♠ British Citizenship by Birth
The question of whether or not you were born a British citizen is an extremely complex one as it depends on a combination of factors including where and when you were born, the nationality of your parents and the law in force at the time of your birth. It also has to do with British nationality law being the most complicated in world primarily because it has evolved rapidly through decades of Britain's colonial past and historical relationship with the commonwealth countries. It will therefore be necessary to go back several generations in time to determine whether you are a British citizen or are entitled to apply to become one.
♠ By Naturalisation
Those who have ILR, or Permanent Residence as European nationals, may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship by naturalisation so long as they fulfill the legal requirements which include, among others, residence requirement, sufficient knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK (KoLL), and good character.
KoLL is formally examined, whereas good character involves meeting certain conditions such as paying taxes and national insurance contributions and not having an adverse criminal history and disregard of the law. Once your application is successful Naturalisation takes place at a public ceremony where you will make an oath or affirmation of allegiance.
♠ By Registration Although this route may be available to adults in limited circumstances, British citizenship by registration is primarily meant for children.The main condition for those over the age of ten years is to be of good character, knowledge of the English language or of life in the UK is not required at all. One example of the use of this route by adults is to address the issues of discrimination in the past. For instance, people born to certain British mothers between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983 may be able to register as British because at the time when they were born, only British fathers were able to pass their nationality on to their children born abroad. This bar was removed in 1983, however the consequences of the historic discrimination still persist for people born abroad to British mothers before 7 February 1961. As a result of changes implemented on 13 January 2010, children of serving members of the armed forces, British Nationals (Overseas) who have no other citizenship or nationality (other conditions apply) and the children of British mothers, whenever they were born became eligible for British Citizenship by registration.
♠ Children of Unmarried British Fathers Before 1 July 2006 a child could only obtain citizenship through his or her father if the parents were married. The law changed on 1 July 2006 to allow a person to acquire citizenship through his or her father, irrespective of whether the parents were married, subject to proof of paternity.
That change unfortunately was not made retrospective. But now the law has been amended to create a registration route for those born before 1 July 2006 who would have become British citizens had their parents been married. These provisions will benefit: ♠ Those who could qualify for registration under section 1(3), 3(2), 3(5) or paragraph 4 or 5 of Schedule 2, had their parents been married. (Section 4F) ♠ Those born after 1 January 1983 who would have become a British citizen automatically had their parents been married (section 4G) ♠ Those born before 1 January 1983 who were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies on that date and would have become British citizens if their parents were married (section 4H) ♠ Those born before 1 January 1983 who would have acquired the status of British subject or citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and would have gone on to become a British citizen if their parents were married (section 4I). These provisions do not apply to: ♠ Those who could have become a British citizen had their parents registered their birth or registered them as a British subject or CUKC, but did not do so. ♠ Those who would have become British citizens but for the fact that their grandparents were not married. ♠ Those who acquired British citizenship in another way and have since renounced or been deprived of that status.