Children born abroad before 1983 to British mothers

The UK still discriminates against those of us born abroad before 1983 to British mothers.

Prior to 1983 children born outside of the UK to British mothers but foreign fathers did not have a claim to British citizenship. That right was only passed through British fathers.

Last year (13 January 2010), the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 came into force which means you are  finally granted the right to British citzenship via your British mother.

However, it was only “a right to register as a British citizen” and you would also have to pay £540 to claim your British citizenship! This was outrageous since anyone born in the same circumstances after 1983, or at anytime to a (married) UK father, could simply complete a passport application without the need to register and without any fee.

There was a public outcry (quite rightly) from myself and many others about this blatant discrimination. Consequently, the law was amended in November 2010 and the application fee (which had actually gone up to £550 during the year!) was removed.

However, we still have to register and must pay an administrative fee of £80 to cover the cost of a citizenship ceremony.

We are entitled to British citizenship by descent but because of our circumstances –  born abroad before 1983 to a British mother -citizenship is not automatically granted. Instead, we must apply for citizenship and register (which means providing two referees) and also attend a citizenship ceremony.

It’s blatatant discrimination to require an application (which can be denied) and the ceremony (which is intended for those without a British parent).

The right to “register” is not the same as the right to claim British citizenship (without conditions) which we are entitled to.

I reject this unfair path to British citizenship, and I’m campaigning for citizenship equality. It is time for this unjust law to be corrected once and for all.

I welcome your comments and/or questions about this issue.

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287 Responses to Children born abroad before 1983 to British mothers

  1. Anonymous says:

    01.11.2011 Hello. I was born in a British Dominion. I completed the whole UKM application requirement paid the £580 + £80 and received my UK Citizenship & UK passport . I utilized the passport this past July and went on an UK holiday. It was fantastic not having to answer a multitude of questions by immigration officers when arriving and leaving the UK. The officials this visit were exceptionally friendly and helpful to boot. . The UKM application 4c and citizenship received while helping me has it’s drawbacks : any children born to a 4c citizenship holder have no right to pass citizenship on to their children. John

  2. Hello. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    I’m pleased to hear that you were approved for UK citizenship but it’s a shame that you had to go through the application process plus pay a huge fee to do so.

    It’s an absolute disgrace that the UK treats children born abroad before 1983 to British mothers differently to children born abroad to British fathers or to children born abroad after 1983 to any British parent. We should have the same (unconditional) right to claim British citizenship as they do.

  3. Ruby says:

    UKM registrations, for children born overseas prior to 1983 to British mothers, have been authorized since April 2003. I haven’t kept up on the issue since acquiring citizenship, so am unsure what changes came into effect in 2010.

  4. Ruby says:

    Ah. Just looked it up and apparently the 2009 law, which came into effect in 2010, made the 2003 change retrospective beyond 1961. In other words, in 2003 if you were born between 1961 and 1983 you could get citizenship, but if you were born before 1961 you were out of luck. The 2009 amendment changed that. It’s interesting that they saw fit to change THAT inequity but not the fundamental inequity of requiring registration for children of British mothers (but not fathers).

  5. Thank you for clarifying the issue regarding the amendment that came into effect in 2010. I think you will help people understand just how complicated this issue is. It’s ridiculous that the right to claim British citizenship by descent is still not a straight-forward one. I was born before 1961 but I maintain that it shouldn’t matter what year I was born since that was never an isssue for children born to British fathers! I finally have the right to claim British citizenship but it’s still an unjust law since I must register, be approved and attend a ceremony, just because my mother is British, not my father. The law is ageist and sexist.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m an Australian citizen born in Australia in 1972. My mother is Scottish and has a British passport. I have right of abode certificate of entitlement in my Australian passport. Does this change allow me to “apply” for British citizenship as I was born before 1983 to a British mother in a Commonwealth country? And does it then follow I can apply for a British passport and have dual nationality? From what I have also read, I can’t then pass on this citizenship to my 4 year old son?

  7. Maureen says:

    Hello. Yes, since your mother is British, you qualify for British citizenship by descent. This requires registration and a citizenship ceremony though, which is very unfair. If your father was British or if you were born after 1983, you would only have to apply for a passport.

    However, as far as I know, you would not be able to pass on your citizenship to your son because British citizens by decent cannot pass on their citizenship.

    For further information, please see the UK Border Agency website:

  8. Robert says:

    My mom is British. I was born in ’74 in the U.S. I plan to fill out the form and apply for the Citizenship by Descent here in the next month or so. I don’t think it’s appropriate at all that the law creates separate categories of citizenship based on the sex of the parent, or that they corrected that inequality but only for people born after an arbitrary date, but what can I do? I am happy, however, that the fee has been reduced to an affordable amount.
    Regarding the form, I would appreciate any advice from anyone who’s successfully completed the process.

  9. Ruby says:

    Just a note about passing on your citizenship to your children. If you are British by descent (regardless of which of your parents were born British, or the year you were born), you can only pass British citizenship on to your children if they are born in the UK. Children born outside the UK to British citizens by descent are ineligible, even if they move here later (although in that case they could eventually become naturalised). I suppose this is to prevent generations of families passing down British citizenship without having any real ties to the country.

    Ironically, at the time I made my application, my husband (another foreign national at the time) was close to being eligible for British naturalisation due to having lived here so long. I would then have been eligible for citizenship through him two years later, and it would have been a full, ‘no-strings’ citizenship. We actually discussed waiting and doing it that way so that our kids would be British no matter where they were born, but in the end decided to go ahead with the UKM application since we were planning on staying in the UK (and having our children here) anyway. The final irony is that my husband, who then took the quicker route of getting citizenship through me, was granted ‘full’ citizenship. So the spouse of someone of who is ‘British by descent’, if granted citizenship, is entitled to MORE rights than the person whose parents were British. Ultimately our kids would be British (by descent) through HIM if they had been born abroad. How f***** up is that?!

    UK immigration law is fraught with just such inequities. For example, if you come to the UK on a limited visa (for example a student visa, which limits you to working no more than part-time), you can bring your spouse and dependents with you and THEY have no restrictions, meaning they can work full-time in almost any field (recently they have been prevented from working as trainee doctors).

    Robert – as regards your application: If you are geographically near an embassy or other location where they do a ‘check and send’ type service, I’d strongly advise that. It saves a lot of time and money to have an official look at your application and documents and make sure they’re all ‘in order’ before you submit. If you’re not sure, try asking at your nearest British consulate or embassy (assuming you’re outside the UK). If you’re in Britain, I’m pretty sure the post office (who do this for passport applications) will be able to help you. Best of luck!

  10. Robert says:

    Thanks for the advice Ruby. I’m actually in TX. Though I’m not near Houston, I could go the consul in Houston in the future if they offer that service.
    My wife and I are considering (and this is a loose plan) on moving to the UK in the future. I don’t know how the Citizenship by Descent works in terms of entering the country with spouses and children, working, etc. But even if we didn’t move, I’d want the citizenship since it should be mine by right of birth.

  11. Tim says:

    Hi Robert. I am writing from Long Island, NY. I am a foreigner staying in the USA and acquired my British passport last year through the British Embassy in Washington. All the information you require is available on their website:

    On their Home page, click on Passports (right side menu) and once in Passports, from the left menu click on Citizenship. All the information is explained and I did everything online following their instructions. When I had to check that I had completed the application correctly, I called the help number they supply. It was well worth the few dollars. It was extremely efficient and the personnel were extremely pleasant and helpful at all times. Once they received my application I was aksed to attend a “biometric capture” (digital eye-balling and finger prints) at a USCIS centre near where you live. Your personal orginal documents are all returned to you quite soon after they receive your application in Washington. I attended the citizenship service in the consulate in New York. I believe that everything ran very smoothly. The process of registration and then the applying for a passport took about five months in all. So plan well ahead. There were additional fees for Fedex etc..

  12. Dave says:

    I am planning on applying for citizenship by descent. The UKBA website says that I need to provide my mother’s expired UK passport. I don’t know if I can lay my hands on one but I do have her Englsih birth certificate and her marriage license. I also have my passport (current and older ones with my certificate of entitlement to the right of abode in them) along with my Canadian birth certificate with my parents details. Is this sufficient documentation? I have tried to contact the UKBA to enquire but have been unsuccessful so far.

  13. Tim says:

    Hi Dave, Here is the telephone number for all enquiries (dial 44 from outside the UK)
    0151 672 5626. As far as I recall you need an original copy of your Mother’s birth certificate and your original birth certificate showing she is your legitinate Mother. I did not need my Mother’s passport. But call that number as they will help you with any questions.

  14. Dave says:

    Tim, Thanks for that. I called that number and was told that my documents should suffice.

    Did anyone have to take the “Life in the UK” test or are we exempt from this?

  15. Tim says:

    It’s a pleasure. I did not have to take any test. I wasn’t aware there was one. It really all went very smoothly and was the greatest joy in my life to arrive at Heathrow and just sail through customs! Best wishes.

  16. Dave says:

    Tim, it looks like the test is only if you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or to be Naturalized. As I have Right of Abode already I don’t have any trouble with immigration when arriving in the UK but citizenship would make it easier to travel/visit/work in Europe.

  17. rajeev says:

    hi, i am Rajeev and am born in India before 1980 & my mother is British citizen and she was born in Tanzania and her parents were also holding the british passport. i am applying through the Form UKM. just want to confirm the procedure and how long it takes. am aware of the 40 pound fees as charges.

  18. saqib hafeez says:

    hi my name is saqib i was born in kenya in 1970 .my mother is britsh subjact cukc at tha time of my birth .my father is pakistani we live in pakistan can i apply for ukm ?

  19. Robert says:

    Saqib, I believe the answer is yes, you can. If your mother is British, and you were born before 1983 then form UKM would allow you to apply. Good luck! Let us know how it goes for you.

  20. saqib hafeez says:

    hi its saqib again i wanted to ask u how long does it take to get my answer from home office and 2ndly my mother was born in kenya in 1945 to british subject parents she had british subject cukc passport the time i was born and can my 2 brothers born in pakistan before 1983 apply?

  21. Tim says:

    Saqib, I would advise that you view this website and click on Kenya. Then contact the British Consulate,
    for clarification. It can be very confusing!

    You must first apply for registration of your birth and then only can you apply for your passport. This can take about six months.

  22. keely says:

    Hi , my partner has taken up a job offer in the uk and we are all heading over to live (from australia, all australian). His grandfather was a french citizen , who sadly passed way here after the war, in 1952. From this grandfather both he and my two kids have been granted french passports and can travel and work freely in the U.K. . This process was a little intricate but not too hard and all we had to do was to visit the french consulate in sydney, albeit a few times, but always very helpful. Me , my mother is english, alive, just got her british passport renewed, within three weeks , waiting with me to get over their to join my partner and my daughter , my son is here with me too.
    I had in 1990 the right to abode certificate granted, when i went backpacking ( memories!!!) . Also because of that little clause that i was born to an english mother , not father therefore couldn’t acquire a british passport.
    Can i transfer this right of abode to a new passport ? No, apparently i will always have the right of abode, but when your passport runs out , your certificate becomes invalid as “proof” of right to abode. This has a lot of ramifications attached to it if u are at the time working in the uk. You must re-apply for your right to abode cert again, re submitting your original birth certificate and parents original birth certificate every time and pay the fee.
    I need to get over there asap.
    I do now have the right to apply for british citizenship as my birth falls within the “dates”. Which is what i intend to do when I’m there to avoid the above. If i apply for it now, i read in the UKM guide that “Applications are considered quickly – usually within six months of receipt” Six months are u kidding???. But they will send me a computer file to track its progress in two to three weeks if they are busy. I also have to have a british referee ( must have a british passport) thats not a family member and be either a professional person or over 25yrs. For goodness sake , like we only hang around british people! There are also questions on the VAF7 on terrorism that are yes/no answers and please provide details. Do they seriously believe that providing details on your terrorist involvement is going get your right to abode granted……………..

    Ive had my rant ……. thank you ,

  23. Dave says:

    Keely, It took me about 3 1/2 months from the time I sent in my application until I had my citizenship ceremony (16 May 2012) so hopefully it won’t take you too long.

    I had been entering the UK with my current Canadian passport and my expired one that contained the Certificate of Entitlement in it. So although officially not valid, it has been accepted every time at passport control without question. Mind you it is much more recently expired than yours.

  24. Anonymous says:

    sir tell how much time homeoffice take ? and can my other vrother also epply for ukm coz they born in pakistan before 1983?

  25. Anonymous says:

    this is saqib

  26. Robert says:

    Saqib – I don’t know how long it will take for you to get your application processed. I haven’t yet submitted mine, but it looks like someone above says it took almost 4 months. I wouldn’t count on it being done any faster than that. As for your brothers, if everything is the same for them as it is for you, I wouldn’t see why they couldn’t apply. Apparently, though, it is a case by case basis for these applications.

  27. Anonymous says:

    hi..i am lubna ,,from pakistan …i born in kenya in 16 october 1982. my mother born in kenya in 1952 as a britsh subjact cukc …when i was born my mother had britsh subjact cukc pasport..i applied my case in britsh high comssion islamabad [pakistan] at 11/1/2012 .its now upto 4 mount….i want to say that can i ligibel for citizen ship? with my file i was send my mothers old britsh pasports ,my mother birth certifecat ,,my brith certificat my pakistani id ,,,,……..thanks

  28. paul says:

    After reading through the information featured in the embassy and uk border websites, I am still unclear as to the exact status of my 2 boys.
    I am a male British Citizen (born and raised in England from British parents).
    I am married to a foreign national woman; with whom we have 2 children currently aged 4 and 9.
    For the previous 15 years I have lived and worked in Germany. Both children were born in Germany, but we now reside outside of Europe.
    I want both kids to be documented as being British. What is the best way to do this?
    Therefore my main questions are:
    A.) Do they have automatic British Citizenship? I know they can have British Passports but I want something that does not expire i.e. a legal certificate.
    B.) In order to have this as an official document will they be required to “apply” for it using the form MN4? I see the fee is a staggering 1000 pounds for both children including fees etc.?
    C.) Is there any other way to register their births/get British recognition in the UK?

  29. Anonymous says:

    hi robert… i submet my and my brothers files with ukm from in our britsh high commisson on last momdy,,,they toke all orignel docoment s of my and my mothers [my mother old pasports her birth certifecate ] my birth certificate and my pakistani pasport i give the 9400 pak rupees [40 pound] they give my a refrence eknolegment later …..

  30. Robert says:

    Good luck! Let us know your progress.

  31. Anonymous says:

    hi i am lubna please some one trll me that any contect of home office its almost 5 mount of my case in home office ,,i want to chack my progress

  32. Linds says:

    This is a great article on the inequities inherent in Britain\’s citizenship laws. I\’m confused about the citizenship by descent through the father. My father is a British citizen by birth and my mother holds a Canadian citizenship but was born in South Africa). My parents were never married but were legally recognized as common law in Canada. I was born in 1983 and from the information I\’ve read online it seems I am ineligible to receive citizenship by descent, but if I was born after July 1 2006 I could do so by providing my birth certificate (which has my father listed) or a DNA paternity test results. This seems unfair considering common law partnerships are now recognized for children born after 2006 but not for those of us before, despite the law being amended to address this inequity. Am I really not able to also provide a paternity test/my birth certificate in lieu of a marriage certificate?

  33. Jude says:

    Hi, I am so glad the British citizenship laws discriminatory nature is being discussed. BOTH my natural parents are British and I have traced my ancestors back hundreds of years there. But alas no easy citizenship for me. My British mother emmigrated to Australia in 1960 and put me up for adoption. I applied for a British passport in 1980 as my adopted father was British, but was refused as adopted and illegitimate to British mother. My British birth father who still lives there is not on my birth certificate. Laws keep changing and I did get the right of abode back in 1995, but i wonder if in my lifetime if I will be granted citizenship as easily as those with a British Grandfather ?

  34. Ruby says:

    Hey Jude (sorry, couldn’t resist), it seems you’ve fallen through the cracks and your situation is a unique one that the higher-ups at the Home Office might consider in an appeal? I would start by going to whatever British government representative you have near you (Consul or equivalent) and getting them on your side. Wishing you the best of luck!

  35. Jude says:

    Ruby its Tuesday, Who could hang a name on you? (sorry, couldn’t resist) Yes fallen through many cracks in my lifetime. Did present my situation to the British Embassy in Canberra back in 1995 but received back a scribble in pencil saying bad luck you are illegitmate….May try again in the future or wait till we are all considered global citizens.
    p.s. will try that banana bread of yours Ruby

  36. Ruby says:

    Ha ha – touchée! Yes, trying again in future is always worthwhile. When I first looked into British citizenship, I too fell through the cracks. British mother (not father) and not born in Commonwealth – tough luck. Then one day in 2003 I decided to ‘just check’ and see if anything had changed. Miraculously it had, I applied immediately and hey presto – British passport in hand! Hope you enjoy the bread! 😉

  37. Emma says:

    Hi there,
    Just to confirm: My mother is welsh and I was born prior to 1983. I have had a certificate of entitlement for the right to abode in my NZ passport for years but now have to pay hundreds for it every time I get a new passport!! So do I now have to apply for citizenship and register (which means providing two referees) and also attend a citizenship ceremony? And if Im living in New Zealand where am I expected to attend the citizenship ceremony??
    After all this is doen am I then able to apply for a british passport?? Ive been researching this for weeks and finding it all very confusing and none of the websites in the UK very helpful…

  38. Tim says:


    First you can go to the website and contact the consulate in Wellington.

    You do need to register your birth first and become a British citizen and attend the ceremony which will be in the nearest consulate office to where you live in NZ. Once your are a citizen you can apply for your passport. As we now know, you are not required to pay the huge fee that some of us had to pay but only the ceremony fee and your passport fee plus any courier fees for sending your documents. Hope this is of help.

