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Applications For British Citizenship

You may apply to resume your British overseas territories citizenship if you are of sound mind and:

you made a declaration to give up British overseas territories citizenship after 26 February 2002; or
you made a declaration to give up British dependent territories citizenship between 1 January 1983 and 25 February 2002; or
you made a declaration to give up citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies; and
your father's father (or, if you have been married or in a civil partnership, your husband/wife/partner's father's father) was: (a) born, naturalised or registered in that British overseas territory; or (b) a British subject who became such because the territory in which they lived is now part of that British overseas territory.
Naturalisation As A British Citizen:

A person who has completed five years residence in the UK and has held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for last one year can apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen. A person who is married to a British Citizen can apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen as soon as such person has completed 3 years residence in the UK and has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. The applicant must not have any unspent criminal conviction and must have passed Life in the UK Test before an application for naturalisation as a British Citizen is made to the Home Office, UKBA.

Children who are under the of 18 years (minors) can apply to the Home Office for registration as British citizens (MN1 Application) under the following sections of the British Nationality Act 1981. Once a child reaches age 18 they will have to apply to naturalise using form AN.

  1. birth in the UK to parents who are now settled in the UK or have become British citizens;
  2. birth in the UK to parents who have joined the armed forces;
  3. child whose parents are applying for British citizenship;
  4. birth abroad to parents who are British by descent and have lived in the UK or a British overseas territory;
  5. birth abroad to parents who are British by descent but are now living in the UK or a British overseas territory;
  6. children adopted abroad by British citizen parents;
  7. children whose parents had renounced and subsequently resumed British citizenship;
  8. any other case not listed below where it is considered to be in the child’s best interests to be granted British citizenship;
  9. birth abroad to parents serving in the armed forces.

    To register as a British citizen you must:

    • have been born in the United Kingdom; and
    • have been born on or after 1 January 1983; and
    • be 10 years of age or over; and
    • have spent no more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom in each of the first 10 years of your life.

    It may be possible for the UKBA to make an exception to the requirement to have spent fewer than 90 days outside the United Kingdom. If you have exceeded this number of days but believe there are special circumstances, you should explain these on your application form.

Registration As British Citizen Under The British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997

There are two requirements you need to meet to be eligible for registration as a British citizen under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997. You must meet both requirements.
The ordinary residence requirement

To meet this requirement you must:

  • be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong on the date of your application; and
  • have been ordinarily resident in Hong Kong before 4 February 1997.

A child born on or after 4 February 1997 must have been ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the time of his birth. In such cases account will be taken of where the parent/s were ordinarily resident at the time of the birth.

To be considered ordinarily resident in a country you must:

  • be living in the country full-time (apart from temporary or occasional absences); and
  • not be in breach of any immigration rules; and
  • have moved to the country voluntarily with the intention of settling there.

British courts have ruled that ordinary residence has the following features:
• it is a regular habitual mode of life in a particular place;
• its continuity has persisted despite temporary absences;
• it may be of long or short duration;
• it must be lawful;
• it must have been adopted voluntarily;
• it must be for a settled purpose.

The nationality requirement

To meet this requirement, on the relevant date (immediately before 4 February 1997), you must have been:

  • a British dependent territories citizen by virtue only because of a connection with Hong Kong; or
  • a British national (overseas); or
  • a British overseas citizen; or
  • a British subject; or
  • a British protected person; and
  • you must not have held any other non-British nationality.

The relevant date is the 3 February 1997 unless you became a British national after that date by birth, registration or naturalisation, in which case the relevant date is the date on which you became a British national.

It is possible to be a citizen or national of a country even if you have never held a passport issued by the authorities of that country. You should make sure this does not apply to you before you make your application.

You must not have held (hold) any other, non-British nationality or citizenship on the relevant date.

Notes:

  1. You may have held (hold) one or more of the above statuses.
  2. It is possible to be a British Dependent Territories citizen by connection with more than one British dependent territory. For example, a person born in Hong Kong to a parent born in another dependent territory could be a British Dependent Territories citizen regardless of the fact that he had been born in Hong Kong. Only a former BDTC by virtue of a connection with Hong Kong is eligible to apply under the 1997 Act.
  3. It is possible to be a national or citizen of another country even if you have never held a passport issued by the authorities of that country.
  4. You should take particular care if you become a British national through your Hong Kong connections but you are ethnically Chinese. Under Chinese nationality rules, you may have been regarded as a Chinese national. If so, you would not be entitled to registration under the 1997 Act. If you are in this category, we advise you to contact the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Immigration Department for clarification before making an application.
  5. You will not be eligible for registration as a British citizen if you renounced (or otherwise gave up) the nationality or citizenship of some other country on or after "the relevant date"
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