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British citizenship through a UK-born mother

Do you qualify to claim British citizenship through your mother?
Get the details to find out if you are eligible to claim British citizenship.

Get the details on the criteria to qualify for British citizenship

Rights to British nationality for a child born outside of the UK fall into two categories:

  • Where the mother was born in the UK after 1 January 1983
  • Where the mother was born in the UK before 1 January 1983

The question of illegitimacy is not relevant in the case of unmarried woman, in contrast to those for unmarried fathers.

Mother born in the UK after 1 January 1983

Mother was British at time of your birth

If your mother was born in the UK after 1 January 1983 and was British at the time of your birth, then you are a British citizen at birth and by operation of law (that is, without any need to apply).

In such situations, the relevant mother is considered as being British other than by descent and passes British citizenship to her children. You can apply for your British passport on this basis.

Mother was not British at time of your birth

If your mother was born in the UK after 1 January 1983 and was not British at the time of your birth, then your rights to British nationality depend on your age (whether you are under 18 or not) and the status of your parents at your birth and their status now.

If you are under 18, then click here for more information about children under 18.

It can be important to take action before a child turns 18. After they turn 18, several rights to British nationality fall away and can be lost forever.

Mother born in the UK before 1 January 1983

You are born after 1 January 1983

You are a British citizen at birth and by operation of law (that is, without any need to apply for British nationality) if you were born after 1 January 1983 to a mother who was born in the UK before 1 January 1983.

In such situations, the relevant mother is considered as being British other than by descent and passes British citizenship to her children. You can apply for your British passport.

You are born before 1 January 1983

An application for British nationality can be made if you were born before 1 January 1983 to a mother who was born in the UK.

In such situations, the relevant mother is considered as being British other than by descent and passes British citizenship to her children. You can apply for your British passport.

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United Kingdom

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WC1A 1DG +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

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Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 7070528) registered in England and Wales. Sable International is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (FSP no. 41900) and holds an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (AFS License number 335 126).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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