  39. Emma says:

    Thanks for that it does help. The part that really keeps stumping me is on the website

    This asks for the following:
    Evidence that you meet the requirements for registration
    All applicants
    You should send:
    your passport; and (Easily done)
    your full birth certificate; and (Easily Done)
    your mother’s full birth certificate(Easily Done); and either
    her certificate of naturalisation or registration as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (or, before 1 January 1949, as a British subject); or
    papers showing her legal adoption; or
    her expired citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies passport

    I dont understand why I need to send along with my mothers full birth certificate any of the points that follow as she was born in Wales, was not adopted and still holds a current UK passport….If you could help with this query that would be fantastic!!
    Thanks for your quick reply!

  40. Robert says:

    I have a question about the requirement that your birth be registered. Can that be done at any time? My mother never registered my birth in ’74 when I was born in the states. Said she didn’t know anything about it then. I’m also very confused about the process.

  41. Tim says:


    I just checked with my application and as my mother was born in the UK I was only required to send my full birth certiciate and my mother’s full birth certificate (not abbreviated ones), along with the application form. I applied in the US even though I am from South Africa. I sent all my documents to Washintgon DC and everything was handled very efficeintly from there. I suggest you call Wellington since I found the consulate help line here exceptionally helpful.

  42. Emma says:

    Thanks for your help, unfortunatley the Wellington consulate help line is extremley unhelpful and just directs me to call the UK helplines!!

  43. Tim says:

    If you were born before 1983 and whatever the circumstances you now need to register your birth through the consulate before you can proceed. As I suggested to Emma, Google your country by typing in UK in (and your country ?) and look for the UK government website with the web address ukin? It will give you all the inforamtion for your country’s Brtiish consulate.

  44. Tim says:

    The UK helpline, which may cost a small fee, is extremely helpful, so do try them. The cost is worth every penny, since you will get the correct information.

  45. Margaret says:

    Hi, I was born before 1961 in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), at that time it was a British Colony. My Mother was British, but I have ROA which is due to run out in 2 1/2 years (passport and ROA are 10 years). I feel really annoyed as because I was born before 1961 I’m not entitled to get a British passport. My husband and my siblings all have British passports, so travelling is such a pain as I have to get a shengen visa for where ever I travel (alot of info for these) Is there any change in the law, that I might be able to get a British passport? Or any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  46. sarah says:

    I’m helping my mother (born ’55 in U.S. to British mother) with her application for citizenship and have a question that I haven’t been able to find an answer to. The application says that we must submit her mother’s expired passport, which we don’t have. My grandmother died 20 years ago and if we ever had the passport it is long gone now. I did happen to find a passport number from a ship’s manifest in the 1950s, and I have her U.S. alien registration card too, but that’s the best I have.

    How do I proceed? Is there a way to order an expired passport for her from the UK? I tried contacting the embassy and never got a response.

    P.S. I agree that it’s really shameful that children of British mothers have to apply!

  47. Tim says:

    Sarah, this question has come up before. As far as I know, since I did not have my mother’s passport, it is not required. All you need is her valid brith certificate, the original or a certified copy obtainable online at and I paid 23 pouinds for a next business day delivery in the UK.

  48. Karen says:

    I have a dilemma regarding my ukm application that i have just finish completing. My mother was born in Belize and firstly held a cukc passport and then a British passport, she was never married to my father but then married a soldier. I came to the UK in 1980 (i was born in 1971) and travelled on my mothers passport. I have had conflicting advice on what to do, i was told i could

  49. Karen says:

    I am having a dilemma completing My ukm application form. My mother was born in Belize and firstly held a cukc passport then a British passport. Her and my father were never married and in 1979 she married my stepfather (a soldier). I came to the UK in 1980. I have had conflicting advice on which forms to complete and even been told to complete a standard passport form. I have a majority of original documentation but not my mothers original birth cent, just a copy. Since my stepfather left the forces after 28 years service they have always remained abroad. Any advice or guidance would be welcomed.

  50. Anonymous says:

    My father was born in the Uk and I was born in rhodesia(zimbabwe) in 1976 , I cant get my citizenship based on the fact that my parents were not married and my father did not register me. The laws are unfair too if your father is british but you were born out of wedlock.


  51. Anonymous says:

    I am british aged 62 as is the whole of my familyincluding my mixed race daughter and my cousin, however my son was born in 1976 in Australia and folllowing the break up of my ‘de’facto’ relationship when my baby was only 6 weeks old we were (my daughter myself and the baby ‘repatriated’ to uk.
    he has just started a new job as a head of (English) department at a school in Hackney in east london (where my grandma was born – my great aunt was true cockney by they way born within the sound of bow bells) and my granddaughter who is 21 soon has just started at Bristol University), at no time did we ever get told about these draconian laws re; the babies born to british mums before 1983 or I would have dealt with it years past. In connection with his new position my son decided to apply for his 1st British Passport, then he got a call (eventually) from the passport office saying he is ineligible because he was born before 1983! he is not just an amazing teacher and son (I am very sick and disabled permanently on oxygen 24/7) who lives with and looks after me when at home of an evening and weekends, but a great father and a marvelous brother to his sister and uncle to her kids. Not only is he the backbone of our little family, but he is an upstanding hardworking person who would be a credit to any decent country, but despite working paying taxes (yes and voting) since he left education 10 years of which as a teacher (passing not 1 but 5 criminal record check!), this is shredding our lives up and it feels like a nightmare, how can I protect my child from this attack on him by those he considers his equals those representing th country that has always been home? above all how can he protect himself? This is so downright stupid but an unenviable possition for anyone do be placed in.
    when it comes to a fight Ill or not I am up for it but not until I know he is safe.I will follow your fight with iterest and add as much support to it as I can. God Bless us ALL.x.

  52. Ruby says:

    Based on what you’ve said, your son should be eligible to register as a British citizen by descent. After he gets his certificate of registration he can apply for a passport. It’s not fair but at least your family needn’t suffer.

  53. Iwa says:

    My mothers family moved from London to Wellington, New Zealand when my mother was about 5 years old. One of the requirements for me to register as a British Citizen is that my mum was a British citizen at the time of my birth. I don’t get it, I don’t believe she ever gave up her citizenship.. Can anyone clarify what it is that they are asking??

  54. Tim says:

    When one applies for citizenship in most countries, one is required to provided an original or official copy of one of one’s parents birth certificates along with your own to prove lineage. If your mother was born in the UK you only need provide her birth certificate. If you don’t have her original one you can obtain an official copy on the UK goverment website

  55. Iwa says:

    Thanks Tim, I do have my mother birth certificate, am I right in assuming I only have to pay the ceremony fee?

  56. Tim says:

    Iwa, It is a pleasure. My advice to everyone is always go to the UK government’s website in your country, which for you in UK in NZ and is

    Follow the links to passport and to “eligibilty”. Contact the helpline for advice. My experience is that one gets the best guidance from them and if you have to pay for the helpline call, do pay the small fee. It is well worthwhile. Follow the process of first registering your birth if required. Once that is done they will contact you to attend the ceremony which will be in your nearest city with a British Consulate (probably Wellington). There are fees for the various stages and postal/ courier fees. Birth registration is normally UKS 105.00 (British pounds sterling) and passport UKS 72.50. Once you attend the ceremony they also advise you how to take the next step of applying for your passport. Do note this can all take about four to six months.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Hi there Tim
    Yes I did ring a help line in Auckland and they were very helpful. The person I spoke to did say it would take about 6 months and that is ok as I am not planning to take a trip to the UK till sometime next year

  58. Anonymous says:

    Hi every body I am just confused if I have the right to apply under born before 1983 by british is my story My grand father was born tamworth in england and he served in the navy in east africa he then married my grand mother in kenya .Four kids were the result of this marriage and my mother she is the second

  59. Anonymous says:

    Hi every body I am just confused if I have the right to apply under born before 1983 by british is my story My grand father was born tamworth in england and he served in the navy in east africa he then married my grand mother in kenya .Four kids were the result of this marriage and my mother she is the second among her sister.My grandfather went to uk with three kids and his wife and left my mom with her grand mother . My grandmother didnt come back to kenya to take my mom untill I was born in 1978.
    My mother was born in April 1961.
    Is it possible for me to apply !

  60. anonymous says:

    I wish to apply for British citizenship by descent.My mother was born in Trinidad in 1946,which was then a British colony.My Grand-father was born In Barbados in 1924,which also was then a British colony.I was born in 1965 in Trinidad.My mother’s confirmation of registration as a CUCK was dated 1972. I want to know if I can apply for registration as a British citizen,and what I have to do?

  61. Ernesto says:

    Hello, my name is Ernesto and I was born in 1972. My grandfather was born in London then he served in the RAF during WWII, he migrated to Mexico in 1947 to work at the Consulate. My mother was born in 1950 and was registered in the British Consulate in Mexico at the time of her birth. In 1967 my grandfather was appointed as a diplomat at the British Consulate in Mexico, and a few months later he died. At the time of my birth, my mother tried to register me at the British consulate, but she couldnt because at that time women had not the right to pass on citizenship. I have two cousins who could be registered as British, because my uncle has the same citizenship as my mother. It is very unfair that I couldn´t be registered as British citizen by descent, because it turns out that my British parent is a woman. Can anyone tell me if at least I can apply using the UKM form for a british citizenship, o not even this is possible?

  62. Hello Ernesto, It sounds llike your mother was born in Mexico, so she would be British by descent. As far as I know, British nationality can only be transmitted from a British parent through one generation only, so it would seem that your mother can’t pass on her citizenship to you. However, I’m not sure since your mother was born while your grandfather worked at the British Consulate in Mexico.

    The issue of British nationality is extremely complicated and I’m not qualified to give you advice on this. All I can say is that you should contact the UK Home Office to find out more:

  63. Tim says:

    Ernesto. I am not certain but I believe you may qualify for an “Ancestral Visa” since your grandfather was born in the UK. I cannot guarantee this website but you can try it out.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Ruby, Hello you are doing a wonderful job replying to people’s queries. My situation is as follows, my mother was a British Protected Person when I was born, I was born in 1973. She registered as a British Subject sometime in 1975. I applied under the UKM application sometime in 2010. My application was rejected on the grounds that my Mother was not a CUKC when I was born. My question simply is , is there any way I can appeal as I understand all applications are screened on a case by case basis, and usually the people at the Home Office have discretion to accept or reject applications. Thank you. Ruby your reply to this query will be most appreciated

  65. karen says:

    Anonymous my application was rejected too as although my mother had always held a CUKC passport and then a british passport because Belize then gain its independence i was not entitled to a british passport as i was not resident for 5 years eventhough i was a child at the time and i would have been entitled to the same passport as my mother had i been able to have my own passport and not been entered on hers. Its all very confusing and never straight forward, i now have to complete a naturalisation form eventhough i have been in the uk since the age of 8.

  66. Jazz says:

    Hi folks,
    Please guide me.
    My maternal grandmother was born in uganda in 1902 AND holder of british protected and subject passport. Currently my mother is British by Descent and living in UK since 5 years, she was born in Uganda in 1938 and was holding British Subject and British protecred citizenship.
    when i was born in Pakistan in 1978 she was holding British Subject and British protecred passports but not valid.

    Am i eligiable to claim British nationality by descent?

  67. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Karen for your experience. The law is not at all straight forward, is it…… too many grey areas……

  68. Dear All,

    My father was born in 1938 British colony (now known as Pakistan) and he migrated to UAE in 1969.
    MY mother born 1952 same place.

    I was born in UAE 1984 & living since that time in UAE only actually our whole family ……….. do i have any option to claim British citizenship ? as currently i am Pakistani national only as my father was given Pakistani passport to travel UAE …….

    Just guide me please as its been 28 years since um living in UAE as a resident only and don,t really feel to go Pakistani.

  69. Sarah says:

    My mum is British and I was born in 1980 and so could apply for the UKM. I am currently living in the UK on an Ancestral Visa which expires at the end of Oct. If I send by the end of the month or early March this should be enough time. I am going to get my friend who is a minister to be one of my referrees.

    My mum could not find her old British Passport but only her newer one and her birth certificate. I have my passport and my birth certificate. So this should be all I need? Although I my passport is in a different name since I got married and so am assumming I will have to give them my marriage certificate which I was wondering if only a copy was enough (my husband is also British). Someone also mentioned registering your birth if needed. I was a bit confused by this comment.

    It mentions about good character, I am not working at the moment and so I am not sure what to do with this section as I can’t put in any employer information etc. I used to have an employer in the UK.

    I have emailed UKBA and tried ringing but no answer, will try and ring them at 9am on Monday.

    I went down to the UKBA close to me today but they could not answer any questions as deal with ILR etc and not what I am looking to do.

    Any help would be most appreciated.

  70. Sarah says:

    i find it weird and annoying that my brother who was born after 83 does not have to do this and we have the same MUM.

  71. Sarah says:

    and disgusting

  72. Peter says:

    My mother somehow got me registered and I have british citizenship through my mother in February 1984. My father is not british and I was born outside of the UK, but in a qualifying country under the 1948 Act.

    My mother was in a great rush at the time to do this as there was a loophole in the law at the time that delt with the provisional arrangemnets with regards previous acts. It stated that untill the commencement of the act (1 Jan 1983) all applications under any old act must be processed under those acts, but essentailly granted under the heading of the new 1981 act.

    My problem is that at the time of my registration the definition of “by decent” was only through the father. So the effect of the recent law change is that I have gone from “other than by decent” to “by decent”.

    My mother specifically took advantage of this so that when i was older, citizenship could be passed to the second generation in the family. I do believe that I should still be “other than by decent” as at the time it was limited in definition only to the male line.

    I am trying to find out if I can get copies of the application my mum did at the time – I essentially want to know what act she used and section number to get me this. I need to clarify this before I send in application for my kids to also get british passports.

    Once you have a right such as “other than by decent” because of the definition of the law at the time – can this be taken away from you because the law was changed 25 odd years later to allow “decent” from mothers ?

  73. Peter says:

    The comment at the start that “Prior to 1983 children born outside of the UK to British mothers but foreign fathers did not have a claim to British citizenship. That right was only passed through British fathers.” is not true.

    In terms of the 1948 Act section 7 – a minor of any citizen (male or female) could be registered as a citizen – additionally id did not matter where you where born.

    I think my mother used this provision to get me registered and a certificate granted under the 1981 Act.

  74. Richard says:

    Thank you for all this valuable info in this site and blog. As I am really unhappy to depart from my passport, I wanted to ask how long does it usually take to get back ones documents? thank you

  75. Jazz says:

    Attention Please
    All folks who are suffering from UK Nationality discrimination, it is my suggestion why not we all go to High Court and File a petition against this discriminatory act.

  76. Jackie says:

    Please can anyone help, i have had my right to abode in the Uk for over 15 years and have transferred it to new passports before. I have just tried to transfer it to a new passport now and i sent all the necessary documents required namely my passports(old and new), my birth certificate and my mum’s birth certificate. I received a letter yesterday from the home office asking for my mum’s passport prior to when i was born which is well over 40years ago and her current passport. The old passport my mum does not have but i have her current passport. Please can anyone advise on what to do.. Urgent

  77. oh well hello! it took quite some time to read this all haha! but indeed even tho it really clarified several questions, I still have ALOT of questions regarding this issue.

    Lets start by the most obvious and probably clear issue. My mother was born in London in 1951, yet she never resided over maybe 10 months in the UK (my grand father was doing a PHD in engineering when my mother was born), we have her birth certificate and it was actually verified and certified by the vice consul here in Venezuela in 1967, yet she does not have a British passport. so I guess, the first step would actually be, getting her passport, as she herself was born in London, that, should not be problematic (note the “should”).

    Now here is the real issue, I was born in 1978, I’m 35 years old, born to a “London born” mother and Venezuelan father, considering the previous stated facts, would me and my sister still be able to apply to British Citizenship by descent?



  78. Tim says:

    In response to “Jazz” February 15, 2013: I thought you would like to know that I took my case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, before the current change to the law. You can write to them explaining your claim of discrimination, and they will review your claim and then possibly make an offer to you to sue the British Government on your behalf. However, you are required to pay your UK barristers fees, which I think could turn out to be quite an expensive exercise. See their website at:

    I hope this is of interest to you.

  79. m blake says:

    Can anyone help,my friend was born in U.S.A in 1969 to an English mum american father.Came to England in 1973 on mums english passport ,he was added on to her passport at english embassy in U.S. Settled in England then 2 yrs later applied for American passport to travel to visit father with english address.Visted a few times over the yrs till maybe 1980.Passport never renewed and never applied for again. Does this mean he is dual nationality and has a right to stay here ?thanks

  80. steve says:

    my wife and I were born in the Uk emigrated to South Africa 1976. our Daughter was born 1981,I registered Her at the British consulate in Johannesburg with in 6 months of her birth,
    Her name was put into my passport. My Daughter now holds a British passport / citizenship.
    Q with reference to the 1979/1983 anomaly can my daughter pass on her citizenship to our Grandson, 2nd generation, who was born in Cape Town 2010, his Father is South African.
    If so how do we go about applying.
    many thanks

  81. Tim says:

    Hi Steve
    It is always best to contact the Citizenship department in the UK.
    Try this e-mail:
    Here is one section from the citizenship section on children which might apply:

    “A child will have an entitlement to be registered under section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 if:
    they were born outside the United Kingdom; or
    they were born after 21 May 2002 outside any of the British overseas territories; and
    they were born to parents, one or both of whom are British citizens by descent; and
    the parent who is British by descent was born to a parent (the child’s grandparent) who was a British citizen otherwise than by descent (or would have been but for their death); and
    the parent who is British by descent lived in the United Kingdom at any time before the child’s birth for a continuous period of three years*; and
    during the period they were living in the United Kingdom the parent was not absent for more than 270 days; and
    the application is made before the child’s 18th birthday.”

  82. Manish Parikh says:

    Hi, I am Manish and am born in India before 1983 & my mother have been born in Uganda in 1947 She is having British subject Nationality and her name was included in my Grandmother’s passport. My Grandparents was having British Subject Nationality. My mother was lost that passport so any chances for me to apply for British Citizenship by Double Descent or Descent.

