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The law about entitlement to British citizenship can, in some cases, get very complicated. In some cases it can be difficult to work out whether a person is automatically entitled to British citizenship or not, and thus difficult to work out whether or not they need to make an application for British citizenship. This subject is made more complicated by the fact that there are various forms of British nationality other than full British citizenship.

However, the majority of situations are relatively straightforward. In many cases an adult can apply for naturalisation as a British citizen and a child can apply for registration as a British citizen.


There are two ways to qualify for naturalisation: five years lawful residency or three years lawful residency for someone who is married to a British Citizen. Applicants must have indefinite Leave to Remain before they can successfully apply for British naturalisation. There also requirements about not having spent too many days outside the UK during the relevant period and there is also an English language requirement.

If your application for British naturalisation is refused there is no right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal, but you can ask for your application to be reconsidered.


An application for a child’s registration as a British citizen may be made on the basis of entitlement but it may also be made on a discretionary basis.

A popular myth about a child born in the UK is that the child will automatically be a British citizen. This is not always the case, as it depends on the immigration status of the parents. And children born abroad or adopted abroad can, in some circumstances, be entitled to British citizenship by descent.

To find out more about the above, you are welcome to call us on 020 8566 5522 for a preliminary informal discussion of your matter. We may ask you to send us further information about your matter either by fax on 020 8566 5511 or by email at so that we may get a fuller picture of your circumstances.

After this initial discussion, you may wish to book an appointment for a full consultation via SKYPE or ideally at our offices located at 7 Central Chambers, The Broadway, Ealing, W5 2NR. We are directly opposite Ealing Broadway tube and railway station.

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