British Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship by descent for Turkish individuals means that a person born in Turkey has the right to citizenship by descent in the UK due to having a British parent. It is wise, however, to be aware that there are many rules and requirements around citizenship by descent in the UK.
This is why applicants should seek out an immigration lawyer here at Total Law. Our legal team can help you understand your eligibility for British citizenship by descent and how to apply. Just give us a call today at 0333 305 9375 to get started.

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    What Is British Citizenship By Descent?

    British citizenship by descent means that an individual born in a country outside of the UK, such as Turkey, has the right to become a British citizen because they have a British parent. A British citizen by descent will have obtained their citizenship in one of the following ways:

    • They were born outside of the UK to a parent who is a British citizen.
    • By being registered as a British citizen.

    It is critical to note that British citizenship by descent is different from British citizenship otherwise than by descent. Those who have citizenship other than descent will be able to pass on citizenship to children born overseas.

    Those who are British citizens by descent will usually not be able to pass on citizenship to their children who are born overseas.

    The only exception is if the child is born to a parent in a crown-designated or EU service. British citizens other than by descent will have obtained citizenship by birth, adoption, naturalisation, or, in the majority of cases, having been registered in the UK or a qualifying territory of the UK.

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    Who Is Eligible To Become a British Citizen By Descent?

    As per the British Nationality Act of 1981, the eligibility criteria to apply for British citizenship by descent will depend on the date that the individual was born outside of the UK.

    Citizenship by descent can be passed down by one generation of children born outside of the UK automatically. Therefore, an individual who was born in Turkey but whose parent was a British citizen at the time of their birth may automatically get British citizenship by descent.

    A parent can pass down their citizenship if they were born in the UK, adopted in the UK, or even if they obtained citizenship after they applied for it in their own right. Alternatively, this is also possible if the parent worked as a Crown servant at the time of the child’s birth.

    Yet, those whose parents obtained their British citizenship by descent will not qualify for automatic citizenship themselves.

    Automatic citizenship by descent will also depend on the time of the applicant’s birth and the immigration status of their parents at the time. For example, those born on or after July 1st, 2006, will automatically have citizenship as long as one of their parents was a British citizen in a way other than by descent at the time of birth.

    Who Is Eligible To Register For Citizenship By Descent?

    Overview

    Being able to apply for citizenship by descent as per the British Nationality Act of 1981 depends on eligibility criteria that are dependent on the date of birth. Specific dates include the following:

    • Those born on or after July 1st, 2006.
    • Those born between 1983 and June 2006.
    • Those born before 1983.

    If You Were Born On Or After 1st July 2006

    Those born on or after July 1st, 2006, will be able to obtain automatic British citizenship by descent if they were born overseas in Turkey in the following circumstances:

    • If either parent was a British citizen at the time of their birth.
    • If the British parent was able to pass on their citizenship to them.

    Those who are not eligible for automatic British citizenship by descent will be able to apply. This is possible on the condition that the applicant has one of the following:

    • The applicant has resided in the UK with their parents. If this is the case, the applicant must also meet additional requirements, including:
    • The applicant must be under 18 years of age.
    • One parent of the applicant must have been a British citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth.
    • The applicant must have lived with their parents for a minimum of 3 years immediately before they apply.
    • The applicant and their parents must not have been absent from the UK for any more than 270 days in the 3 years immediately before they applied.
    • A British parent that lived in the UK before the child was born. If this is the case, there are additional requirements, including:
    • The applicant must be under 18 years of age.
    • One of the parents of the applicant must have been a British citizen when the applicant was born.
    • The parents of the applicant must have resided in the UK for at least 3 years before the applicant’s birth, and they must not have been absent from the UK for any more than 270 days in this period.
    • The British parent of the applicant must have had a parent who held British citizenship and was able to pass on citizenship. Therefore, the parent must have been adopted into the UK, acquired citizenship in their own right, or worked as a Crown servant in the UK.
    • The applicant was adopted outside of the UK.

    If You Were Born Between 1983 And June 2006

    Those born between 1983 and June 2006 can obtain British citizenship by descent automatically if they were born overseas at a time between 1983 and June 2006. However, this is only the case where the following applies:

    • One of the parents was classified as a British citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth. The parents must also have been married in the instance where the father held British citizenship but the mother didn’t.
    • The British parent was able to pass on their British citizenship to the child.