  83. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure of the rules of those whose mothers are born outside the UK but my mum was born in the UK and now resides in Australia where I was born before 1983. I recently applied for citizenship through my mum and it said on the form that they needed her expired passport which she was unable to find. I was told for her to ask the passport people (Think this is who she rang) about this and was informed should be fine if use new one though they are not linked to UKBA. Someone else said to write a note saying what the passport people said on my application. I sent in a verified copy of her newer passport and birth certificate and was recently accepted for citizenship.

  84. Leonie says:

    Hi, I am 13 and i was born in uk 29/12/99. my mum is Jamaican but my father was born in Birmingham and grew up in Sheffield. I was wondering if i am automatically a British citizen as my mum and dad were never married and he is now a PR of Canada. although my mum has indefinite leaf to remain in the uk, would she have to nationalise me as Jamaican high commission are refusing me to take their nationality as i wasn’t born in Jamaica nor have i been there. my mum doesn’t really have alot of money to waste on getting me nationalised and i do not have a passport at the moment meaning i am missing out on many school trips.

  85. Tim says:

    Leonie, here is the paragraph from the British government website about your right to British citizenship:

    If you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, you are a British citizen if at the time of your birth one of your parents was:
    a British citizen; or
    legally settled in the UK.

    You can find all the information for applying for your passport from their website:

  86. David Patient says:

    I’m hoping you can help me…I was born 1961 in Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia] while it was still a British colony. I was adopted by two British citizens [my father was a British Civil servant working for the British GVT in Northern Rhodesia]. At 16 I needed to get my own passport and was informed by my parents that I was not allowed to become a British citizen due to my adoption, despite having been born in a Colony and being adopted within the British legal system. A Zambian passport was arranged for me and up until 1995, when I became a South African citizen, I travels as a Zambian. It makes no sense to me that I am not eligible to claim my British citizenship and I have read a number of documents put out by the British government but cannot find an answer…. could you possibly shed some light on this for me please as logic would dictate that I am a British subject regardless as to my adoption.

  87. David Nedd says:

    My dad, became a British Citizen through his dad who was born in Montserrat.

    I am now 28 years of age, born in Antigua W.I.

    Unlike my dad, I’ve never personally obtained a British Passport therefore for me, living and working there would not be possible until (if) I too can attain British Citizenship.

    Please advice accordingly.

  88. jberry says:

    My question is this: both my parents are british, I was born in canada in 1979 they married in 74-i am applying for a uk passport and wondering what form I need, I am applying through descent of my father,my dad recently passed saway-the documents I have are
    -their marriage license
    My dads very first passport
    My long form birth certificate
    My dads long form birth certificate
    I seem to only find the apply through descent of mothert form which I can’t use since I was born in 79 so what form do I use to go through my dad?also does will the documentation I have be enough?how hard will this be for me?thanks

  89. Sarawak says:

    I am trying to find out whether I should apply for a British passport or apply for british citizenship by descent.
    My grandparents came from China to live in Sarawak.
    Both my parentswere born in Sarawak in 1925 and had British citizenship on their birth certificates.
    I was born in 1957 and had British citizen on my birth certificate too. At that time Sarawak was a British colony.
    In 1963, Sarawak became part of Malaysia. and my parents and I took up Malaysian citizenship.We live in Sarawak all this while.
    My question is because my parents were british citizens and I too was born british citizen in British colony,do I apply for a British passport directly or apply for citizen by descent first?
    Any advice in view of new changes in Home office requirements.

  90. tarryn says:

    Good evening,

    I am making an query for my husband and myself. He currently has a 5 year ancestral visa and I have a spousal visa which expires in November 2015.( this was done through his grandfather) We also have a daughter, she was born in England, but not seen as a British citizen. However we have just come across some information, and wanted to find out if we can qualify for this. His mom is a British citizen,she was born in Rhodesia in 1960 and was registered British. My husband was born in South Africa on the 22/5/1981, does this mean he can register as a British citizen.

  91. How much should I pay with form UKM? 80 pounds or 753 pounds or both for those born before 1983 to British mother.

  92. Hello Britishbydescent, I am a Jamaican national born 1982. Both my parents are Jamaican, my father was born in 1945 and my mother 1952. Is it correct to say that I am a British Subject? When making the UKM application, what is this “Documentary evidence that proves that I would have been a citizen of the UK&C had the law been different”? Also, my mother does not have a certificate of naturalisation or was ever registered as a UK&C nor does she have an expired UK&C passport, can I still make the application if I am otherwise eligible?

  93. I was in the UK to visit famliy for Xmas. My uncle put us up for 2 week my wife and I have never left south africa. My mother was born in the UK but came to south africa when she was 5 years old. She past away when I was 8 years old. When I was 10 my grand parents moved back to the UK with my 2 young antiy’s we lost contact over the years dew 2 us moving a lot with my Dad (a single father rasining 2 young son’s). I got a msg on facebook from a lady doing a famliy tree. Saying she was my mother antiy. Which started a search from my side to find my lost famliy (27 year’s) I had so much fun doing all the research and my holiday I what to move to the UK. My wife and I agreed but I left all my paper work in south africa I only had a vesa in my passport so busy now with the UKM form (lucky my uncle has his own bussnise he has free time to get documents that I need) having a law office here do it for me so I don’t have to go back to sort it out there ( or staying the 3 to 6 weeks there). Thanks for help and coments. I reed all the storys of the people I wish them luck as I hope I can get citizanship.

  94. Gina says:

    Hi: My mother was born in England and emigrated to the US after meeting and marrying my father. She never gave up her British citizenship and never ever considered becoming an American citizen. Green card only. I spent most of my childhood in England. Very large family there and a very small family in the states on my father’s side. My mother did not apply for UK citizenship for us before we turned 18. When I turned 21 in 1982 I tried to this but was denied. We were devastated (and angry). I knew children in the US born to British fathers who had absolutely no connection to Britain other than that…no family there nor had they ever been but got automatic citizenship. I travel to England yearly and by chance checked the laws again when I returned in 2012. I never expected them to have changed. Long story short…I sent my application to the Liverpool Home Office Branch end of October 2013. I received an email this past Monday that a decision has been made and a letter was sent out on 19th January. Wish me luck! I still am hoping for the best but am gearing myself up for disappointment (again). Unlike some of you I have no problem attending a citizenship ceremony and would do so in England. You see, my mother has since died and didn’t live to see this happy occasion but all of her surviving family in England can be there for me. I’ll post a status update when the letter arrives soon.

  95. Gina says:

    Edward Tilanius.,,£80 for this form.

  96. Yes it is £70 or £80 for the form. I was in the UK on an Ancestral Visa through my mum and grandad (I have lots of British rellies), I then married a British Citizen. With my visa due to expire last October I applied through citizenship through my mum. I had some questions with the form (UKBA were hopeless and even though I emailed them about a year ago I never heard a reply.. Hopeless on the phone also). I was going to pay to get some help from someone but glad I didn’t as it would have been a waste of money. I only chose to pay an extra £50 so I could get my local council to check my supporting documents as I was worried about sending them to the UKBA as I have heard stories of things going missing and I did not want my passport or my mums birth certificate going missing. I was then accepted and went to the ceremony, I now have a British Passport to go along with my Australian passport. I still find it weird that if your mother is British you have to do this but if it was my dad I would not have to. Also my brother was born after 1st January 1983 and he would not need to do this even though we have the SAME mum.

  97. Sorry I could not remember the exact cost, Gina probably right LOL and is £80, not £70.

  98. Tarryn says:

    My husband applied at the end of October, is it normal for them to take the £80 at the beginning of the application? How long does it generally take? Thank you!

  99. says:

    THe websit and the company I used. To help me with my application said can take fro 2 weeks to 6 months.

    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

  100. The council who looked at my documents to verify it sent it all off for me including the money I paid. Was told could take up to six months by someone (or read it somewhere) and mine only took about 2 weeks. Was so so quick.

  101. Gina says:

    Tarryn…the home office will not entertain your application without your including the credit card payment with the fee form, which is available on the website.

  102. Sarah Louise Elphick highlights just how ridiculous and unfair the law is regarding the right to citizenship via British mother:

    “I still find it weird that if your mother is British you have to do this but if it was my dad I would not have to. Also my brother was born after 1st January 1983 and he would not need to do this even though we have the SAME mum.”

    Discriminating against those born outside the UK before 1983 to a British mother, doesn’t make sense. As Sarah points out, her brother doesn’t have to register and attend a ceremony, and he has the same mother! This is unjustified discrimination.

    Everyone with a British parent should have the same automatic right to citizenship by descent.

  103. peter says:

    I dont understand what the problem is with getting a passport through the mother ?

    I certainly had no problem when I applied in 1988 or so. Just filled in the forms and got a passport – really simple. Was born in 1971 in a non uk, non commenwealth country – a real breeze, no questions asked. My Father does not hold any UK citizenship – its was only my mother who had UK citezenship.

  104. Pedro says:

    Hi everybody!

    Click to access OS_Guidance_Gp1_11.13.PDF

    In Passport “type 2” it says “Born or adopted before 1 January 1983 (not naturalised or registered)
    Can a eligible but not registered apply for a British Passport?
    If not, to whom does this apply to?


  105. Gina says:

    Peter…I believe there is a distinction in the birth years. I was born in 1960 and wasn’t unable to obtain citizenship unless it was done through my mother before I turned 18. However, the laws have continually progressed and even for you…had you been born when I was you would have been denied.

  106. Gina says:

    Great News! I received my Approval letter today (with all my original documents returned) and was told an Invitation would follow. Anyone know the time frame when I can expect this in the mail? It took approx 11 weeks to the day for my application approval and I did it completely myself using the forms on the website. Also anyone know if I can submit a passport application before this arrives? Thank you!

  107. I would like to get some information regarding my status…my Mom was born in Trinidad in 1946, which was a British colony then…she migrated to the UK in 1972, and was registered as a UK citizen the same year. I was born in Trinidad in 1966, by that time ,Trinidad had gained its independence, and is now one of the Commonwealth countries. I would like to migrate to the UK.Can anyone tell me if I am eligible to apply for British citizenship ” by descent”? And if so, can I make the application on my own, or would it be better for an attorney/solicitor to do so for me?

  108. Jazz says:

    My mother is currently British citizen by descent, i was born in Pakistan in 1978.Can my mother transfer British citizenship to me???????
    Please guide me

  109. Gina says:

    Jazz, my understanding of the law is that citizenship by descent may only be claimed by one generation. However, UK laws are complex so that you might possibly find another means to claim citizenship. Have you looked through the guides on the website?

  110. Rajeev darji says:

    my mother was having british over citizen and now have received British Citizenship in India, i was born before 1983. can i get British Citizenship through my Mothers Nationality. Please guide.

  111. Leanne mason says:

    Hi, my father is British born and bred, I was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1978. We were forced to leave when I was 6 and moved to South Africa as my mother is South African. My daughter was born in 1997 in South Africa and we moved to England when she was 8 years old in 2005. Please can you help me find out which form i need to fill in for her British passport as she would like to start to work soon.

  112. Leanne mason says:

    Re: my previous message i meant to confirm I have a British passport from birth.

  113. Hi I was born in Uganda in 1954 to a Mother Born in UK and father born in Seychelles ( A British Protectorate at the time). My parents divorced in ealry 1960s and I was adopted by my Mother’s second husband an Englishman with a British passport. I was added to my mother’s British passports (I have the passports) and we emigrated to Australia in 1962. I am now an Australian Citizen with an Australian passport. I also have Right of Abode to the UK. I now want to apply for a British passport on my mother’s side and wonder if there’s a reasonably priced company which can help me thorugh the quagmire? I believe I have to apply for Citizenship first up. Thank you – for your amazing site – it’s the only one that makes any sense!

  114. Nikki says:

    Hello, so glad I found this thread as many of you know, this is so confusing. And the UK Border Agency website can be information overload. So, I was born in the USA in 1969 to a British mother. She was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1947. My grandmother claimed the British citizenship for her and her children a few years later I believe. Anyway, I did successfully receive my Irish passport last year based on Irish national law. Cliff note version: She was born on the island of Ireland in 1947 so any children born regardless of their place of birth is considered an Irish citizen. I would very much like to get British citizenship. I am currently living in England with my fiancé. My mother is no longer living but my grandmother is and it would make her very happy, as it would me and my fiancé, if I could get / claim British citizenship via my mother. Can someone please direct me to the correct steps? Am I eligible for British Citizenship via my mother? Thank you in advance.

  115. michael williams says:

    OMG – Please someone help me !!! What the hell is going on, Talk about confusing, Talk about 15 months of going round and round in circles, I can’t deal with this any more, Its my cry for help, My father was an American in the air force, married to mother who was born and raised in the UK by her mother and father both born here in the UK too, I was born in 1972 on an American air base, and in October 1974 my mother left my farther and came back to England, There are no records of this as my mother was the subject of a brutal and abusive marriage, My mother married my father in 1970 in the UK. I had no passport and my mother recalls we came straight through the airport assisted by the USAF at heathrow as my mother was in a bad way and she was shipped directly to a hospital. She got a divorce in 1980 and it also stated that I was to remain in the country until such time I could make up my own mind whether I want to stay here or go to America, well as I was in the care system and the time passed this was forgotten about, As I grew up I went through the care system and finally left school, got my national insurance number and started work, at 19 passed my driving test, had a few relationships that ended, I have 4 children, eldest is 22 now, I’m currently a single dad with a 6 year old daughter, the problem started 15 months when I went to go back to work as she was now in full time school, I was asked to produce my birth certificate, I received a letter from my work asking me for a passport, I have never had one as i’ve never wanted to go out the country, and thats when the bomb dropped, i have an american birth certificate, now i’m suddenly plunged into a life of nothing, I can’t work because i’m not a british citizen, I knew nothing about this and up until 2008 had worked all my life, paying my taxes, never had I been asked to prove i’m british, I can’t even get married, If I’m not entitled to work, i’m not entitled to benefits, I can’t feed my daughter.I applied for british citizenship on the grounds that I am by decent, Unfortunately it was refused because in 2008 I declare myself bankrupt as I had to give up work to take care of my disabled partner at the time and her child, and our child to be, the UKBA said it was bad character and that even though I was released from bankruptcy in 2009 the would not consider me for 10 years, Please someone shed some light, My MP has questioned the UKBA about this and both times said there’s nothing they can do, I have to wait 10 years to pass, I’m on the verge of committing criminal activities just to feed my child. I really need someone to shed some light on who I am ??? 07447 095359 Michael

  116. Gillian says:

    I was born in the US in 1969 to a British mother. We moved to Canada shortly after my birth and we both became Canadian citizens in 1982. She has never renounced her British citizenship but has not held a British passport in several decades. I would like to register as a British citizen (from Canada) via form UKM – am I eligible? Also, I am confused as to the required fees, as the UKBA website states that the fee as of April 2013 for “Nationality Registration adult/ other” is £753 with an “additional £80 included to cover the ceremony fee”. This is all listed under the general heading ‘In Country’ and I would be applying from out of the country, however the only fee listings under the heading ‘Out Of Country’ relate to visas. Can anyone shed any light on this? Most people on this thread seem to report paying only the £80 ceremony fee, is that because they are applying to register from within the UK? Just whom is the UKBA sticking with this exorbitant £753 fee?

  117. says:

    I’m in South africa doing my birth registration. Only paid the 80 pounds. And I filled in the UK form but they say its easier if u have family or friends in the UK u send them the form and they post it in the UK to the address in liverpool.
    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

  118. Tim says:

    Hi Gillian
    I applied for my registration through the Washington DC embassy here in the USA and everything could not have gone more smoothly. I completed the UKM form online (you are guided all the way as to what to do), you then print it off and courier it to your Canadian embassy with the fee (they provide a credit card form if you wish to pay that way) and they will direct you from then on. You will need to confirm which office in Canada deals directly with citizenship applications, but I know Ottawa is the main embassy, with consulates in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.

    If you click on this link to the UK website you will find all the information about registering.
    and here is the link to the GUIDE:

    Click to access Guide_UKM_January_2014.pdf

    There is an e-mail address at the very end of section 2 (the line before section 3 starts) where you can write for help. (I constantly e-mailed for advice). Don’t forget that the birth registration fee and the ceremony fee do not include your passport fee, which you have to apply for and pay for once you have your birth registration document. (and also and here is the fee link:

    All this was handled very efficiently by the Washington DC embassy when I applied and I attended the ceremony at the British Consulate in New York, since that was the nearest to my home here. At the ceremony they give you your citizenship certificate and details of then applying for your passport. IF I remember they give you a certified copy to include with your application. The whole process took about three to four months, since the embassy do send your application documents to the UK for processing. By the way, for safety and security reasons you send all your application documents to the embassy using a courier and you pay those fees as well. Hope this is of help.

    For The South African writer, I used the British Embassy in Pretoria and that was also very safe and efficient. I wouldn’t be sending valuable documents all over the world to save some time or money. If you are near Pretoria use them. It is a question of patience when doing this type of application.

  119. Kevin says:


    Please could someone give me some advice….My father was born in Mauritius in 1948 (Mauritius was a British Colony) and travelled with his British passport to South Africa in 1969. He married my South African mother and I was born in 1972. I called the UK Home office for advice and they told me that my father could apply for a renewal of his old blue/black British passport. Based on this could I apply for a British passport through my father? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kevin

  120. Robyn says:

    Hi there, Please can someone help as after reading all of these comments, i still feel confused. my father is a South African born in 1948 to a British mother. He currently still lives in South Africa and he would now like to apply for a British Passport through decent on the basis that his mother was British. Although she has now passed away, he still holds her original British birth certificate and her passport. However, it is very unclear as to whether he can apply directly for a passport from South Africa or will he need to apply through form UKM first? It would be ideal if he could apply for the passport straight away, but i need confirmation on exactly it is that he is eligible to do? Please can someone help! iv been trying to ask the Passports Office in the UK and they cannot seem to fully confirm to me. Once I know its possible to apply for the passport directly, I will start the application, but i need to know if he definitely doesn’t need to complete the form UKM first. please advise.. Thanks you so much!

