If someone wants to take up permanent residency in the UK, they usually need to go through a process called naturalisation. This is often done under the advice of an immigration solicitor in London. However, they may also be able to consider a different process called registering as a British citizen.
In order to register as a British citizen, there are number of possible criteria that someone can meet. An immigration solicitor in London, like Saracens Solicitors, can go through these with a client to see if they can apply to register.
One of the conditions that someone might be able to meet is if they are counted as a British national. There are various ways for this to happen including:
- British citizenship – someone might be a British citizen if they were born in the UK before January 1983. After this date, they would not automatically get British citizenship unless one of their parents was a British citizen or ‘settled’ in the UK at the time that they were born. In order to inherit British citizenship from their father, he would need to have been married to their mother if they were born before July 2006. This is no longer the case and biological paternity will suffice. It can be quite complicated, under some circumstances, to determine British citizenship so the advice of an immigration solicitor in London can be very helpful;
- British overseas territories citizen – this is where someone is born in one of the British colonies. A British overseas territories citizen has a British passport and the right to British diplomatic and consular support, but they cannot automatically live and work in the UK. However, they may be able to apply for British citizenship based on their nationality;
- British subject – very few people have been classed as British subjects since 1983 but there are rare cases where someone who was a British subject before that year can still apply for British citizenship;
- British national (overseas) and British protected person – there are some complex conditions that apply to people who live in areas that are or used to be British colonies, especially if they are stateless. These are best explored with the assistance of an immigration solicitor in London.