    However, those who are not eligible for British citizenship by descent automatically due to the father and mother not being married are not ineligible for British citizenship by descent. This applicant would be able to apply for citizenship in the event the following applies:

    • The applicant’s father was born or adopted in the UK.
    • The applicant’s father applied for and obtained citizenship.
    • The applicant’s father worked as a Crown servant at the time of the applicant’s birth.

    If You Were Born Before 1983

    Those born before 1983 will be automatically classified as having British citizenship in the following cases:

    • The applicant was born outside of the UK.
    • The applicant has a British father.
    • The applicant’s father at the time of their birth was one of the following:
    • A citizen of the UK and its colonies.
    • Was married to the applicant’s mother.
    • They were able to pass on their citizenship to their child.

    Those who were born before 1983 may be able to apply for British citizenship by descent if they meet the following criteria:

    • The parents of the applicant were not married when the child was born.
    • The mother of the applicant was British, but the father was not British.
    • The mother or father of the applicant was a citizen of the UK and its colonies at the time of birth, and additionally, they fit one of the following:
    • They were born or adopted in the UK.
    • They applied for and obtained citizenship.
    • They worked as a crown servant at the time of the child’s birth.

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      How To Apply For British Citizenship By Descent?

      Those who automatically qualify for British citizenship by descent will need to do nothing more; however, it can be useful to apply to get a British passport.

      However, those who do not receive automatic classification as British citizens by descent will need to apply for British citizenship by descent. The applicant will need to use the appropriate application form to do so, however.

      Applicants should choose the appropriate application form based on their date of birth.

      • Those born on or after July 1st, 2006, will need Form MN1.
      • Those born between 1983 and June 2006 will need Form UKF.
      • Those born before 1983 with a British father will require Form UKF.
      • Those born before 1983 with a British mother will require Form UKM.

      Once the relevant online application form has been completed, the applicant will need to pay certain fees and complete several additional steps.

      Applicants should make an appointment with a relevant UKVCAS centre to provide biometrics. Additionally, applicants will need to upload their supporting documents for their application or get them scanned at their UKVCAS appointment.

      Requirements For British Citizenship By Descent

      Certain requirements need to be met for an applicant to be considered eligible for this application.

      • Applicants must prove their descent from a British parent.
      • The applicant should be of good character; this includes having a clean criminal record and complying with UK laws.
      • The applicant will not typically need to meet residency requirements for citizenship by descent. However, there may be some requirements, depending on the unique circumstances.

      Applicants will also need to prepare certain documents for their application, including the following:

      • The birth certificates of the applicant and the British parent.
      • A marriage certificate for the applicant’s parents.
      • Proof of descent, including birth and marriage certificates.
      • The visa history and passport of the applicant.
      • Proof of the applicant’s good character, such as a police clearance certificate or other documents from the country of residence.
      • Additional documentation, such as death certificates and adoption certificates.
      • A completed application form.
      • Proof that application fees have been paid.
      • Life in the UK Test and Language Test if required.

      British Citizenship By Descent Processing Time

      Most of the time, applicants should receive a decision on their application within six months from the date the application was received. If more information is required, the Home Office will let the applicant know. If more information is needed, the application process will be delayed.

      British Citizenship By Descent Application Fee

      Applicants should anticipate the following fees:

      • £1,500 for the application fee, if required.
      • £80 for the citizenship ceremony, if required (for those over 18 years of age).
      • £19.20 for a biometric residence permit (BRP).

      Not all fees are required for everyone. The fees will be dependent on when the applicant was born.

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        Dual Citizenship In The UK

        Dual citizenship is allowed in the UK. When an applicant for British citizenship applies, they can still retain their original citizenship and British citizenship, provided that this is enabled by the origin country.

        Turkey has no laws that prevent a citizen with dual nationality from having two citizenships. Turkish individuals applying for UK citizenship by descent can therefore retain both citizenships.

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        If you were born outside the UK but have a British parent, you may be eligible for British citizenship by descent. The path to British citizenship by descent is dependent on having a UK-born or British-citizen parent. However, ensuring that, when applying, you provide the relevant documents to prove eligibility is key.

        British citizenship through descent is one of the easiest paths to British citizenship, yet the process can be complex. This is why it is best to seek out the assistance of an immigration lawyer. Here at Total Law, we can help you apply for British citizenship by descent as a Turkish citizen. Our team can help you prepare for your application and walk you through eligibility. Just give us a call at 0333 305 9375 today.

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