  121. Tim says:

    Robyn, I am from South Africa originally and have explained everything in the paragraph to Gillian above. Your father needs to apply through the British High Commission in Pretoria (the consulates in the other cities do not handle citizenship). It is a very simple process. He must first complete the UKM registration application to have his birth registered in the UK. Once that is approved he will be called to a Citizenship ceremony in the closest consulate to where he lives. At the ceremony he will be given his birth registration certificate and a certified copy which he will then use to apply for his passport. This whole process can take from three to six months. The fees and application links are in the paragraph above addressed to Gillian. Here are the requirements when born of a British mother before 1983.
    You can follow all the links from the British website in South Africa:
    and here is the site when born of a British mother before 1983:

  122. Tarryn says:

    Just need some advice, my husbands application got refused, and we were wondering if we should appeal the decision? He was born in South Africa in 1981, his mom was born in Zimbabwe in 1960, and I believe Zimbabwe was still a British colony They therefore say the reason for refused application is because she was born outside the Uk and colonies, and would have held CUKC status “by descent” at the time of my husband’s birth. What can we do know, should we appeal ? Thank you

  123. Tim says:

    The only suggestion I can make is to question whether your husband’s mother had British parents. I believe the British government still issues ancestral visas based on one’s grandparents being British, but you would have to check with them. You can e-mail for help or check their website

  124. Marly says:

    Wow just from reading this , I understand more about the laws that I have been reading on the border agency website , good job
    I was born in Jamaica 1975 to British mother and I am currently a Jamaican citizen. My dad was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada and is now a Canadian Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009
    You cannot get to speak with the border agency and if you ever do they hurry you off the phone, so there is no way to clarify if this is the correct form or you are just wasting your time. I have submitted my form and still unable to speak to anyone. It is extremely annoying.
    Because the law is complex I find that the solicitors too are giving different answers to the same questions and leaving me more and more confused
    When making enquiries, I am currently applying for citizenship via the UKM form as advised
    Do you think this is the way forward for me

  125. Robyn says:

    Hi there,

    Further to my query the other day regarding questioning my fathers who resides in South Africa the right to applying for a passport or citizenship from being born from a British mother abroad , I have just been informed by HM Passports offices that not only is my father not eligible to apply directly for a passport because his mother was British and not his father, but that he is also not eligible to apply for citizenship through form UKM.. This seems crazy! And it’s totally unfair, but apparently that is the law and eventhough his mother was British and born in Britain – he has no claim to be British.. The only way he would be able to gain citizenship is by actually living in the UK on an Ancestoral Visa and then applying for Indefinate Leave to Remain.. Surely this can’t be right!? Maybe I’m just in denial? Anyway, if anyone can confirm that this has been their experience too or maybe it hasn’t been and for some reason the advice I was given is wrong – please reply to this!

  126. Robyn says:

    Tim, you are an absolute legend. Thank you for taking the time to answer me! This has been really helpful and I will follow all of your advice. If I could steal you for one more piece of advice.. I see you pasted the fee’s requirements onto Gillian’s inquiry, however I just wanted to confirm the cost of UKM if you knew it at all. On the advice list – it is quite unclear as to weather the cost for UKM is £80 or £753. Obviously there is a large discrepancy here and so just wanted to confirm what fee you had paid? Again, thank you very much for your advice, it has been most helpful. Here is the fee’s list I am referring to for UKM:

  127. Sarah says:

    Hi Robyn,

    I had an Ancestral Visa whilst living in the UK and then I decided to get my British Citizenship as I was still living in the UK having married a English man. I decided that the easiest and cheapest way was to apply using the UKM form as my mum even though she lives in Oz now was born in the UK. I had some questions for the people dealing with this but they were most unhelpful (they even did not respond to my complaints email about their service or lack off). I worked it out (by the time I did the form they had changed some of it slightly which made it easier) and without help, some companies were going to charge more then £500 to help and I then sent off the form last year. It was £80 plus I paid an extra £50 to my local borough in London as I wanted them to certify my documents for me so that I would not need to send mine or my mums documents in (had heard of docs getting lost). They sent in my form for me and I thought it would take months to come back but I think it was less then a month for me. I then had my ceremony in July and got my British Citizenship certificate. I now have a British (had to do an interview for this one) and an Australian one. I believe that form UKM used to be much more expensive years ago but has gone right down. I still believe it is highly unfair that my brother would not need to do this because of the year he was born but both myself and my sister have to. Also my uncle (born in England also) has a daughter and because he is male then my cousin would not need to do all this either. It is unfair that it is different rules depending on age and which parent was born in the UK.


  128. Sarah says:

    I emailed and they were hopeless 🙂

    Ancestral Visas are based on grandparents (at least one) being British. I applied for mine in 2008 and I did it through my mum and my Grandad (mums dad) who were both born in the UK. My nana (mums mum) is also British. Expired last Oct and that is why I did the UKM form, much easier and cheaper then ILR or Naturalisation.

  129. Robyn says:

    Thank you Sarah. Very helpful indeed!

    Sometimes I wonder if the reason the authorities do not give direct and clear advice regarding passports/nationality inquiries etc. is because they need to be vague in order to keep the industry lucrative – ie. If they were straight forward with what we needed to do, how would an Immigration Lawyer make any money?

    Anyway, Thank you again and have a good day!

  130. No worries 🙂 Hope you get it all sorted

    You are probably right. The first email I sent them was in Jan 2013, absolutely no reply. I also rang them which was unhelpful (when I could finally get through on a number that worked). I also went down to Croydon in London (not far from where I live otherwise would not have gone there) as the Home Office have a base there. I waited for over an hr and they could not help with form UKM which was a waste of time. I am so glad that I did not waste any money on immigration lawyers, the money was better spent elsewhere 🙂 Waste on time. Jan 2013 and still no response or to my follow up emails and complaint emails not that I need them anymore.

    I have just realised that sometimes my comments come up as Sarah and some come up as Sarah Louise Elphick lol 🙂

  131. When I wrote about the interview above I missed out that it was for my British passport. Sorry if it confused anyone.

  132. Tim says:

    Hi Robin. I paid the 753 pounds plus the extra 80 pounds for the citizenship ceremony.
    I wish you all great success since I had no problems dealing with the various offices through e-mails or from the telephone service. I am sorry to hear of the hassles some of you have experienced.

  133. Tim says:

    Hi Robin

    I have to correct my previous comment to you. I paid 540 pounds plus the eighty pounds for the ceremony. I then paid an additional sixty nine pounds (in 2010) for the passport application. I just looked up my files and the process took three months for the registration application and ceremony and two months to receiving my passport from date of application.

  134. Michael says:

    Hello. First of all, thanks for all the information on this site! I had no idea I could – potentially – apply for citizenship.

    My story; I’m a New Zealand citizen born in 1981. My mother was born in Scotland (moved to NZ when she was two) and has a British passport. I had the right to abode certificate in my passport and lived in London over ten years ago, however that passport has now expired and with it the right to abode.

    1) Can I now apply for British citizenship by decent?
    2) If I’m granted citizenship by decent, does this entitle me to work in other EU countries?
    3) I’m currently living in China. Do you know if you have to be in your home country to apply?


  135. Michael says:

    OK. Just to add to my previous post. I’ll only be in China for the next three months, so I guess that is too little time to send my passport away for processing. Am I able to apply while in London on a tourist visa? Or another option would be to apply for the right to abode again, move to the UK and then apply for citizenship by descent. Thanks for your time.

  136. Hi Michael,

    I am not 100% with answers to all your questions but I am living in the UK at the moment. I was here on an Ancestral Visa (applied for in Australia) and I applied for my British citizenship last year using form UKM whilst living in the UK. I don’t know if I would risk doing it if you are only going to be in China for the next three months. My citizenship approval came fairly quickly but not sure if that is because I am living here and it could take three months or longer I have heard. Not sure if you can apply whilst on a tourist visa?? Am assuming you have Scottish grandparents and that you would be able to get an Ancestral Visa through them. I also think you can apply for the UKM citizenship whilst back in NZ. It looks like you can apply for British citizenship through descent like myself. I was born in 1980 in Australia to an English born mother. Once I was granted citizenship I applied for a British Passport and I could work in other EU countries.

  137. Tim says:

    I would like to clear up some confusion on British citizenship I find cropping up in questions all the time. Before one can apply for a British PASSPORT based on the fact that one’s MOTHER is/was British (you need an official certified copy of her BIRTH certificate obtained easily online at, one FIRST needs to register ones birth using the UKM form. I cannot confirm all the documents they will require from each individual, but in my case, since my Mother was born in Britain, I only had to submit a certifiied copy of my Mother’s birth certificate, along with my current foreign passport and my full birth certificate. One needs to read and understand clearly the conditions required to qualify (see at this link):

    Once you have registered and attended a Citizenship Ceremony where one receives one’s registration certificate, so becoming a British citizen, can one only then apply for a British passport. As I mentioned before, the whole process can take up to six months.

  138. Anonymous says:

    Can a child of a UK citizen by descent be entitled to the Right of Abode?

  139. jill says:

    Can anyone tell me as of April 6, 2014 if i have to pay to register as a UK citizen born before 1983 to an English mother? the only info I can find regarding the cost is 900 Sterling which seems outrageous?? if anyone has any recent experience on this front i would be very grateful.
    Thank you. J

  140. Hi Jill,

    I paid either £70 or £80 (I always forget which one) to register using the UKM form (I was born before January 1983 in Oz to an English mother). I paid an extra £50 to my local council (I live in UK) so that they could verify my documents and send it off for me.

    Not sure where you got £900 which is certainly outrageous.

    I did this last year, applied in March or April 2013 and have not heard of any changes. I found this on the web for the prices from the 6th of April 2014 which make me think I paid £80:

    Hope that this helps

    I still believe that the whole process is unfair, if only I was born later then I was. Unfair rule to discriminate against some people depending on age and gender of their parent.


  141. Tim says:

    The fees have increased from the 6th April 2014 and for Registration are now 823 pounds. The citizenship fees remains at 80 pounds and the passport fee for a 32 page passport is 72.50 pounds and a 48 page passport is 85.58 pounds.

  142. Gillian says:

    I, too, am completely confused as to the TRUE total cost of application form UKM and attendant ceremony fee (assuming you are approved). the actual total cost that people are out of pocket on this seems to vary quite arbitrarily. Anyone with information that can clear up the discrepancy would be deeply appreciated. Tim’s previous comments clearly indicate that he paid the full nut (£753 + the £80 ceremony fee) as have others on this board. As of 2 days ago, £753 has become £823…nice of them to leave that ceremony fee unchanged, though. Sarah states that she paid the relatively nominal £80 ceremony fee alone, as have others on this board. Sarah provides a link above to the new Home Office document including the fee schedule as of April 6, 2014, although in the table provided it curiously qualifies the ‘Total Fee Payable’ for form UKM of £80 as comprising “ceremony fee only”, which certainly implies that there is another portion of fee payable for the actual application to register. The previous line in the table refers to fees for various other types of Citizenship Registration Applications, yet strangely omits ‘UKM’ from that list. Is the critical difference here one of country of current residence from which one applies? I live in Canada; if I were to travel to the UK and submit my application from within the country while I am visiting, would that mean that I did not have to pay the application fee of £823, but only the ceremony fee of £80? Said ceremony obviously needing to be attended at a later date, in Canada. Would the Home Office be satisfied to make an official copy of my passport to be submitted with my application? Obviously surrendering my actual passport (as it seems I must do if I apply from outside the country) would then make returning to Canada after my visit rather tricky. I would only be planning to stay for a couple of weeks, and I am sure that, even from within the country, a form UKM application would take much longer to process. My original post of March 8 touched upon the confusion in the old fee schedule (Home Office/UK Border Agency Fees from April 2013…now redundant and replaced with the new fee table, link provided by Sarah immediately above) as to an implied difference between fees payable for applications made ‘In Country vs.Out of Country’ – the Home Office seems to no longer be specifying that distinction in their new fee table, and yet the underlying confusion remains. In reading this board, it becomes clear that some people are charged the ceremony fee alone, and others get to pay the (ever increasing) exorbitant registration fee as well…why is that? Anyone got any answers? As I said, any help sorting out this conundrum would be greatly appreciated. Thanks people!

  143. Gina says:

    If you were born to a British mother as was I (and she maintained her UK citizenship ) before 1983 the cost of citizenship registration for me in 2013 was 80 pounds. I am now a UK citizen residing in the USA. I am preparing to submit my passport application today as I just had my citizenship ceremony last week. My application cost is 102.86 pounds which include all return secured mailing fees.

  144. Tim says:

    I must jump in here again and hopefully some clarity will prevail. It does not matter from where you apply. I am residing in the USA but was born in South Africa. In addition to the set fees, all I had to pay extra were the courier fees for the various applications and documents. As a child born of a British mother overseas before 1983, one has to FIRST register your birth, which is the UKM form. When the law changed in 2009, I started the process to claim my birth right. At the time a fee was imposed of 540 pounds PLUS the 80 pounds for the ceremony. I paid those amounts for which I have receipts in front of me. My application went through the British Embassy in Washington DC and was accepted in April of 2010. I received notification from the embassy that my application had been successful and in May I attended my citizenship ceremony at the British Consulate in New York in May 2010 (the one nearest to where I live). At the ceremony you are given your Registration Certificate PLUS a certified copy which has to accompany your PASSPORT application Form C1. I believe I paid 69 British pounds passport fee (I only have the dollar amount I paid). I received my passport in June of 2010. However, I think it was in 2011 the British Government dropped the fee. and I immediately wrote for a refund but received this reply on the 18th July 2011, “My colleague at the British Consulate-General New York kindly forwarded me your enquiry. Unfortunately, UKBA are not issuing refunds for UKM’s retrospectively. At the time of application there was a fee.”
    I assume therefore that they have decided to re-impose a fee which now stands, as of the 6th April, at 823 pounds, with the ceremony fee still 80 pounds. As I mentioned above, the current passport fee is now 72.50 pounds for a standard passport.

  145. Gillian says:

    Thanks very much Tim for the clarification; I had not realized that the UK gov’t had at any time suspended the application fee for UKM. As to whether or not they have reinstated the fee (sometime in 2012 or 2013?) which would now stand at £823, I am still not entirely certain. The new fee schedule document is somewhat ambiguous as I have outlined above. All other citizenship registration application forms (UKM not among them) are clearly listed as requiring the £823 fee, but the only reference to application via form UKM is itemized on a separate line as “Section 4C registration (ceremony fee only)” at £80. I would tend to conclude that only the ceremony fee now applies to applications via form UKM, as opposed to applications to register citizenship that require the use of other forms due to differing circumstances. Last years fee schedule (from April 2013 to April 6,2014) somewhat confusingly lumped together ALL “Nationality Registrations-adult” as costing £753, with no specification as to which form one was using to apply. Dare I say the mystery is solved? Thanks again Tim for shedding some light on the subject…though I would love to hear from anyone who has had to pay the full registration fee & ceremony fee for a UKM application submitted after 2011, as this might put the lie to my new working theory that only the £80 ceremony fee is now required!

  146. Gina says:

    My UKM application was submitted in December and approved in February. Neither of my referees were contacted by the Home Office. One was a British friend with a UK passport and the other a professional colleague in USA. I agree there should be no need for us to provide referees and I bet mine were not even validated. I believe this requirement will eventually be removed for those of us who qualify automatically by descent to British mothers.

  147. Tim says:

    Yes, the law is very complicated but here is a bit more to clarify the situation.
    Section 4C of the 1981 British Nationality Act deals with all claims based on “Acquisition by registration: certain persons born between 1961 and 1983”. This was amended in 2009 to include children born of British mothers.
    Referring to the government document
    7.2 Application forms
    7.2.1 An application should normally be made on Form UKM.

    So this form UKM applies to the registration.
    Referring to the new fees:
    it shows (with a little No. 1) that the 823 pounds INCLUDES the 80 pounds ceremony fee.

  148. This is my reply from 1st Contact Visas. I did not end up using them in the end. It says about the £80 and the cost of a passport. The only extra charge was if they helped me but I did not use them:

    1st Contact Visas is uniquely placed to advise and represent you in this application. As an immigration agency we have been in operation for over ten years and have assisted thousands of individuals to migrate all around the world.

    Since 13 January 2010 a person who has a British mother has had the right to register as a British citizen under section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 if he or she would have become a British citizen at birth had women been able to pass on citizenship in the same way as men.

    Applications can take at least 3 months to approve. (You are eligible to submit a certified copy of your passport)

    The citizenship you will acquire:

    All successful applicants will become British citizens by descent. As a British citizen by descent you will not normally be able to pass on British citizenship to any children born outside British territory.

    Each applicant must meet the ‘Good character requirement’ and be free of convictions.


    Please note that your application must be supported by two referees. (We will supply the referee form/page) Each must have known you personally (rather than just in a professional capacity) for at least 3 years:

    One referee should be a person of professional standing eg Doctor, Minister of religion, Civil servant, or a member of a professional body for example: Accountant or Solicitor. The other must be a holder of a British passport.

    Both should declare that:

    – They are aged 25 or over
    – They are not a relative
    – They are not employed by the Home Office
    – They have not been convicted of an imprisonable offence during the last 10 years and the sentence is not spent
    – They have known the applicant personally for more than 3 years
    – They are willing to give full details of their knowledge of the applicant
    – They will advise the Home Office of any reason why the applicant should not be naturalised

    Finally, the British Government has no restriction with regard to dual passports and neither does Australia, and therefore you would be allowed to obtain Dual Nationality.

