Automatic Acquisition

British nationality law provides that many people automatically acquire British citizenship by law without having to make any form of application. If you have British citizenship by Automatic Acquisition then you will have the right to enter and reside in the United Kingdom free of immigration restrictions.

Eligibility requirements

In order to qualify for British Citizenship by Automatic Acquisition you will need to show that you are a British citizen by operation of law.

The most common ways to automatically acquire British citizenship by law are:

  •  To have been born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth either your mother or your father was a British citizen or settled in the UK;
  • To have been born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth either your mother or your father was a British citizen otherwise than by descent; or

  • To have been born before 1 January 1983 and immediately before that date to have been a Citizen of the UK and Colonies with a right of abode in the United Kingdom.

  • British nationality law can be complex. Your precise circumstances are different to those of every other person. This means, for example, that you may have a claim to British citizenship by Automatic Acquisition even if one or more of your siblings has not.

You will need to show that you were:
  • Born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and your mother or your father was settled in the UK at the time of your birth; or

  • Adopted in the UK as a child on or after 1 January 1983 and one of your adopters was a British citizen at the time of your adoption; or

  • Found abandoned as a new-born infant in the UK on or after 1 January 1983; or

  • Born in the UK on or after 13 January 2010 and your mother or father was a member

    of the armed forces; or

  • Born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and your mother or your father was a British citizen otherwise than by descent at the time of your birth; or

  • Born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth your mother or father was a British citizen serving outside the UK in a qualifying service having been recruited for that service in the UK; or

  • Adopted outside the UK as a child under a Convention adoption on or after 1 January 1983 and one of your adopters was a British citizen at the time of your adoption and the adopters were habitually resident in the UK at the time of your adoption; or

  • Born in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • Adopted in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • Naturalised as a Citizen of the UK and Colonies in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • Registered as a Citizen of the UK and Colonies in the UK before 1 January 1983; or

  • A Citizen of the UK and Colonies immediately before 1 January 1983 and were born to or adopted by a parent who at the time of your birth or adoption was a Citizen of the UK and Colonies by birth, adoption, naturalisation or registration in the UK; or

  • A Citizen of the UK and Colonies immediately before 1 January 1983 and at any time before then had been settled in the UK and at that time had been ordinarily resident in the UK for five years while a Citizen of the UK and Colonies; or

  • A Commonwealth citizen immediately before 1 January 1983 and at the time of your birth or adoption your mother or father (or adoptive parent) was a Citizen of the UK and Colonies by birth in the UK.

Further information, help, and advice

Our expert immigration advisors/lawyers have experience assisting with all types of nationality matters. Whether you are looking to apply for naturalisation on your own or on the basis of your marriage to a British citizen, our expert immigration lawyers can guide you through the complexities of the UK Citizenship process and British nationality law.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law, British nationality law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or at Info@worldwideimmigration.co.uk

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