Sun | Jun 16, 2019

Immigration Corner | Can I get British citizenship through my father?

Published:Tuesday | March 19, 2019 | 12:21 AM

Dear Mr. Bassie,

I am a teenager and I would like to know if I am able to apply for British citizenship because my father is British by birth. I am hoping that you will be able to assist me.

GS

Dear GS,

Persons can apply for citizenship if they have a British parent and they were born between the years of 1983 and June 2006.

Persons are automatically a British citizen if born outside of the United Kingdom and all of the following criteria apply:

• Person was born between January 1, 1983 and June 30, 2006

• His/her mother or father was a British citizen when he/she was born. Parents must have been married if father had British citizenship, even if mother did not

• His/her British parent could pass on their citizenship to child

Applicant’s British parent could pass on their citizenship to him/her if they were one of the following:

• Born or adopted in the United Kingdom

• Given citizenship after applying for it in their own right, that is not based on having a British parent

• Working as a Crown servant when applicant was born, for example, in the diplomatic service, overseas civil service or armed forces

Please be aware that if a person is automatically a citizen, he/she can apply for a United Kingdom passport or ask for a letter confirming their citizenship.

If a British father was not married to the applicant’s mother, the applicant may be eligible to apply for citizenship if his/her father was a British citizen when he/she was born.

He must also have been one of the following:

• Born or adopted in the United Kingdom

• Given citizenship after applying for it in his/her own right, that is not based on having a British parent

• Working as a Crown servant when he/she was born, for example, in the diplomatic service, overseas civil service or armed forces)

Applicants must also be of ‘good character’.

It is advisable that the guidance form, 'Form UKF', online is read before filling in the application form. Persons can either apply online or apply by post. To apply by post, persons should download and fill in application form UKF and a payment slip.

Persons should send the form, payment slip, including the £80 citizenship ceremony fee, and their documents to the correct address for the country where they reside. Please note that when applying by this process, the applicant’s children will not automatically become British if they are born outside the United Kingdom.

Persons must also pay £19.20 to have their biometric information, fingerprints and a photograph, taken. They will be told how to do this after they have applied.

All the best.

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 (UK). Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com