    The application process

    The process would require you to apply to register as a British Citizen first, when you have been considered you will receive an invitation to attend a citizenship ceremony. You will obtain British Nationality once you have attended the ceremony and taken the oath. At this stage you will acquire a certificate of Registration as a British Citizen. Once you have this you will be allowed to apply for a British Passport.

    Application Costs and our service:

    The fees quoted below include professional guidance in the preparation and submission of your application. 1st Contact will provide you with specific instructions as to the documentation required and templates for any references or letters which you will need to submit. On receipt of your documentation your application will be case worked by your 1st Contact dedicated consultant. If any additional documentation is required this will be requested at this stage. 1st Contact will only submit an application once we are satisfied that all requirements of the relevant legislation have been met and the application is likely to succeed.

    We charge a representative fee of £500, please note that our fee excludes the government fee of £80 per person for registration (prior to November 2010 this was £500) – which is payable directly to the Home office.

    Once your application is approved you will be required attend a citizenship ceremony. Once complete you can apply for a British passport which is an extra £72.

  149. This was from last year, I am interested to know if it has gone up which would be very strange. It should be the same price no matter where someone lives.

  150. From the UK GOV site:
    UKM Section 4C registration (ceremony fee only) £80

    Click to access Master_Fees_Leaflet_Apr_2014.pdf

  151. Gillian says:


    the final link you included in your last reply entitled “Fees Table April 2014” is in the same format as the fee schedule of April 2013 that I referred to earlier, in that it specifies the larger fee (now £823)
    charged for ALL Nationality (Citizenship) Registration applications, regardless of one’s circumstances and which particular form would apply. The link britishbydescent provided above (and earlier by Sarah) entitled “Master Fees Leaflet Apr. 2014” sets out a differentiation between Citizenship Registration applications made using forms B(OS), B(OTA), RS1, S1, S2, S3, etc in which cases I believe they mean (as you say) for the £80 ceremony fee to be INCLUDED in the £823 registration fee, and applications made using form UKM (as we are solely concerned with in this forum) for which it would seem they have rescinded the exorbitant application fee and are charging the £80 ceremony fee alone, as of sometime in 2011, as you reported. This seems to make sense to me as an explanation for why some people have reported paying the whole great whack (as you had to) and some only the fairly reasonable ceremony fee. Why they continue to word the “Fees Table” document in such a non-specific manner and still, perplexingly, list those Nationality applications under the general heading of “Applications made within the UK” (obviously, many of these applications are made from OUTSIDE the UK, yet listing them under this heading implies an inherent distinction that is never resolved in the document) is still a mystery to me. Clearly there is some contradiction, or at least ambiguity, in the information relating to fees specific to form UKM applications when you compare these two documents, but I am satisfied enough at this point that the larger fee continues to be suspended for UKM and ONLY the £80 ceremony fee applies. I would still be interested in hearing from anyone who has specific experience of this NOT being the case ie. having had to pay BOTH fees on a UKM application filed during/after 2011. Thanks again for your help.

  152. Gina says:

    Has anyone uploaded the new on-line overseas passport application which requires an on-line submission with credit card payment? I did so yesterday and the application only asked that I provide my citizenship registration # with date and place of registration. It did not ask to submit the extra certified copy which the NY Consulate gave me at my ceremony last week. Only documents requested are applicant’s unexpired passport, copy of photo page of countersignatory’s passport, and the signature page for applicant and counter signatory with photos. Is it only with the new on-line registration that certified copies of Citizenship Registration are no longer needed? If so, I am surprised the Consulate didn’t know this as I was told I would need it for my passport. Any advice?

  153. Tim says:

    Hi Gillian, I found this statement on a Wikipedia site concerning British immigration law. I can’t verify that it is correct but assume from all our searching that it ties in with the latest fees chart indicating that the UKM form fee is 80.00 pounds. It states. “As of 22 Nov 2010, there is no longer an application fee (of £540). Applicants do however still have to pay £80 for the citizenship ceremony.”

    Gina: in comment to the online passport application, I can only say that as things move forward and technology overtakes the system, that they will cross reference your registration # with their records. I am sure if they require any documents they will ask you for them. When I applied for my passport, all original documents were returned within a few weeks.

  154. jill says:

    the whole issue of fees seems to be deliberately ambiguous… and odd that the forms don’t have specific details of costs provided. could anyone fill me in as to why applicants are asked to provide details of their tax number and national insurance number? if i am entitled to the citizenship through right of birth then these questions should have nothing to do with the application?

  155. Gina says:

    Thank you, Tim!

  156. craig says:

    I was born 1975, to Scottish Parents whilst my father was serving in Germany. My mother gave birth to me in a military hospital on german soil, I travelled to uk under my mums passport in 1975 (6months) after I was born. does this mean I have to pay to be registered as a british citizen

  157. asma waka says:

    I am a british citizen my son was born in the uk. I moved to tanzania a couple of yeara ago i had a daughter my daughter was boen in tanzania i travelled with her to uk 2 years ago with a tanzanian passport.
    I would like to make for her a british passport can i do that what documents would i need my daughter was born in 2010 pls advice me as i am planning to travel soon

  158. aanonymous says:

    Hi,was born in jamaica 1952 when it was being ran under the british law how do i claim residence in the uk.

  159. lorna says:

    hi all, there is a wealth of information provided here. tim, as you appear to be exceptionally knowledgeable about the matter of british citizenship i wonder if you can enlighten me about the appropriate process I should undertake to register as a BC. i was born in canada in 1963 to a british mother (by birth) and a father born in sicily but whose citizenship on my birth certificate is indicated as british. i am unable to get any documentation on my father — my parents divorced soon after i was born, i have had no contact with him and he died more than twenty years ago. i do have a notarized copy of my mother’s certified copy of an entry of birth. any suggestions on where i should begin?

  160. Tim says:

    Thanks Lorna for the compliment. However it is still often very confusing. I suggest you go to this link and follow the directions:

    As I recall, since my Mother was born in Britian, I did not need any of my Father’s documentation. But you do need these “Good character” references unfortunately. I am not totally sure what happened with the qualifying requirements for Canada over the years since the law has changed so much, but I grew up in South Africa and we left the Commowealth and then rejoined! But at the end of the day, the qualifying factor for you is the same as I faced “You were born oversees of a British mother before 1983.” and I don’t think it matters where you were born.

    Best wishes for a successful application.

  161. doug says:

    Hi Tim,
    I have read the comments above, and I’m still a little concerned about my matter at hand.
    “I never married my daughters mother” but both my daughter and I would like to get her a British Passport. My daughter was born In South Africa.
    Could You please advise, as this is very important to us both.

  162. Tim says:


    If I interpret your comment above correctly, your daughter was born out of wedlock. This is a different issue where the child of a British father at this moment in time has no rights to British citizenship, but the bill to change that situation is currently waiting Royal Assent. Here is the website explaining what happened in Parliament last week:
    And to be kept uptodate with that specific law you can contact Tabitha Sprague on her email and join her blog on:

    Hope this will be of help. Best wishes

  163. 2IC to Wife says:

    To Any and All you helpful Souls.

    I have been trying to help my wife get some sort of clarity in what She can and what She cant apply for, below is a brief summary of her circumstances and situation, your advice towards to CORRECT, decisive and direct way forward will be greatly appreciated. She (WE) trying to get over to the UK now below is a brief summary of how’s it is now and I would LOVE to give her some good news just to make her year and of course score myself brownie points:
    Wife: born SA after 1983, SA citizen.
    Mother: born Germany, RAF military airbase while father was in the Crown Service, Rhodesian/SA citizen, recently got UK citizenship, via ancestral visa route – currently residing in the UK.
    Aunt: UK Citizen, Born UK – while father was in the Crown Service – since passed on.
    Grandmother: UK citizen, Born Rhodesia – currently residing in the UK.
    Grandfather: UK citizen, Born Rhodesia, flew for RAF – retired Rhodesia – since passed on.
    Based on the above what is the quickest and most afforfable route to get into the UK??????
    Right now I’ve personally been playing my favourite game of Slow-itaire (Sooo love waiting games) with my naturalisation application and topping that off, a 3-way hate triangle between myself, the Greek Consuate and DHA-South Africa, hold on…. Wait for it… You guessed it… Nothing!! Yet!!

  164. Tim says:

    To “2IC to Wife”

    Firstly, you do not mention what citizenship you hold? Secondly, the only family members that matter in any application are one’s spouse, parents and/or grandparents. The aunt’s situation has no bearing. Please clarify.

    I am also not certain whether her mother can hand down citizenship rights to her child from her route of acquiring such. Here is the basic law: A child born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 automatically acquires British citizenship by descent if either parent is a British citizen other than by descent at the time of the birth.

    Also: Children born overseas to parents on Crown Service are normally granted British citizenship otherwise than by descent, so their status is the same as it would have been had they been born in the UK.

    The other option is that your wife can claim an ancestral visa based on her grandparent/s being British. But there are so many variations in your wife’s family acquiring their citizenship, I am not sure what applies and what doesn’t. You really need to contact the Help line of the British Government:

    I don’t know whether this helps at all?

  165. Jax Projects says:

    Hey Tim,

    Thanks for the quick response! Are you some kind of immigration expert? I’ve noticed reading through all the comments on your blog dated back to 2010, you seem to know more than Philip Gamble’s web site let’s on and who charge mad rates to tell me the same things you’ve mentioned! We didn’t get much positive feedback there anyway. Very interesting indeed, you should start one for Greek related citizenship issues! LOL!!!

    I have for the last decade been back and forth between the Dept of Home Affairs and the Greek Consulate trying to get myself registered as a naturalised Greek citizen, the documents I’ve applied for, paid for, got translated and paid for that too and sent through are little short of a Herculean task, but an affordable yet long winded process, if I’d gone the legal route I’d have had to sell my soul to the devil!! But from what they tell me, I should have everything wrapped up within the next 6 months to a year! (That’s about a 2 year wait in greek time).

    Firstly, my wife’s aunt’s situation is the way she got her UK citizenship from birth and her sister, my wife’s mother who was born under crown service does not get UK citizenship like you mentioned should have been done then, AND is it too late for that now?

    Now with her mother been previously on an ancestral and now a citizen, her claim to UK citizen can’t be transferred as she never went the Crown service route originally!
    As you mentioned the basic law: A child born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 automatically acquires British citizenship by descent if either parent is a British citizen other than by descent at the time of the birth AND children born overseas to parents on Crown Service are normally granted British citizenship otherwise than by descent, so their status is the same as it would have been had they been born in the UK.

    The weird part is that all of her family is in the UK now and because of the 1 January 1983 clause she can’t even qualify to go the ancestral route!! As short of her Aunt nobody else was born in the UK! Except her Great Grandparents. So now you see what I’m dealing with!! I’ll definately give that link a go, see what they say!!

  166. Tim says:

    Hi Jax Projects
    No!! I am not an expert but have simply spent 47 active years fighting the British Government for my right to British citizenship based on the fact that my mother was born in Britain and at 93 is still British!! Understanding and deciphering the law is an enormous challenge. I finally acquired citizenship two years ago when the law changed. I come from a legal family and did study law as a matric subject in 1964!! I was also very fortunate that I found a person in the Immigration department who helped me for years with the law. She unfortunately, no longer is in that department but I did pass many people on to her at the time.

    However, hear is the information I received from my Greek friend today that I went to school with in Port Elizabeth who recently settled in England on his EU passport. He says that if you have your Greek passport your wife can enter the UK as your spouse and can then claim her citizenship after five years. Also, if you have your Greek citizenship and were married in the Greek Orthodox church she can acquire her Greek passport, but it is a complicated process. If not, maybe you could renew your vows in the GO church?

    Acquiring residency in most countries today is extremely difficult due to the decades of abuse of the various countries systems by foreigners and also because of terrorism. The requirements have become very complicated. I understand what you meant of the way your wife’s aunt acquired hers was similar to your wife’s background, but I just meant that her aunt’s citizenship and relationship connection could not help your wife.

    I hope this can be of help, but I iterate that I always found the British Government Helpline to be very supportive and that I had to pay for some of the calls, was well worth it, to know exactly where I stood. Have a list of precise questions written down and be ready with paper and pen to write down the responses.

  167. Jax Projects says:

    Hey Tim!!

    Sorry to worry you but a quick sidestep:

    #British Citizenship by Descent (1981-2-2)-Crown Service

    The above law makes for provision to become UK citizen provided the person has the supporting docs! My question is:

    If you already on an ancestral visa can you, before doing your swear in, submit an application to register as a citizen by birth?

  168. Tim says:

    One would think so, but if the person is in the UK and in London, I would go to the Croydon Immigration office, even though it is a challenge waiting for one’s number to be called!! and get clear direction as to how to go about the process. Try calling their phone number and see what happens: Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Rd, Croydon, Surrey CR9 2BY
    Telephone: 0870 606 7766

  169. If you want to apply for citizenship through your mother I would not bother going to Croydon. I went there and waited for over an hour (good thing I had a book on me) and then they couldn’t help me with my request but just gave me a number I had already tried. They only help with ILR or Naturalisation etc but not doing citizenship through your mum, so frustrating at the time. It is a good thing I can easily get a bus into Croydon but it was still a waste of time.

  170. Tim says:

    I agree Sarah that it can be a challenge going there, but I went many times and always managed to obtain some information one way or the other. Has anyone tried the government’s check test on their Home Office website? Here is the link:

  171. Tarryn says:

    Hi, I have asked this question before, and didn’t get to much of a response, so I will try again. My husband’s application got rejected, because they said the following: as your mother outside the United Kingdom and colonies , she would have held CUKC status “by decent” at the time of birth. She would not therefore have been able to pass that status on to you.” However when she was born 1960 Rhodesia was a British colony. Do you think we should appeal, he currently holds an ancestral visa, but it would be better if he could get it this way. Thank you

  172. sarah says:

    i’m a little grumpy that people who have citizenship through descent can’t pass it on to their children!

  173. Anonymous says:

    I know on this guide it says you need the mother’s expired passport, but do you REALLY need it? What if she doesn’t have one? And does your own passport need to be valid? Or can it be expired?

  174. Tim says:

    Sarah and others. This is rather long but I hope to throw some light on the answers to questions to why certain decisions were made when compiling the new immigration legislation. Following are FOUR quotes from some of the letters I received over many years from the British Government, in response to my appeals to my claim to British citizenship, based on the fact that my Mother was British born and still is a British citizen.

    1. Immigration Nationality Directorate, April 1996:
    It was not until the British Nationality Act came into force on the 1st January 1983 that the law made provision for citizenship to be transmitted by descent in both the male and female line.
    The possibility of making the change retrospective was closely examined at the time in drafting the current legislation. It was considered, however, that to designate all such children automatically as British citizens, especially if the citizenship was backdated to their birth, might have caused personal difficulties in many cases. Some may not have wanted British citizenship thrust upon them. It would also have gone against the theme of the 1981 Act and increased the number of British citizens overseas who had spent their whole lives abroad. Those who had made their homes here would have been able to secure citizenship by registration or naturalization.

    2. Home Office (Managed Migration Directorate), July 2007:
    On 7th February 1979 a concession was announced by which the children of United Kingdom born mothers could acquire citizenship by making an application for registration. As this applied only to children under 18, it affected those born after 7th February 1961.
    When the British Nationality Act came into force on the 1st January 1983, it provided for women to pass on their citizenship in the same way as men after that date. This change however was not made retrospective.
    A further provision to benefit the children of United Kingdom born mothers was introduced in April 2003. Section 4C was added to the British Nationality Act 1981 and provided for the registration of those born after 7th February 1961 and before 1st January 1983, who would have become British had women been able to pass on their citizenship in the same was as men.
    In proposing the measure, Lord Filkin stressed the need for a cutoff date and explained “One can only go so far towards righting the wrongs of history before the number of “what ifs” to be taken into account becomes unmanageable”. The historical discrimination in nationality legislation affected not only those women who were British by birth in the United Kingdom but also those whose citizenship derived from a connection with some other part of the former British Empire.

    3. Home Office (UK Border Agency), June 2009:
    Section 4C is currently a registration provision, and so those making an application are required to pay a fee. The Government’s view is that Section 4C should continue to be a registration provision, rather than changing the law so that citizenship would be acquired automatically by the adult children of British mothers. Although this does not put the children of British women on exactly the same footing as British men, it gives the individual concerned the choice as to whether to take up British citizenship. This is because to suddenly bestow British citizenship on a person born in a foreign country before 1961 could cause problems, particularly where a person’s country does not allow dual citizenship.

    4. Home Office (UK Border Agency), August 2009:
    Administration of applications under Section 4C for those who choose to apply will inevitable incur costs for the United Kingdom Border Agency and that is why payment of a fee is required.

    (I had typed this up in Word and highlighted important sentences but when I transferred it into the blog, it all disappeared.)

    I could start a discussion on the pros and cons of these arguments but it is basically pointless since one can see clearly how the government ministers thinking guided their final decision making. They did not want to acknowledge the very basic fact that we had equal rights as those children born of British fathers, and were more concerned about the cost and numbers of new citizens a change in the law would create.

    In one of my responses to the government, I pointed out there was a great hardship created for me, the only member of a family of seven, without a British passport living overseas, and also that, the amendments to the Immigration Act in 2008 opened the doors to millions of EU citizens that could enter, live and work in the UK at anytime, for the rest of their lives, but that they saw fit to continue to deny us children our very basic right of citizenship.

    I also believe (I might be wrong) that if you are on the road to naturalization through an ancestral visa, you are going to end up following the same route as claiming your right through decent from a parent or family history. I personally find the legislation governing all of us ex-colonials extremely confusing, but there is no harm in appealing. The route in the end is probably going to be the same; registration, paying the fees, citizenship ceremony and finally, applying for one’s passport. It is a question of remaining in the UK for five years or having to prove your birth right, which could take some time depending on what you will be required to provide.

    And finally, regarding papers required to accompany a registration application. These were the only papers required in 2010 when I applied. I was NOT required to include my Mother’s passport but to provide only my own original birth certificate, my Mother’s birth certificate*, my foreign passport and a return-addressed envelope (to send back one’s originals, which were returned fairly soon after I submitted my application).
    (*One’s Mother’s birth certificate must be the original or an official original copy, easily ordered online from the government archives.)

