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British Nationality

In this section we deal with the various ways in which Britsh Nationality can be claimed, or applied for. Claims can be by direct Descent from a UK born father or mother, by birth in the UK to parents, at least one of them holding permanent residence of the UK at the child's birth date. Naturalisation is a process of residing in the UK for at least 5 years (3 years if Married to or Civil Partner of a British Citizen) and having permanent residence. Registration applies if you hold a British passport which is NOT a full British Citizen status, and you meet the above residence requirements, OR if you are a British Overseas Citizen and have no other nationality.


Right of Abode in the UK

Right of Abode is a status that exists in law because of a person's circumstances, and is not a status that can be acquired. On providing documentary proof of your claim to that status, a Certificate will be issued by the Home Office or a British Visa Office to confirm the status. The status of Right of Abode cannot be lost. Commonwealth born children of British Born mother's who cannot pass on their British Citizenship, or children born in the UK of parents of any nationality if the parent was permanently settled here at the time of birth, may be given a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode. In the latter case, it is a useful way for a child to retain his or her connection with the UK even after moving abroad.


Naturalisation as a British Citizen

This is a process by which a foreign or commonwealth national may apply for British Citizenship. The main grounds for granting Citizenship are :- That 5 years ( 3 years if married to a British Citizen) of continuous residence in the UK has been completed, allowing for normal periods of absence for holidays / business travels, but governed by certain specified maximum overseas travels. - Discretion can be applied to this aspect. That the applicant has holds permanent residence in the UK for a minimum period of 12 months, unless married to a British Citizen, in which case it will be sufficient for the Permanent Residence to have been granted at any time. That the applicant is of good character - ie - no criminal record, no serious financial problems - county court judgments - bankruptcy etc That the applicant can speak and read English to an acceptable standard That sufficient knowledge of life in and history of the UK is held. The successful applicants will have to attend a Citizenship Ceremony, usually held at a local Town Hall, and will then swear allegiance to her Majesty, The Queen, following which the Certificate of Naturalisation will be presented.


Registration as a British Citizen

Registration as a British Citizen is similar to Naturalisation, as it is a process by which British Citizenship is granted to applicants. However, Registration applies to holders of other British documents, such as British Overseas Citizens, British Nationals (Overseas), British Dependent Territories Citizens, and Minors - children under 18, who may be granted British Citizenship at discretion of the Home Secretary. Unlike Naturalisation, applicants for Registration do not always have to have lived in the UK for the required 3 or 5 year period, and do not need to take an Oath of Allegiance, as they are already subjects of Her Majesty the Queen. In general, applicants will have to show that they have lived for most of the last 5 years in the UK, and that they have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. If they are married to a British Citizen, the time period for qualification is reduced to 3 years.


British Overseas Citizens (BOC)

British Overseas Citizens (BOC) Some British Overseas Citizens (BOC), British Protected Persons (BPP) and British Subjects (BS) now have the right to claim full British Citizenship, whether they live in the UK or not. This is done by the Registration process, and applies to those who have only a BOC, BPP or BS passport, and do not have any other Nationality, and have not since 4 July 2002, renounced or otherwise given up any other passport / Nationality that they held


British Passports

A British Passport can be applied for once the British Citizenship Certificate has been received. Applications are made at one of several Passport Agency offices throughout the UK, or via certain nominated Post Offices and first time applicants will need to send in or show their previous non-British passport together with the Naturalisation / Registration Certificate, their certified photographs and a completed application form and fee. Since 1 May 2007 first time applicants have been subject to compulsory interviews, and this new procedure has also applied at British Embassies and Consulates from 1 August 2007. It is advised that travels should not be booked until the passport is issued, as there are substantial delays in the Passport Section.

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