as a Family Visa. So for more advice on your rights, please get in touch and we can help.

What are some alternatives to British citizenship if I want to live in the UK with my British parents?

If you don't fall into any of the other categories then you may wish to consider using a Family Visa to come to the UK. You can use this visa in order to build up your time in the UK and gain your own Indefinite Leave to Receive (ILR) and later British citizenship by naturalisation. Of course if you have British parents this isn't really the ideal way of doing things but it does give an alternative option for those whose situation is a little more difficult to deal with.

If you want to discuss your options in more detail then please get in touch and our immigration specialists can help to assess your case to see where you stand as far as eligibility criteria is concerned. With their experience, they may be able to figure out a better alternative for you.

What about adopted children, are they automatically British citizens?

With adopted children the case can be a little more complicated. If the child was adopted in a UK court to at least one British parent then they will automatically qualify for British citizenship and will not need to use the descent route. Using this means that they can then pass on British citizenship by descent to their children if needed in the future. These rules also apply in most overseas British Territories - though you will need to ensure that the territory is specified in the guidance in order to secure citizenship for the child.

If the child is from a country outside of this area then they will not be entitled to British citizenship, but they will be able to come to the UK on a Family Visa. For more information on the Family Visa or indeed adoption of overseas children then please get in touch and we can help.

What if I was born in a British Overseas Territory?

The rules regarding the rights of those who are born in a British Overseas Territory are a little different in this circumstance. It will depend on whether you were born before 2002 or after it, as the rules changed on automatic rights at that time. But in general, if one of your parents is a British citizen or a "settled" person in a British Overseas Territory then it is likely that you will be entitled to some form of British citizenship. For more information on the more intricate details of citizenship for those from British Overseas Territories then please get in touch and our team will be happy to help look at your case.

How do I apply for British citizenship if I am entitled to it?

You will need to fill out a form and return it to UKVI. You cannot use the online application as this is reserved for children under the age of 18. You will fill out form MN1 and return it, with the fee, to UKVI so that your application can be processed.

What is the fee for registering as a British citizen?

The fee for the application will be £973 and this will need to be sent back with the application form at the time of application. You will need to check the guidance for information on what proof you will need to send along with your application. If you are unsure about any part of the registration process then please get in touch and we'll be happy to help you with your application.

Where can I get more help

If you are unclear as to your own eligibility or need help with an application then please get in touch and our expert immigration solicitors will be more than happy to help to assess your case. Our specialists can assist with any application or query that you need. So get in touch today and let us begin working on your case.

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