    It must also be remembered that in those earlier days of the changes (1960’s, 70’s and 80’s), there was no internet and my parents certainly did not know or hear about the changes to the legislation, so could not act on opportunities offered by the changes to obtain my British citizenship, and once one lost the chance, one could not retrieve it again, as seen by the questions from so many people out there.

    Here is some advice I offer to anyone living in the UK, but I don’t guarantee success, only another avenue. It worked to some degree for me and even though the outcome never achieved my dream at the time, it was very encouraging. GO TO YOUR LOCAL MP AND ASK FOR HELP. At the time, my MP down in Sussex was fabulous, and strangely enough, even though I had sort of thought myself a Tory, it was the Labour ministers who really offered help. Just keep trying every angle and don’t give up. As I have mentioned many times on this blog, I fought for 45 years till I won.

  175. krysy says:

    My dad became british through his mum who was born in the Caribbean channels. My dad was born in the 1950s. Am I considered a British citizen? Thanks in advance.

  176. Clive says:

    My mother’s passport says she is British by birth as does her birth certificate. Also, her father was British by birth. While my grandfather was born in the UK, my mother was born in Argentina. I was told that even though my mother was “British by birth”, because she was born overseas at the time she cannot pass her citizenship on to me (unless her father was in crown service). Is this correct?

  177. Jax Projects says:

    Hey Tim!
    Just need to clarify a quick issue, if my wife’s grandfather who was a British citizen, born in Africa and serve in the R.A.F. from 1949-1960 and my mom was born in Germany while he was serving as a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force, Branch No 8 Squadron attached to No 22 Special Air Service Regiment Theatre of Combat or Operation: Arabian Peninsula: 1957-1960! Can she apply for an Ancestral Visa based on the above info??

  178. Tim says:

    I can only confirm that to qualify for an ancestral visa your wife must be a citizen of a Commonwealth country and that one of her grandparents (either maternal or paternal) was born in the UK or on a registered UK ship or aircraft. I am not certain about government employment so you would have to contact the immigration people and find out. Is it not possible for you to go to the British Embassy and see an official there to discuss all your variations of birth. See this website for clarity on the issue. Something worth noting about an ancestral visa too, is that it is essentially a “work” visa, so one should indicate that one is intending to work. One doesn’t have to have employment before applying but indicate that one would be looking to work once settled. There are strict time limits (how often and for how long one can leave the UK at any one time) during the five years one must live in the UK before applying for residency. I hope this of help.

  179. Erica says:

    My mother was born in England in 1959 to a British mother and American father who was stationed in England (Air Force). My mother has dual citizenship (uk & us) and resides in the us. I was born in the US in late 1983, so I do believe I’m a British citizen by descent. Am I also correct in saying, I do NOT need to register or apply for citizenship since I was born to a British mother after January 1983, so am thereby automatically a citizen of descent at birth?

    Also, I would like now to apply for a British passport, as well as a US passport, but at this time I have no active plans to use them. I know I will use them sometime in my future (hopefully!) but it could be years. Is there any disadvantages to apply and keep a British passport that’s never used? It’s an odd question I know, but I would like to have this passport, just simply for the reason that I’m entitled to it and may want to use it one day. Thank you so much, these blog posts and comments have been so helpful.

  180. says:

    Hi, thanks for all the info on this site it’s been really helpful.
    I was born in Australia in ’68 to a Scottish mum and I got a right of abode in ’90. I’ve never transferred this to another passport as I’ve had no need and always assumed I had it forever and just needed to get it transferred if necessary. I’ve only just become aware that the law changed in 2010 and I can now apply for a British passport. Before I go to all the trouble and cost of doing that I’m wondering if my husband and kids (Australian) will be able to stay in the UK with me. And where we stand with him working and the kids going to school.

    I’d appreciate and advice anyone has on this


  181. dannsadh says:

    Hi, thank you so much for this blog. I have a Certificate of Entitlement for a Right of Abode, but I would really much prefer a passport like my husband obtained. I have the idea I might be eligible and started completing the UKM form. However when I read page 3 of the guide I seem to fulfill the requirements but when I read the notes on page 3 I become confused and it is unclear and I think I might not. From the following information would you think I would be entitled. Thanks!

    Born in Canada 1959
    Mother born in the UK
    her mother born in the UK
    her father born in Mauritius (British, I think it was a territory)
    My father born in Canada
    his father born in the UK
    his mother born in the UK
    every single descendant as far back as we can go born in the UK
    I’m currently living back in Canada though I lived there before.]

    Thank you so much for your help!!!

  182. Tim says:

    Cathw: it is confusing as to whether you live in the UK with your Right of Abode? If you are in Australia, I think you would need to go to an embassy/consulate near you and enquire.

    dannsadh: The website below explains very clearly who can apply and normally anyone with a British born mother, and born before 1983 overseas can apply. You first need to register your birth using the UKM form and then once you have your citizenship certificate you can apply for your passport. You only require a certified copy of your mother’s birth certificate (easily obtained online from the British website) and your own documents. You also require two character references.

    Here is the online application website:

    From what I can determine, the fees from April 2014 for an application for Nationality (British Citizenship) Registration for a single adult is now £823¹. This includes the 80 pounds for the citizenship ceremony.

  183. Tara says:

    I have just applied (from NZ) using form UKM and only paid the 80 pounds fee. However, I haven’t heard back yet whether my application was accepted or not or whether that is the only fee. I am waiting with baited breath.

    I too am annoyed that my brothers, born after 1983, can apply for passports without going through this prior process and waiting 6 months!! Same mother!!

  184. Nirvana Para says:

    I am helping my nephew (Born October 6th 1982 in India) apply for his
    British citizenship through descent/ UK-born mother. I will refer to him as ‘the applicant’. I am trying to find out what are the steps we need to take to accomplish this.

    -Applicant’s mother is UK-born (June 11 1961)
    (only a copy of her b/cert remains)

    Does this in itself make him eligible to apply for British passport? AND citizenship?

    If not, here’s the rest of the info….

    -We are unclear on her father/applicant’s grandfather’s exact immigration status while in England at the time of her birth in June 1961 except that he held a British passport.

    We have unfortunately lost his British passport and other papers and also he has passed away.

    Applicant’s maternal Grandfather’s details are:
    – passed away now
    -Born on 4.1.1936 in Kenya Protectorate (in Kisumu; district of central Nyanza
    in the province of Nyanza )
    -Always held a British passport ONLY and never applied for another citizenship
    and/or passport
    -Entered Kenya in August 1960 and soon after went to England to live for a
    few years at which time he apparently applied for something – either
    naturalization or citizenship (his wife is unsure).

    Applican’t maternal grandmother’s details:
    -Date of birth 1.12.1939/India
    We do have the Indian passport from that time i.e. 1960, which she
    traveled on to UK.

    UK-born applican’t mother’s details are:
    -Born in England/UK June 11 1961
    We do have her UK birth certificate copy and the original has been lost.

    Applicant’s maternal grandmother’s 3 other siblings also were in
    UK in or around that time and their related documents can be located.

    Soon after the applicant’s mother’s birth in the UK, the family returned to
    India and remained there.

  185. Tim says:

    Nirvana Para: Please read my comment two up. Anyone born of a British mother before 1983 can claim their citizenship. Other than his own documents (as specified in the UKM application) all he requires is his Mother’s birth certificate (original or certified copy) to prove his lineage (NB.: from my experience that is all I needed). No other relative’s origins are of concern.The British Embassy where you apply will return all your original documents.

  186. Jax Projects says:

    This is the criteria on the official UK Border Agency website:

    #2. Eligibility
    -You must prove that you:
    are 17 or over
    – Have enough money without help from public funds to support and house yourself and any dependants
    – Can and plan to work in the UK

    Your ancestry
    You must also show that you have a grandparent born in 1 of the following circumstances:
    – in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
    before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
    – on a British-registered ship or aircraft

    **You can claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent:
    – were adopted
    – were born within or outside marriage in the UK

    You can’t claim UK ancestry through step-parents.

    Now based on the above eligibility and the following: please note I’ve copy pasted the section below as it was in the BNA-2009.
    Section 42 – Children born in UK etc. to members of the armed forces

    (1)Section 1 of the British Nationality Act 1981 (c. 61) (acquisition of British citizenship by birth or adoption) is amended as follows.
    (2)After subsection (1) insert—
    “(1A)A person born in the United Kingdom or a qualifying territory on or after the relevant day shall be a British citizen if at the time of the birth his father or mother is a member of the armed forces.”
    (3)In subsection (3), after “subsection (1)” insert “ , (1A) ”.
    (4)After subsection (3) insert—
    “(3A)A person born in the United Kingdom on or after the relevant day who is not a British citizen by virtue of subsection (1), (1A) or (2) shall be entitled to be registered as a British citizen if, while he is a minor—
    (a)his father or mother becomes a member of the armed forces; and
    (b)an application is made for his registration as a British citizen”.
    (5)In subsection (4), after “subsection (1)” insert “ , (1A) ”.
    (6)After subsection (8) insert—
    “(9)The relevant day for the purposes of subsection (1A) or (3A) is the day appointed for the commencement of section 42 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (which inserted those subsections).

    Now surely based on that longwinded section plus the section I’ve identfied with ** under eligibility criteria above, makes for a winning formula for ancestry visa eligibility!! Yes/No any clarity on this issue??

  187. massiekur says:

    DISAPPOINTMENT FROM UK passport office: On April 1, 2014 I was registered as a British citizen (by mother’s birth) in the NY-USA British Consulate. On April 22nd the UK overseas passport office in Durham received my completed application package. I am an attorney by profession and so by nature, I am a very organized and efficient person always careful to read instructions and pay attention to every requirement. I was especially careful in submitting my application for my passport.

    After no update on the status (other than that my application was received and processed), I emailed the passport office. 48 hours later I received a reply that my application was incomplete for my failure to submit the ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF CITIZENSHIP instead of the CERTIFIED COPY WHICH I AND MANY HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS WERE PROVIDED JUST FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE.

    I have emailed a reply of disappointment (I tried to refrain from expressing my anger in words) and requested that they review this as I am fearful that a mistake was made. I have also contacted the British Consulate in NY and asked that they intervene on my behalf. I was told by the Pro Counsul that this is wrong and certified copies are always accepted unless the regulations changed without any notice.

    I have since sent 2 additional emails to the Durham office and will try to phone tomorrow. If there is no movement, I will have no choice but to have to submit my original Certificate.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so, please tell me the best way to handle this mess. If not, all suggestions are appreciated.

    Thank you.

  188. Tim says:

    I found this notice which I have never actually been aware of before. There is no date for the document so cannot say when it was released. But it says that “photocopies or certified copies won’t be accepted”. I cannot guarantee this is correct but they certainly accepted my certified copy, which I received at the British Consulate at my citizenship ceremony in NY three years ago. See this website link:

    Note paragraph 2 and the exclamation mark notice. I hope it gets sorted out since I had a very smooth and easy time with all concerned.

  189. Nirvana Para says:

    Thank you so much, Tim. I sent a request to GRO (thanks to your link) for a copy of a birth-certificate for my nephew’s British-born mother. I am concerned if they will send it to me, not being the person whose b/cert it is. It did not indicate who can request it. Somehow it seems weird that anyone can request the certificate. I am waiting to see if it works out. Thanks again for all the useful info. If the b/cert comes, you are a lifesaver for providing that link !

  190. Tim says:

    It is a great pleasure. I know how difficult and frustrating it is to navigate the world of immigration and if I can help, I try. As far as I know in the UK information in the archives is open to anyone. For example, if you wanted your late grandmother’s birth certificate, who would you actually ask to authorise the request? There probably would not be any one alive! So I believe you can obtain any certificate, birth, marriage, death of anyone you want for legitimate reasons, of course.

    I have to take this opportunity to thank this blogger “British by Descent” for having this forum since it helped me beyond description in obtaining my citizenship and I imagine, has been an enormous help to thousands of others. Thank you.

  191. Mohamed Abbas says:

    I was born in Uganda in 1969. My mother was a CUKC wnen I was born. I understand children of mothers who are CUKC may be elligible for a British Passport. My mother was born in India in 1946 but lived in East Africa most of her life. All of my grandparents were CUKC. Can I apply for some sort of UK Citizenship or passport?

  192. Gina says:

    However late this reply is, I wanted to reach out to thank Tim for finding this information about the original documents. The Team Leader for processing overseas passports in the Durham office, told me by email, that to her knowledge this is the first time they were told not to accept certified copies of the registration certificate for citizens by descent who reside in the USA. In fact, when it was bounced back to her, she questioned it again and was told by they will only accept originals from hereon. I sent her email to the Consulate in NY so they would know for the future not to tell new citizens to send in the certified copies. Also, the new on-line applications which have only been in effect for the last 3 months might also have some bearing on this. I was one of the first to submit an on-line application when the website went up. In any event, to get to the chase, I have only good things to say about the Overseas Processing Team in Durham..My emails were always responded to within 24-48 hours (including some sent on weekends) and had specific names attached to which i could address correspondence. My original Certificate was fedexed to the team leader in Durham on the 19th of June; she personally acknowledged its receipt on the 24th, and as of this morning, my UK passport and all my supporting documents have been dispatched. I should have them within a few days. Fingers crossed 🙂

  193. Tim says:

    Gina, I was so pleased to read your comments since my experience with the British Government has been only very supportive and efficient. We also all know that at times one can face difficulties with the odd person but for the most, the help is there. I find often too, that it is how one treats the person at the other end, which is how you get treated in return. It does help to be patient and complimentary, as some people just might have very challenging lives and a kind word can make their day. Enjoy your British citizenship. It was such a treat arriving at Heathrow for the first time and swiping that new passport.

  194. Gina says:

    Thank you so much Tim and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Passport and all my docs returned to me by overnight mail and waiting for me when I came home from work. There isnt anything that has made me so happy as looking through my British passport for the very first time. I am so looking forward to putting it to good use especially the first time I fly to the UK with it. Cheers!

  195. Tim says:

    It is a wonderful feeling. We fought long enough for this right, and worth every minute.

  196. Fiona says:

    Wow! What a wealth of information on this site! Wondering if someone may be able to head us in the right direction.
    My husband and I and our 3 children are Australian born residents. My husband was born in 1971 to an English born mother. Born out of wedlock, his mother is the only parent noted on his birth certificate. A the age of 2 he was then legally adopted by his step father who was born in Scotland. Later in life my husband was reunited with his birth father (who is not noted on his birth certificate) who was born in Italy. All parents are still alive and residing in Australia.
    We have been aware for many years that he can obtain a Right of Abode, however frm reading here I now understand that he may be eligible for British Citizanship based on his mother.
    The question I have, is regarding myself and our children. We are considering relocating to the UK for a couple of years and would like to know how this works for myself and our kids. Do I get spousal entry with his British by Decent? And how does it work for our children?
    I am wondering whether we should look into our options from his birth fathers Italian decent?
    Any advise would be very much appreciated. Thanks

  197. HARINDER says:

    Hello every one
    My mother born in Kenya in 1949 with British passport then when she was young family moved to India and married to my father . In year1999 she renewed her passport as British overseas citizen now my parents living in uk. I was born in India in 1975 holds indian nationality . I get travel visa to visit my parents. And I have to live alone in India as my whole family lives in uk. I tried right to get British passport but lawyer told me only first generation can get British passport. Can any one suggest me what should I do ?

  198. Nirvana Para says:

    Harinder. Look into British citizen by double descent. Find birthplace and date verification of grandparents from both sides (maternal AND paternal) and if they are born in India, most parts were under British rule and so they would have been British subjects. If they did not take Indian nationality i.e. passport or any other ID which would imply taking of nationality, then they remained British subjects likely. Anyway so your mum was/is British and I don’t know when your father became British. And I don’t know if double descent can pass through mother – you will have to research; when your father became British would be important I think (even if he didn’t take a British passport, he may be British through marriage). You will need your parents’ and all of your grandparents’ marriage certificates or some kind of documents, pics etc showing they were marrie and when.

    But basically just apply on this basis and see what happens. Indicate and include both your parents’ British citizenship details and IDs.

    Philip Gamble,, charges quite a bit of money to do this for you but you can call the UK govt enquiry line ppl have noted here (+ 44) 0151 672 5626 (which I don’t know if it still exists) or call Philip Gamble but it is 240 pounds for 1/2 hr on the tel to get advice on ur case. He is an expert but when ppl are busy i dont know if they are better or someone who can put time and effort into u. Perhaps you can find a lawyer expert in this area who might charge that much for the entire application….I don’t know how many lawyers specialize in this. None where I live !

  199. Nirvana Para says:

    So I got my nephew’s mother’s British b/cert from GRO. Thanks again, Tim !
    My nephew lives in India.
    Does anyone know if i can apply at an embassy here in Canada or closest to here, with my (mailing) address or does he have to apply for the one where Indians are supposed to send their application and documents – Hong Kong.
    Thanks muchly !

  200. Jos says:

    Here’s a tough one.. I qualify _ I was born before 83 to a British Mother..Got her BC.. She is buried in Leatherhead,, – I am concerned about the character part,, about 28 years ago i was convicted of a felony,, I was young and I was mixed up in people stealing from a house i was watching over- I paid my dues which required community service and paid back the family.. I was 23ish, now 51,, applying on UKM? will that hurt me?

  201. Tim says:

    With any applications it is always wise to give full details and let the authorities make the decision. However, here is an interesting website which you could check, maybe even contact. Read all the comments at the end as well.

