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If you believe you are now eligible to apply for British citizenship or other forms of British nationality then this page will help understand whether you could be a British citizen, how you can apply for British citizenship and explain other forms of British nationality, and how you can give up your citizenship. Depending on your current citizenship or nationality, you may be able to apply in several ways. If you are unsure if you meet the requirements, you should contact us before submitting your application.


Note: The information provided in this section is not intended to be comprehensive, and is not a complete statement of immigration and nationality law or policy.


What is British citizenship?

British citizenship is one of the six different forms of British nationality. Some of these were defined in the British Nationality Act 1981, which came into force on 1 January 1983. The laws defining how citizenship can be obtained changed on that date, which is why you will often see references to 1983 on this site.


The forms of nationality are:


Who has the right to live in the United Kingdom?

All British citizens have the right of abode in the UK. Some Commonwealth citizens also have the right of abode, but some others cannot claim the right of abode. If you are not sure whether you have the right of abode, you can phone the Home Office nationality contact centre for advice or contact us.


How to claim the right of abode

You can use the following documents as evidence that you have the right of abode:


Who can apply for British citizenship and other forms of British nationality?

Depending on your current citizenship or nationality, you may be able to apply in several ways.


Can I be naturalised as a British citizen?

If you are over 18 and have been living in the United Kingdom for the last five years (or three years if you are married to or a civil partner of a British citizen) you may be able to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen. You may also be able to apply for naturalisation if you or your husband, wife or civil partner is in crown or designated service outside the United Kingdom.  This section covers AN applications.


There are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:

  1. You must be aged 18 or over.
  1. You must be of sound mind.
  2. You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK.
  3. You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree.
  4. You must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
  5. You must be of good character.
  1. You must meet the residential requirements.

For spouses and civil partners:

  1. If you are the husband, wife or civil partner of a British citizen; and you meet the residential requirements; or your husband, wife or civil partner is in Crown or designated service outside the United Kingdom.


Can I register as a British citizen or British overseas territories citizen?

If you need to register as a British overseas territories citizen there are several categories to consider.  As a British overseas territories citizen (BOTC) who has previously given up citizenship, you may be eligible to apply under several categories.

Note: This section covers BOS, BOTA, EM, UKM, G, T, RS1 and RS2 applications.


Useful questions and links to the answers:

  1. Can I register as a British citizen if I have some other form of British nationality?
  1. Can I register as a British citizen if I am a British overseas citizen, British protected person, British subject or British National (Overseas) with no other nationality?
  2. Can I register as a British citizen under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997?
  3. Can I register as a British citizen if I was born before 1983 to a British mother?
  4. Can I register as a British citizen if I am a British overseas territories citizen with a connection with Gibraltar?
  5. Can I register as a British citizen if I was born in the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 1983 and lived there up to the age of 10?
  6. Can I register as a British citizen if I have previously given up my citizenship?
  7. Can I register as a British overseas territories citizen if I have previously given up my citizenship?


Can I register a person under 18 as a British citizen or for another form of nationality?

A person under 18 can register as a British citizen, British overseas territories citizen, British overseas citizen, or British subject.  In addition to the categories listed below, people under 18 can register as British citizens if they are:



Useful questions and links to the answers:

  1. Can I register a child aged under 18 as a British citizen?
  1. Can I register a child aged under 18 as a British overseas territories citizen?
  2. Can I register a child aged under 18 as a British overseas citizen?
  3. Can I register a child aged under 18 as a British subject?
  4. Can I register as a British citizen if I was born in the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 1983 and lived there up to the age of 10?


Can I register as a British citizen or for another form of British nationality if I am stateless?

This will depend on your circumstances, click the below links to see if you can or not apply:

  1. Can I register as a British citizen, British overseas territories citizen or British overseas citizen if I am a stateless person born before 1 January 1983?
  1. Can I register as a British citizen, British overseas territories citizen, British overseas citizen or British subject if I am a stateless person born outside the United Kingdom or British overseas territories on or after 1 January 1983?
  2. Can I register as a British citizen or British overseas territories citizen if I am a stateless person born in the United Kingdom or British overseas territories on or after 1 January 1983?


Good character requirement

The good character requirement must be met by anyone applying for British nationality unless:

Note: The Home Office will consider you to be of good character if you show respect for the rights and freedom of the United Kingdom, have observed its laws and fulfilled your duties and obligations as a resident.


We hope the above has helped you, if you are still unsure and need additional advice you can contact us.  

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