Who is a British citizen (automatic acquisition)?
Produced in partnership with Adrian Berry of Garden Court Chambers

The following Immigration practice note produced in partnership with Adrian Berry of Garden Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who is a British citizen (automatic acquisition)?
  • Automatic acquisition
  • Acquisition by birth in the UK or a qualifying territory to a British citizen parent or to a settled parent
  • Acquisition by birth in the UK or qualifying territory to a parent who is a member of the armed forces
  • Acquisition by foundlings
  • Acquisition by adoption
  • Acquisition by parental order
  • Acquisition by descent
  • Acquisition by a person born stateless in a British overseas territory
  • Application for confirmation of British nationality status

Who is a British citizen (automatic acquisition)?

IP COMPLETION DAY: The Brexit transition period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. At this time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), transitional arrangements ended and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for Immigration?

Automatic acquisition

Automatic acquisition of British citizenship occurs when, on fulfilment of prescribed conditions, a person automatically acquires British citizenship by operation of law. It is different from acquisition by grant, where a person makes an application for British citizenship to the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) (or other specified person) and a decision is made to grant or refuse British citizenship.

Acquisition by birth in the UK or a qualifying territory to a British citizen parent or to a settled parent

A person born in the UK or in a qualifying territory is a British citizen if, at the time of their birth, their father or mother is:

  1. a British citizen, or

  2. settled in the UK or in a qualifying territory

Note that from 1 January 1983 to 20 May 2002, the territorial reference was to the UK and the Falkland Islands (see British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983) alone; from 21 May

Related documents:

Popular documents