  202. Humairakhan says:

    My mother born british colony keneya mother parnts both of british colony citizen.before my mother birth.i born 1976 .can I regesterd for british citizen

  203. Jos says:

    Hi Tim, Thank you for the reply, you mentioned something about a website, that i could reference? but i did not see any in your post- Thank you again- Much appreciated.. I am in a long distance romance , very very serious and I am anxious to get the ball rolling- Will be there in mid September for a visit

  204. Jos says:

    Thank you Tim,, It is very confusing,, given what I have written about my circumstance’s,, Is this reason for concern? I am reading the info on that link,,, I am so grateful for your help- Have a wonderful day

  205. Michelle Belton says:

    Hi, I was born in 1980 to a filipino mother and a british father, however, my parents only married in 1981. Does this mean i am not able to obtain a british passport? Please help! Thank you

  206. sandra says:

    I have two maternal brothers born abroad. One was born before 1 January 1983, the other after, but before July 2006. Our mother gained British citizenship from being married to a naturalized citizen before 1966. Then she lost the citizenship after overstaying abroad for 2 yrs or more and my parents got divorced in 1992. In 2004, she was eligible for British citizenship, but sadly died in 2005. The brother born before Jan 1983 was born in London. The other was born abroad.

    I’m not sure if either may apply for citizenship as their parents we’re never married, although our mother was Officially British in 2004 before she passed.

    Can you kindly advise me on this….


    The issue is that our mother never married the father of my brothers

  207. vernon says:

    Hi can anyone assist I am living in the uk by means of a ancestry visa and have been here for the past 15 months. I am now thinking of applying for my citizenship by means of ukm as my mom a british born citizen, I was born 1980 in South Africa.

    The questions I have are

    When I applied for my visa I also applied for visas for my family as dependents

    1- my wife was given a visa to acc spouse/cp and my 3 kids were given acc patent Visa how will me applying for ukm affect their visa?

    2 how would my wife and kids get there citizenships/ permanent residents?

    I am concerned that if I get my citizenship my wife and kids visas will be not valid anymore.

  208. Anonymous says:

    Found this.

    And these.

    The second pdf. doesn’t mention form UKM or section 4c, so I assume they neglected to mention the application fees being dropped for UKM applications or that it’s not included on this list.
    I would tend to go by the info on the first fees pdf. as it tells you the correct fee for the form used to apply, and is more specific.oro
    So the fee for applying for a UKM section 4c citizenship registration is 80 pounds which is the ceremony fee. If your application is unsuccessful this fee will be refunded.
    Hope this helps.

  209. Craig says:

    Here is the original notice about the dropping of the section 4c registration application fees, I can find no evidence that this has been recinded at this time.
    I’m not sure why this has been omitted on the fees table pdf document but is clearly shown on the Master fees leaflet pdf document though.
    Hope this helps clarify things.

  210. jill says:

    Thanks to this blog and the information found within I applied for my UK citizenship through my mother. It was the easiest process I have ever submitted and I was given citizenship within three weeks of the application. The cost was 80.00 UK Sterling. I am grateful for all that I learned here and pleased the issue is now behind me.

    If I may ask one more question before signing off – as my citizenship was obtained through my mother who was born in the UK, can my children now apply for UK citizenship through me?

    Again thank you.

  211. Craig says:

    Hi Jill, congratulations on obtaining your british citizenship, I’m afraid as far as I’m aware you’re children can not obtain british citizenship through you as you have obtained british citizenship by decent. British citizenship can only be passed down one generation by a british citizen otherwise than by decent.
    As written here:
    The citizenship you will acquire All successful applicants will become British citizens by descent. As a British citizen by descent you will not normally be able to pass on British citizenship to any children born outside British territory. If you are resident in the United Kingdom, you may therefore wish to apply for naturalisation. This would give British citizenship otherwise than by descent, which would mean that you could pass on that citizenship to any children born abroad to you after naturalisation. Further information about the requirements for citizenship can be obtained from the Liverpool Contact Centre: Email:

    Taken from this guide:

    Click to access Guide_UKM_January_2014.pdf

    Hope this answers your question, albeit probably not the answer you would hope for.

  212. Tim says:

    Jill, it appears from the definitions below that you cannot hand your citizenship down if you acquired it through decent (which you did). If your children are in the UK with you they will acquire it through naturalization. Hope this helps.

    Acquisition of British citizenship[edit]
    British Citizenship can be acquired in the following ways:

    lex soli: By birth in the UK to a parent who is a British citizen at the time of the birth, or to a parent who is settled in the UK
    lex sanguinis: By birth abroad, which constitutes “by descent” if one of the parents is a British citizen otherwise than by descent (for example by birth, adoption, registration or naturalisation in the UK). British citizenship by descent is only transferable to one generation down from the parent who is a British citizen otherwise than by descent, if the child is born abroad.
    By naturalisation
    By registration

  213. Kerri says:

    I have the read most of all of these posts over the past few years and could find none on the question I have ironically enough.
    I have been in the UK for 2.5 years. I foolishly tried for my British Passport by not carefully reading that my Mother couldn’t pass descent to me as I was born before 1983. Ok, that straightened out! Now I am glad to learn I can apply using the UKM BUT I have not been here 3 years so I cannot find any referee in the UK to complete the forms.
    On the UKM Guide it says if you are living OUTSIDE the UK you can use referees from that Country. Well I am from Canada and I can do that but I am NOT living outside of the UK. So to sum up…there is no situation noted for living IN the UK but for less than 3 years and will they accept my referees being outside of Canada (yes they would have known me 3 years before I moved here) but living in the UK. Whew… I know that the authorities here will use any excuse to refuse a claim (keep your money) and make you start over so if anyone has experience with the referee situation I would sure appreciate it. Thank you.
    ps. Also a thanks to the blogger who keeps this site going. You really are awesome!

  214. Tim says:

    Kerri, I can only suggest you e-mail the UKBA at:

    As the child of a British mother born before 1983, you are entitled to apply immediately for your registration as a British citizen, from wherever you live. However, because you a have a variant on the basic guidelines, you need to address your problem to a government official concerned to help you. Your problem is certainly a valid and probably common situation. The UKM Guide does say of the second referee “The other referee must normally be the holder of a British citizen passport and either a professional person or over the age of 25.” The fact that they say “normally” indicates there could be an alternative.

    Otherwise, I read on another blog that you could use a National Checking Service to help:

  215. Elizabeth says:

    My daughter was born in south africa in1972.
    I am alone aged 66 and would like her to join me in the UK and settle here.
    After reading all of the above I am hopeful of her obtaining a british passport.
    I am not sure what the procedure….becoming a citizen…registration and all of that.
    I have also read that paying to register does not always mean a success and money paid will not be refunded. I would hate to lose all that money if it fell through.
    If you could advise me as what to do I would be so thankful and grateful.
    All in all what would the fees be in my situation?
    I look forward to hearing from you

  216. Kerri says:

    I am not no expert in these matters but if your daughter is ok to just live in the UK and doesn’t want to go to the EU to live then she can just get a Right of Abode. That is easy enough to get and gives you the right to live in the UK during the time of the passport. Every renewal of the passport requires another RofA stamp and payment however. But also I don’t see why she would be refused her Citizenship by Descent. I am going through that process right now myself as the daughter of a British mother. I don’t have the outcome yet.

    But you are right about the British Govt. I applied for a British Passport, they turned me down because i had not registered first (my mistake for not reading the fine print) and didn’t return my money. So now I am going the route of the UKM and then once that is done the British Passport again. Hopefully it works out for me. If not then I keep renewing my Right of Abode.

  217. Tatiana says:

    HI. Im Ukrainian citizen married to English citizen. We live in Uk but i thought to give birth in Ukraine. I understood that I willl need to register my baby within one year for him to be English Citizen by Descent. What i can’t understand is do I need to apply through filling the form MN1 and paying a massive fee or there is an easier and cheaper way to do so???
    Thank you.

  218. Tim says:

    Tatiana: Here are the links below giving the registration details of registering a birth in the UK and abroad. I battled for forty five years to have my birth recognised because I was born abroad, but now have my citizenship. I cannot advise you at all as it must be your decision, but I would suggest that if you want your child to grow up in the UK and not have hassles in the future, that you consider the ease of having your baby in the UK. Immigration is becoming more and more complicated and I think you would want to avoid problems in the future. I don’t say you will have any, but one must plan ahead. The child will always have a EU passport and can travel anywhere in the world. I would think that possibly Ukraine will join the EU one for these days when they recover from their problems as well. There are also costs involved in registering abroad.

    In the UK:


    Costs in the UK:
    Registering a birth in the UK is free but you only need pay 4 pounds if you want a full birth certificate.

    Costs abroad: (extract form the website)
    The registration fee of £105 covers the cost of considering your application, registering the birth and recording it with the General Register Office (GRO) in the UK. You will only receive evidence of the registration, known as a certified copy of the registration, if you pay an additional fee of £65 per copy. Use this section to tell us how many copies you require.

    You can download the application form here:

    I don’t guarantee that all the information I have given you is correct but I have listed only government websites, so it should be accurate. Hope this helps.

  219. Hello,
    My sister and I are applying for citizenship by descent as our mother is British, our father an EU national and we were born before 1983 in France.
    I do not live in the UK and I was made redundant after 26 years working in a bank. My non UK husband now looks after me as I am a full-time housewife and therefore do not know what to write in my employer information request. I do not have a NI number as I have never lived in the UK but only visit family.
    My sister lives in London and works for a foreign Consulate. Because of international agreements she does not pay UK income taxes but only local ones (council tax, tv license etc.) as her pay is taxed in her employer’s country. Will this situation work against her?
    Thank you for any advice offered for our two cases.

  220. Jourj Sebastian says:

    My mother was born in UK in 1956 because my grandparents were overseas serving in the US army. She hasn’t stayed there but grew up in the states but I would like to become an UK citizen. Is it possible? Can I claim British descent because of my mom?

  221. Sophia Farabolini says:

    Kerri, is it not possible for you to wait another six months and then obtain two UK referees?

  222. Sophia Farabolini says:

    Tatiana, I understand that once you give birth in Ukraine you can register with the British Embassy. The fees are £105 to register a birth and the Form appears to be straightforward.

  223. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a
    comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

    Many thanks!

  224. Tarryn says:

    I just want to enquire, my husbands mom was born in Rhodesia in 1960, when it was a British colony, ( she has a British passport)my husband was born in South Africa in 1981. His application was refused because they said she was born outside the United Kingdom and it’s colonies , she would have held a CUKC status, and therefore could not pass it into my husband. With research , Rhodesia only became independent in 1965, therefore it was still a colony when she was born. We are going to appeal, I just want to know does it matter that she was born in 1960? Any help would be appreciated ! Thank you

  225. Tim says:

    Tarryn: When it comes to colonies and their change to independence, things become very confusing. I suggest you try this website and see what you can find from their explanations:

    Depending on your husbands grandparents (now from both parents) birthplace, he could qualify for an ancestral visa.

  226. chaz says:

    I am British born and bred my parents and grandparents etc are too I have a son born in spain in 1977 I was not married at the time and came back to the uk in 1980 he has been refused a uk passport they kept the fee for paperwork and said he was Spanish we cant get any help from anyone I tried to registar the birth abroad this year and they sent it all back saying he was too old to do this can anyone help me please

  227. Kerri says:

    This is a similar situation to mine. I was born in Canada before the 1983 cut off….where being born to a British Mother (rather than father) doesn’t automatically grant you Citizenship by Descent. I also foolishly applied for a passport – they kept my fee and turned me down and I live in the UK now looking after my British Mother. All my heritage is British except for my father and for us kids. Makes no difference to them at the Passport office. It seems that under these conditions they turn everyone down. So …your son must apply using the Form UKM – pay the fee and hopefully that works and he can reapply for his passport. I am still in the process so I cannot say the outcome yet. You don’t mention whether your son is living in the UK. If he is then he must have referees who follow their strict rules (including have personally known him for 3 years) so carefully read those instructions in the Guide UKM or you will give them another reason to reject his UKM application. If he is still living in Spain he can do it from there. I have learned that dealing with authorities you have to read and reread the instructions, much of it doublespeak. They look for any excuse to reject things here. Good luck!

  228. Lewis says:

    This entire thread has been so, so useful. I’m Aussie born 1979, came here to the UK as a baby and lived here ever since with my (British) Mother (Aussie father unknown). I’ve always believed a British passport was out of reach to me as I could never afford the hundreds of pounds fee to register as a British citizen, and I had no idea about the law changing in 2010. Now I know it has and it’ll only cost 80 quid I’ll be doing so ASAP.

    But in the meantime…despite living here in the UK since I was a baby (I’m now 35), going to school, Uni, and working for the last 11 years, I’ve suddenly been asked to produce very specific proof that I have the right to work (never been asked before, despite starting numerous and varied jobs over the years), so I’ve had to apply for a Right of Abode cert in my passport (couldn’t really afford the £144 for that either but unfortunately it has to be done.) I sent off my application to Liverpool last week, so does anyone know how long it’s likely to take? There’s curiously little info about waiting times that I can find online (although looking has led me here, which has been extremely useful so I’m still grateful), and the ‘letter of receipt of documents’ I received today says it could take up to 6 months, however I think that’s a general time period for all applications for all kinds of citizenship, so I’m hoping because mine is just a simple ROA with no complications it might not take too long. If anyone’s applied for ROA recently and has any idea about waiting times I’d be eternally grateful, cheers.

  229. Kerri says:

    Hi there, I applied for an updated Right of Abode when I came back to England 2.5 years ago. I don’t know if this helped me out (that I had a previous expired passport with a RofA stamp) but it was actually quite fast. I cannot remember exactly how long but I know I was surprised how quickly I received my new passport back with the RofA stamp.

    However, I do think you probably could have just gone for the UKM. Because my passport actually expired after less than one year with the new RofA stamp and I would have to repay for a new one I decided to do the UKM instead and go for the passport and then I am done with all this. Still going through that process so cannot say whether it will work but with any luck you will see your RofA within a month or so. However, if you made even one small error or omission they will use that as a reason to reject your claim. I have found it is worth taking the extra time to review and review again anything you send to the Govt. Good luck!

  230. Fahad Kadri says:

    Dear All, My mother is a British Citizen, she was born in Kenya in 1953, My grandparents were both British, she acquired her British citizen passport in April 2005 before that he had a British Protected Person Passport. I am born in Jan 1981. My father is an Indian, please let me know am i eligible for a British Citizenship.


  231. nosoulinsight says:

    Hi again, thanks for the response, amazingly I actually got my passport back today with the ROA certificate in, and they tried to deliver it on Thursday, which means it took about 10 days, extremely quick! (Particularly considering the receipt letter said it could take up to six months) And regarding the UKM, yep I might do that shortly, but time was a huge factor for me as I’ve just changed jobs and needed proof of my right to work in the UK (never been asked for anything like that before but apparently they’re tightening up on these things) so I needed something as quickly as possible. Registering as as Brit might take a little longer so I figured this was the fastest option, but now time iisn’t such an issue yes it’d be good to be able to get a UK passport too.

  232. DenJoy says:

    Hi, I was born in South Africa to a British Citizen, before 1983, then given up for adoption. I saw someone had an issue because of being illegitimate. What route would be best for me to apply for? Citizenship or UKM?

  233. Tim says:

    DenJoy. I believe the following to be correct but you need to contact the British High Commission in Pretoria to confirm the details. You can find all the contact information here:

    If your birth mother is/was British, you are entitled to your citizenship as a result of the change to the Immigration Law in 2009, which came into effect in January 2010, recognising the children born of British mothers overseas before 1983. That means that you must first register your birth using the UKM form. Once you receive your registration certificate, which you will be given at your citizenship ceremony, you can only then apply for your passport. This whole process can take about six months depending on the delays. I do not know how adoption effects your rights.

    If your father was British and not married to your mother, then you need to read the latest change to that Immigration Law: Section 65 of the Immigration Act 2014, which received Royal Ascent through parliament in May and now recognises your birth. However, there is no date yet, as to when this law will come into effect. See the details here:

    Hope this helps.

  234. Elisa says:

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone has had the experience of having their UKM form signed by two non British referees. I was born in Italy in 1962 to a British mother. I always regretted not having been able to become British at birth. I’m now applying out of sheer national pride, since I am a tenured university professor and I have no intention of moving from Italy. The problem is that the only British people that I know well enough to ask are my relatives. The form says something to the extent that a non British referee’s signature has to be considered acceptable by the Consul. Does anyone know what this means in practice ? Thank you so much !

  235. Kerri says:

    Hello Elisa, Did you read the Guide that comes with the form? I was under the impression that you could use non British referees if you are applying from outside of the UK.

  236. Karen Koers says:

    Hello, I am looking for some help please! I am born in New Zealand in 1961 to a British mother, so I believe that I may be entitled to Citizenship by Descent. I have completed the application form and am almost ready to send it away, but have a few questions: do I have to send my passport or can I send a certified copy of it (I travel frequently overseas). If I can send a certified copy do I need to give a reason for doing this with the application?

    I have also been trying to find a contact phone number to double check some other details, without any success. Does anyone have a phone number that I can phone from outside UK? The British Consulate here in New Zealand was not very helpful and gave me a phone number to phone in Britain, but it didn’t work. Thank you!

  237. Elisa says:

    Hello Kerri, thanks for replying. Yes. the Guide says it is possible, but it also says that the referee’s signature must be considered acceptable by the Consul. I was wondering what that meant exactly. Do I have to contact the Consul myself, or do they do their checks internally?

  238. RICHARD says:

    Not and easy one so here we go; I was born in South Africa and have a British consulate birth certificate from the Johannesburg Consulate(born in 1970), my wife and we married in the UK (she is also South African, she had indefinite leave to remain at the time while we worked and lived in the UK for 3 years+ ,both my parents were born and married in the UK, I have acquired a British passport through my parents /descent. I would like to know if and has anyone been able to get British passports for the their children who were born in South Africa, as i in possession of consulate birth certificate. Our application was submitted by a law firm in the UK and they advised me that my 2 kids would be able to apply for BP.

