Dual nationality is allowed under UK law. British citizenship is conferred either by birth, by descent (by having British parents), by registration, or by naturalization in the UK.
British Citizenship by descent – Born Outside the UK to a British Parent
Due to technicalities in UK citizenship and naturalization law, if you were born before January 1, 1983 outside the UK to a mother who was British, but your father was not British, then you must submit a different type of application called Registration as a British Citizen. This is because under previous iterations of the law, only a father could pass down British citizenship – not a mother.
Likewise, if you were born between 1983 and 2006 to an unmarried British father then you also qualify for Registration as a British Citizen. For similar reasons, previously a child whose father was not married to the child’s mother could not inherit the British citizenship of the father – they would automatically inherit the mother’s citizenship under UK law.
Changes and updates have been made to address these sexist and outdated inequalities in UK law in order to stop people from losing out on British citizenship, which is why this application for Registration as a British Citizen exists.
If you were born in the UK before January 1, 1983 (regardless of parentage), or if you were born in the UK with a British citizen or other settled parent on or after January 1, 1983, then you may be eligible to get your British passport straightaway without having to first register as a British citizen. Click here for more information.
How to Apply for a British Passport
For people in the situations listed above, obtaining your UK passport is a two-step process:
Step 1: You will need to first apply to register as a British Citizen with the UK Home Office. This is an application process which is more complex and time consuming than a standard UK passport application. During the application process, you will need to appear in person to provide biometric information, and to finalize the application, you will have to swear the oath of citizenship in front of a representative of Her Majesty. Once the oath has been sworn, you will become a British Overseas Citizen and you will receive a certificate of British citizenship as proof.
Step 2: Once you have received your British citizenship certificate, the application for your first UK passport can be submitted. This application will contain your original documents including your birth certificate, as well as the British citizenship certificate you have just received.
Our office will help you through both steps of the process, first getting you registered as a British citizen and then applying for your first UK Passport. We will:
- Advise what documents will be required for your application
- Review your supporting documents to avoid any complications and subsequent delays to processing
- Complete and submit the online application for you
- Advise what originals you must send to our office
- Submit your originals to the Home Office and HMPO in a timely and secure fashion
- Keep you updated of the processing and when you should expect your new passport back
Cost of a Registration as a British Citizen Application
The Home Office charges a flat fee of £80 to process a UK Mother or UK Father application.
Her Majesty’s Passport Office charges the following fees for passport applications:
|UK Passport Application|
|Adult (16 and over) standard 34-page passport||£75.50|
|Adult (16 and over) 50-page frequent traveller passport||£85.50|
|Child (under 16) standard 34-page passport||£49|
|Child (under 16) 50-page frequent traveller passport||£59|
|Passport for people born on or before 2 September 1929||Free|
An additional fee of £30 is charged for the courier cost to return the passport and supporting documents outside of the UK.
Our office charges $3016.85 in local currency to assist with this application including all government fees, our professional fees, and courier costs required for processing. Our service includes all steps required from beginning the process all the way to you receiving your British passport.
British Passport Application Processing Time
Step 1: The processing time for Registration as a British Citizen is approximately 6 – 12 months.
Step 2: The average processing times for a UK passport is approximately 4-6 weeks but this is subject to change and has been affected by COVID.
The total processing time for all steps in the process is generally around 1 year.
The Home Office and HMPO do not recognize any form of urgency. You cannot submit a passport application to HMPO and request urgency.
Proof of UK Citizenship is Required To:
- Live permanently in the UK
- Work in the UK
- Study in the UK
- Join the British Armed Forces (Her Majesty’s Armed Forces)
Once you have your UK passport, you can also use it to fast-track immigration to Canada through an IEC Working Holiday visa, and for easier entry to other countries as well. If you have already participated in IEC using one passport, you can participate again once you get your UK passport.
Traveling on a British Passport
Unlike Canada and the USA, the UK does not require that UK passport holders enter the UK on their British passport however it is always advisable, whenever possible, that you use the passport of the country you are returning to.
Adult passports (16 years and over) are issued for 10 years while a child’s passport (15 years and under) are issued for 5 years. UK passports come in two sizes to accommodate frequent travelers, jumbo and regular. Jumbo passports contain 48 pages while regular passports contain 32 pages.