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Can i get a british passport ??
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Can i get a british passport ??

A little history:
my mum was born in the u.k in 1958 to a british father. She left england in early 1963 to singapore and had dual british/singaporean citizenship. When she was around 24 she then moved to new zealand and soon gave up her singaporean citiz for N.Z citizenshp. I was born in new zealand in 1991 and have been here since.

Im curious to know if i am able to apply for a british passport? im sooo confused with everything i've found on the net. i did find this though:
From 1983
~A child born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 will automatically acquire British citizenship by descent if either parent is a British citizen otherwise than by descent at the time of the birth.
~only one parent needs to be British otherwise than by descent - either the father or the mother.

Prior to 1983,
~as a general rule British nationality could only be transmitted from the father through one generation only, and parents were required to be married.

With effect from 30 April 2003, a person born outside the UK to a British mother may be entitled to register as a British citizen by descent if that person was born between 8 February 1961 and 31 December 1982.

i know it dosn't say but, did my mum have to be married at the time of my birth for me to be considered a "british citizen"?????? idk im all confused.. anyone know?
Additional Details
thanks for all the info! BUT my mum is now ONLY a new zealand citizen. (i asked her lol) so does that change things for me wanting to get a british passport? or is her being born there enough? THANK YOU!!


Laurence G
According to that yes, but I'm English and I'd much rather live in NZ.

Your mother was born in the UK before 1 Jan 1983 and has not since renounced her citizenship, so is a British citizen. Before that date it did not matter whether you had a a British parent or not, if you were born in the UK you were automatically British.

You were born in 1991 so that makes you a citizen by descent as you were born to a British parent outside the UK after 1 Jan 1983. Before 1 Jan 1983, your mother could not have passed on her citizenship to you as only fathers married to the mother of the child could pass on citizenship.

Your confusion about whether your mum needed to be married to your father is understandable as British nationality law is very complicated However, you would only need to be worried about this if your father was British and your mother was not.

You are a British citizen by descent. You don't need to do anything to 'claim' citizenship other than apply for your passport as proof of your entitlement to it.

If your mother registered your birth in New Zealand, you will have a British birth cert. It sounds as though she didn't which is no problem. It only means that you must include your mother's birth cert and British passport at the time of your birth with your passport application.

EDIT Unless your mother has formally renounced her British citizenship, then she is still a British citizen. Just because she became a New Zealand citizen does not automatically revoke her British citizenship.

Formally renouncing citizenship involves making a legal declaration. Unless she has done this, she is still a British citizen. Both NZ and the UK allow dual citizenship.

Bitter Brit
No, she didn't have to be married. It looks as though you could be eligible for a British Passport.

To be sure, contact IPS directly: http://www.ips.gov.uk/cps/rde/xchg/ips_live/hs.xsl/contact_us.htm

Good luck

The Dark Side
It looks like you are a British citizen and are therefore entitled to a British passport. You were born after 1983 and can therefore have British citizenship from your mother - before 1983 that was not possible. I think where the confusion comes is that to have British citizenship from your father, before 2006 (when the law was changed again) your parents had to be married. However, that does not apply to British mothers. This is, well, simple biology... there can be no doubt who your mother is as she gave birth to you, but a father can only be a legitimate father if he was married to your mother. As I say, the law changed again in 2006 to recognise partners who aren't married but this is irrelevant to you as you were born before then and we're talking about your mother anyway.

So it goes like this - your mother is British as she was born in the UK before 1983 and is therefore automatically British. Unless she has positively given up British citizenship, she still is. Therefore you are a British citizen by descent because of having a British-born mother, and are entitled to a British passport.

Let's look at it another way. If you applied for a British passport, what documents would you need to prove you are British? The British High Commission in Wellington is really good on this and provides a checklist at http://ukinnewzealand.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/Passports/Checklist8-ApplicantbornoutsideUKafterJan1983MotherbornUK . So all you need is your own full birth certificate showing parents' names, and your mother's British birth certificate showing the same thing. Both of those documents exist and so you can have your British passport. Everything else on the checklist is just what I would have to send in to get my passport (I'm British, born and live in the UK).

http://ukinnewzealand.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/passports/applying-in-nz/ tells you everything you need to know about applying for a British passport in NZ. If your mother doesn't have a full birth certificate, you can get an acceptable replacement from http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/ if she was born in England or Wales, or from http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/famrec/bdm.html if she was born in Scotland (use form SU3). England/Wales and Scotland still have separate legal systems, which is why this is.

About countersigning one of the photos and the application form - you need a "professional person" not related to you who has known you for at least 2 years to do this. What most British people do is to get their family doctor to do it (a lot of them get asked so much that they make a small charge for it!) Or if you have a family friend who has known you for 2 years and is a member of a professional institute, you could ask them to do it. I'm a qualified accountant, member of my professional institute, so I've done it for a few friends.

Just a few more things that might be interesting - you are a British citizen by descent, not by birth, so any children you have will not be British unless they are born in the UK. And being British, you are also a citizen of the European Union (it's shown on the front cover of a British passport even above the name of the United Kingdom), which means that if you ever want to travel around Europe, passport checks are a formality and you'll be welcome everywhere. I have a good friend who lives in Germany and whenever I visit him, all the passport control officer at the airport does is have a quick look to check me against the photo.

Edit - in response to your Additional Details, read my 3rd paragraph above again. All the High Commission will want to see as proof of British citizenship is your birth certificate and your mother's birth certificate, and they will probably not look to see if she has given up British citizenship since. So my answer still stands. Under the British Nationality Act 1981, strictly speaking she needs to have still been a British citizen when you were born for you to be British, but unless she has actually formally renounced British citizenship before you were born AND the High Commission checks on that, you will get your British passport.

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