  239. Gary says: They write back and say read the FAQs and then if you still need to, write to different email address. If you know what Faulty Towers is you ‘ll get the idea.
    08706067766 (This a slightly different dept to UKM, , it’s Settlement)
    Hi Karen,
    I called them and was told they need the original Passport
    But after you get the letter saying they have registered the case you can write in and ask for the original passport back. Unlike a UK spouse visa application,asking for your passport back does not nullify you application.
    Current costs:

    Click to access Master_Fees_Leaflet_Apr_2014.pdf

    Application form and guidance

  240. KimmieB says:

    My father was born in Rhodesia in 1963 is he eligible for British Citizenship? If so, how do we go about obtaining al relevant documentation and who do we contact?

  241. Sergio says:


    My name is Sergio, I am writing this on behalf of a friend of mine, who feels that his English is not good enough to write or ask questions on a forum of this kind. Nonetheless, he had a relative who was in the British Army (originally from Bangladesh), he then settled in the UK. Thereafter, he brought his wife and his only son to the UK BUT left his only daughter in Bangladesh for reasons best known to him. He has since passed away and it has been many many years. His daughter now learnt that people who served in the British Army from the colonial times; they and their children are entitled to British Citizenship. My friend’s question is – he trying to help them – that, is it possible for them to make an application now? if yes, then how do they go about and what documents do they need.

    I thank you all on behalf of my friend and also myself.

  242. Tim says:

    Hope this might help. Open this website and follow the instructions. You must have all the person’s family details ready to complete the form such as birth dates, places born, parents citizenship etc..

  243. anzo says:

    Hi, I came to UK in Aug 1974 on a joint passport with my mums. (Mum born in Pakistan) Father was naturalised in Uk in July 74- at the time of entry to UK i was 1 years old. I do not think I was registered/naturalised whilst in UK (my father never bothered) My mother lost that passport which contained the ILR/ ILE – but we have no record of this i.e a photocopy and neither does the Pakistany embassy, My brothers and sisters all born here have Uk passport, My father has British passport, but I want to know what is my status – do I need to reapply for ILR, even though have lived in UK for over 40 years studied/ working and married to a British citizen who was born here with my children all born here as havent left the country since arrival in 1974. – Do i have right of abode. I have National Insurance number/ full driving licence marriafge certificate. tax/NI records for over 20 years. Please can someone advise. Thanks

  244. Anonymous says:

    Hello, i am wondering if i am eligible for a UK citizenship. My mother was born in 1958 to a US Airmen and a native English mother. She was born in a US institution but has both a US birth certificate and UK birth certificate. I am wondering if i am eligible to gain citizenship through descent from my mother. She lived in England until she was 13 years old.

  245. Tim says:

    Anonoymous: In normal circumstances, any child born of a British mother outside of Britain before 1983 is entitled to British citizenship. You must first register, see information:

    And using the UKM form found on the government website:

  246. Stephen saratan says:

    Am a Jamaica my dad is a born British my mom an Jamaica. My grandmother also british. Now I sent my pass port to renew over 3 years yeah only to find out am the application is any one no who I can contact in england about my pass port? The Jamaican embassy is close down. Please .thank u

  247. Tim says:

    Stephen: where are you living? England or Jamaica?

  248. Julia says:

    Hi, not sure if you’ll have any insight into this or if it’s been asked before. My mother is British and I was born in Canada in 1982. I know I can register as a British citizen and intend to do so soon (I only recently found out that this was possible). But my son was born in the UK in 2010 (my husband and I lived there for three years but are now back in Canada). At the time, my son didn’t acquire UK citizenship as neither my husband nor I were citizens. But once I register as a citizen will he then be entitled to citizenship? I can’t seem to find the answer to this anywhere.

  249. Tim says:

    Julia: Reading up on your situation, it seems that your son is not entitled to British citizenship, except if your status at the time qualifies him. You will need to check with the Home Office about what status you had at the time of his birth. If you were a settled immigrant, your son would be entitled to British citizenship. But I am not an expert and you will need to go back and check your status. Hope this helps?

  250. Kerri says:

    Julia, I can only say that having been dealing with my situation, (born in Canada to a British mother prior to 1983) the rules here are VERY complicated and changing all the time. Yes YOU can apply using the UKM process but you have to ensure you have all the paperwork thorough – its easy to be rejected due to small technicalities. As far as your son is concerned I would suggest as Tim suggests, you contact the British Home Office. Since he was born here in the UK it would seem he would logically have some legitimate right to citizenship but I would never assume anything in these matters. After being here in the UK for nearly 3 years I still have not been able to acquire my own British citizenship but I feel I am the last leg of the process hopefully. Good luck!

  251. FAHAD says:

    Hello Tim can I write to you on your email on my British citizen status. Can you please help me

  252. Tim says:

    Fahad: Unfortunately I am not available to help you but as I advise everyone, the best people to speak to for clear answers are the Immigration Department themselves:
    or if you live in the UK a centre near you:
    or your embassy/consulate. They know all the intricacies of the law.

  253. Jane says:

    Hi, I have for years thought about getting a British passport through descent until I investigated further and there was some really unclear information regarding adopted children. I was born in Australia in 1958, adoptive father was British, born Leeds and my adoptive mother is Australian. More recent information regarding adopted children of British nationals born prior to 1983 as far as I can ascertain is the child must have been registered before they turned 18 otherwise they do not qualify after this. It’s hard to comprehend that for every other situation in my life that my parents are my parents but not when it comes to claiming my right via my father to a British passport. A weird distinction if this is correct. Also my birth certificate does not have anything on it regarding my adoption. It just has my adoptive parents names. I assume that they would be able to access information about me being adopted via Australian records. Seems unlikely?? And what about those people that may not know they are adopted……..many people of my parents generation did not tell their children they were adopted…….would they get a rejection letter citing adoption as the reason…….that could be a bit of a shock.
    Can anybody clarify for me if I made an application that I would definitely not qualify due to being adopted?

  254. forestofblue says:

    Reblogged this on Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing at All and commented:
    I fail to see the logic behind this… why should it be any different? Your mother has the same status in terms of citizenship as someones father would. Makes no sense…

  255. Kerri says:

    Logic? You obviously are not British!!!!

  256. Angelique says:

    Hi there

    I am hoping some one here can help me answer these questions.
    I am helping my boyfriend look into getting British Passport we are not sure though if he qualifies to apply for an ancestral visa or citizenship.

    His mom was born in 1960 in Australia, her parents were (and still are) however both Scottish citizens at the time. They only resided in Australia for about two year in which time she was born. The family then emigrated to South Africa where she is still currenly staying, for plus minus the past 50 years.
    Does this make him eliable to apply for Australian citizenship or British through his mother?
    Although as far as i am aware you can apply through your grandparents as well so would it be easier to just try to apply that way?

    How do we find out if she is an Australian citizen or British citizen as she still has a British passport? Which is out dated.

  257. Tim says:

    Angelique: It appears from the Australian government website that your boyfriend’s mother is entitled to Australian citizenship since she was born there. He would be entitled to Australian citizenship if he can prove that one of his parents had permanent residence in Australia at the time of his birth. I doubt after two years whether his parents had become citizens?

    Then to his ancestral visa for Great Britain. On the grounds of either or both grandparents being British, he can apply for an ancestral visa. He has to show that he intends working in GB but it is not necessary to actually have a job:

    As with all immigration today, since it has become so complicated and countries are changing their laws every day, it is always best to contact the relevant embassy. If he was born in and is living in South Africa, he should contact the British High Commission in Pretoria for details or go to their website at

  258. Cat D says:

    Hi there, I realise this thread is a little old now but any advice would be greatly appreciated! I was born in Australia in 1981, my mother was born in the UK in 1951 and immigrated to Australia when she was about 18 months old, however she is still a British citizen. I believe I qualify for citizenship. I would also qualify for the Ancestry visa as my maternal grandparents were born in the UK. I am wanting to move over to the UK with my husband who has no recent British heritage. I believe I need to “support” him financially should he apply for a spousal visa (18K pounds pa), whereas on the Ancestry visa this is not the case. Does anyone know if we could go over on the Ancestry visa and while we are over there I could apply for BC? Would this affect my husbands visa at all?

    Thanks so much 🙂

  259. jill says:

    Thanks to this page I applied for and was given UK citizenship. I have was born in the US so at birth had US citizenship and later obtained Italian citizenship through marriage over forty years ago. After 40 years the Italians came after me stating that they had decided to take away my citizenship because the marriage was dissolved after 8 years. This left me without a European passport. I had been told repeatedly that i could not obtain a British passport despite the fact that my mother was born in london as were her parents. Because of the clarity of the information I discovered on these pages I applied and miraculously within three weeks I was approved and given a date to be sworn in. Three months later my UK passport came through.

    I am delighted now knowing I will never have to return to those dreaded bureaucratic nightmare offices in Rome where the government employees enjoy toying with other people’s lives at a whim.

    I will be forever grateful for to this site for the invaluable help I benefited.

  260. Kerri says:

    Hi Jill, Congratulations! I can say that just last week I too was approved for my British citizenship (born in Canada to a British mother) and today I am going for my ceremony! You were very lucky to be approved so quickly. You must have had all the right documentation. I messed up a few times by not reading the information thoroughly enough and wasted a lot of time until I too found this blog and set about doing things the “right” way. How the Government continues to get away with discriminating against children born of British mothers before 1983 I don’t know but at last I have the approval. Yippee. Although I could live in England with Right of Abode your experience in Italy should teach us all that citizenship is worth pursuing if you are entitled to it. I would recommend everyone who is entitled to pursue it and follow their guidelines. It will happen. Thanks for sharing your story.

  261. Elisa says:

    Congratulations Jill and Kerri! Hoping that your ceremony today went well, Kerri. Last week I also heard that my application was accepted. No news about the ceremony yet but I should be hearing from the Embassy in Rome quite soon. I’m also very grateful for the info that I found on this page and there are no words to describe my happiness.

  262. jill says:

    One is almost surprised when something actually works out.
    Glad for us all.
    And thanks again to this site.

  263. Kerri says:

    Hi Elisa, Well congratulations to you as well. Its no easy thing to get citizenship of any Country these days so those of us who persevere do gain in the long run. I did have my Ceremony and it was very nice. Thanks to the person who keeps this blog going that has helped so many people and best wishes to those still trying to figure things out!

  264. Angelique says:

    Thank you so much. Still a long way to go.

  265. HZK says:

    Hi… congratulations for those who succeeded, and all the best for those waiting…
    I am born in West Africa in 1971, to a British Subject mother who was also born in West Africa in 1947.
    The UKM Guide of 2014 explains the requirements to meet in order to acquire the citizenship.

    – 1st Requirement is if I am Born before 1983 to a British Mother
    – 2nd Requirement is if at the time of my birth, my mother was a British Subject before 1949 and born in a British Protectorate state
    – 3rd Requirement is if at the time of my birth, my mother was a Citizen of the United Kingdom

    Requirement 2 and 3 contradicts one another, how is it possible that at the time of my birth, my mother was a British subject born before 1949 in a British Protectorate state, (Requirement 2) and at the same time also at the time of my birth, my mother was a citizen of the UK (3rd Requirement)… Am i missing something out…

    Thanks for the inputs and thoughts in advance.

  266. Kerri says:

    Hello HZK,
    I don’t know where you got those requirements from but you should download the UKM Guide from the Home office web site to ensure you are dealing with the precise requirements that are current. The requirements that I have are different from what you have stated above. I am certainly no expert in these matters but I have experienced that you must be very clear on the details and one detail you have that needs clarification is that you say your mother was a “British Subject” but was not born in the UK. As my mother was born in the UK mine was clear cut once I put the required paperwork together. You may need to call the Home Office and clarify this point once you get the latest UKM Guide. Good luck.

  267. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kerri,
    Thank you so much for your kind reply. The requirements were printed from the Home Office UKM Guide dated January 2014, below is the link.

    Click to access Guide_UKM_January_2014.pdf

    Will you kindly send the link of the requirements you have.

    Mother Born in West Africa in 1947, and upon her birth she received her British Subject Passport. In the 80s she received her British Overseas Citizen, and in 2004 she received her British Passport.

    Thanks in advance for your kind inputs and thoughts.

  268. Adrin says:

    Hello Everyone

    This is a really nice, informative and interesting thread.
    My mother is a British citizen by birth born in 1960, I was born outside UK(Commonwealth country) in 1982. I recently applied for a ROA outside the UK but my application was refused – on the basis that British mothers could not pass on citizenship until 1983.I met all other requirements for the ROA though and I believe the ECO wrongfully reached the refusal decision. I actually read the UKM registration requirement but my mother does not have her old passport that was why I did not apply through that route.

    I have a right of appeal on the ROA application, please do I stand a chance of succeeding at the appeal?
    Your comments and opinions are highly welcome. Thank you.

  269. Kerri says:

    This is just my opinion because I have no experience in appealing an ROA ruling but I would not be surprised if it were turned down again. That just seems to me how this Country works. Why not go the route of the UKM and then you have full citizenship? The ROA must be renewed every time you renew your passport which makes it expensive and in my opinion a bit fragile. The government has changed the rules on the ROA before and they could do it again. Rather than waste time appealing get the necessary paperwork together and apply for the UKM which it seems from what you said that you are entitled to and can process from outside the UK as well as inside it. Then you will have citizenship which also entitles you to the EU which of course the ROA doesn’t. All documents can be purchased so I am sure you can get the necessary paperwork for the UKM. Good luck.

  270. Ruth says:

    Hi all. I was born in Australia in 1973 to British born mother. I will be applying via UKM and then when approved for a passport. Has anyone had any experience with not sending your original passport? I am reluctant as I will require this for travel. I intend on sending my expired passport and a colour photocopy of my new passport. Which by the way is acceptable for the passport office but cannot find any information as to if the citizenship office will accept this.

  271. Tim says:

    My experience is that the immigration department do not accept any form of photo copies, certified or not! You need to confirm with them. When I sent my passport in they returned it very promptly once they had registered my application.

  272. Ruth says:

    Thanks Tim. How would you confirm with them? I’ve tried calling and go around the round a bout of recorded messages. I’ve also tried e-mailing it it bounces back with a stock standard message.

  273. Tim says:

    Here is the government website with the guide to complete the application. Refer to Section 4, Page 12 for details regarding your documents. I remember when I applied about four years ago, the law suddenly changed and photo copies were not acceptable.

    Click to access Guide_UKM_January_2014.pdf

    I remember that I had to send original documents. However, when it comes to documents such as your mother’s birth certificate, for example, which you might not have, you can apply for an official copy of her birth certificate online from their website:

    It is best to have everything as original as possible and follow those instructions about posting an insured return envelope. As I mentioned, mine were returned very soon after I sent them and I was applying in New York, USA. Once I felt I had everything together, I did call their helpline, which call you have to pay for, but it was worth every penny. See the contact details here:

    Keep working on it and don’t give up. It is well worth every ounce of energy.

  274. Kerri says:

    In my experience and everything I have read Tim is correct. They will NOT accept anything but originals.

  275. Ruth says:

    Thanks again Tim.

    Any Australians have experience with sending an insured return envelope from Australia?

    What company did you use?

    UPS don’t have this option and a royal mail cannot be purchased for international unless it is weight at the post office prior to payment.

  276. Ruth says:

    Just got a DHL quote to send an envelope from Liverpool back to Australia, $107.

    Surely there is another way.

  277. Tim says:

    I submitted my application to the British Embassy in Washington DC here in the US and they processed my documents here, but then forwarded the application to the UK, so I only had to pay for a return envelope within the US. Again, check your British High Commission in Canberra. Try this website:

  278. Elisa says:

    This is a question for those of you who were successful in registering as British citizens via the UKM form. Did you apply for your passport via the website? Is there a special section for UKM people? What documents did you have to send? Thank you ! My ceremony is this coming wednesday at the Embassy in Rome …

  279. Tim says:

    Elisa: When I applied, on had to download the application form from the internet, complete it by hand and mail it to the British Embassy. You will receive a copy of your registration certificate at your ceremony, which you must include. They will probably explain it all to you at the ceremony.

    As I always recommend, do contact the embassy and clarify the details, even if you have to pay for the call, it is worth it.

  280. Elisa says:

    Thank you Tim !

  281. Tracey says:

    My mother was born in Wales. My background is very British on both sides however my father is Australian born. As I was born before 1983 I am required to apply and pay for british citizenship by descent while each of my cousins on that side only have to apply for a passport as it is their father who is British. I have filled out the forms and had them completed by the required referees but on further thought I have decided not to go ahead with the application on principal. How dare the law expect the children born to British mothers before 1983 apply, pay a fee and attend a ceremony while all others have automatic access? One would think the British mother, regardless of the year their child was born, would be considered with a lot more regard in the passing on of citizenship being that when a baby is born the only 100% guarantee in all cases is that the mother is a certain parent of said baby. Oh well I guess they need to get some extra cash somewhere…..just won’t be from me!

  282. Kerri says:

    I agree with you 100%! My situation was pretty much the same except my father was Canadian. Its a outrage that this has been allowed to continue there is no doubt about it!! And you are most probably right, its just about money. But thanks to the organizer of this site we are not paying over 800 pounds which it was before!
    Actually because I have Right of Abode I don’t even need British Citizenship. I continued on with the process so that I would have access to the EU. Given the state of most countries in the EU however I am not sure whether that was even worth the effort but regardless its done now.
    Best wishes,

  283. tarryn says:

    My husband’s application got rejected. So now we are going through the expensive route of ILR. I was hoping someone could give me advice. We are about to apply, but looking at the application, it asks if we receive benefits and one of them is child benefit. When my daughter was born, I was given the benefit from to sign, I advised them that is was under immigration concontrol. They said just tick the box that says they I was under immigration control. We have and been receiving this benefit for 3 years now. I read, that they could reject our ILR. We Will pay the befit back, but can’t be guaranteed we will get our IL. Can some someone please give me advice? Not sure taking the risk paying for the ILR and it being rejected.
    Thank you


    This thread is now closed. Thank you to all who have shared your experience and answered questions and concerns regarding this issue.

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