Wed | Feb 26, 2020

Immigration Corner | Can I register as British national?

Published:Tuesday | February 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

Could you please throw some light on when a person is eligible to register as a British national?

- NF

Dear NF,

There are six different types of British nationality, and these are British citizenship; British overseas territories citizen; British overseas citizen; British subject; British national (overseas); and British protected person. If a person is unsure whether he/she has British nationality, that person should contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Persons will need to be a British overseas citizen; British protected person; British subject; or a British national (overseas). They will get citizenship 'by descent' if their applications are successful, and it is worth noting that children of such applicants will not automatically become British citizens if they are born outside of the United Kingdom. In order to make an application, persons must apply using form B(OS). In addition, they must meet certain conditions, and it is advisable that they read the guidance before making the application.

Persons may be able to register as British citizens if they hold any form of British nationality and either they have lived in the United Kingdom for at least five years - and spent no more than 450 days abroad during that time and no more than 90 days abroad in the last 12 months; they have worked in Crown service at any time.

Persons will get citizenship 'otherwise than by descent' if their application is successful and their children can also be British citizens. Those persons should make their applications using form B(OTA). Also, in this case, they must meet certain conditions, and it is advisable that they read the guidance before making the application.

It should be noted that persons cannot register as British citizens if they are British overseas territories citizens (BOTC), and one of the following applies: they have previously given up British citizenship; their BOTC status is in connection only with the sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

The Registration fees application costs are for each adult PS1,121 and for each child PS936.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (U.K.).