British Passport Eligibility

Many people are interested in getting a British Passport, whether it is to allow them to move to our sunny climate, to live with family or to follow a job. Unfortunately it is necessary to fulfil certain criteria to actually get a British passport.

To be eligible for a British passport you must have British nationality. This is entirely down to the laws of the country and therefore tends to be complex and confusing. There are several ways to attain British nationality. One is if you are born on or after 1 January 1983 and your mother was born in the UK. In this case, you can automatically become British.

Another common belief is that if you marry a British man (assuming you are a woman) you will gain British citizenship. This is unfortunately only true if you married before 1 January 1949. After this date, you do not automatically attain citizenship. Your British nationality will also not change if you enter a civil partnership with a UK citizenship.

You are also not automatically given British citizenship if you are a foreign national or Commonwealth citizen. Having ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK, or the ‘right of re-admission’, only refers to your immigration status.

To find help in applying for a British passport, you can contact the home office. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) cannot help. The home office can be contacted at the following address:

General Enquiries Section Home Office Nationality Group PO Box 306 Liverpool L69 2UF 0845 010 5200

If you are a British citizen, a British overseas territories citizen, a British national (overseas), a British overseas citizen, a British subject or a British protected person then you are eligible for a British passport.

Anyone who was a citizen of the UK and Colonies on 31 December 1982, and had the 'right of abode' has British citizenship. If you were born in the UK after this date, you do not necessarily have British citizenship. If either your mother or father was a British citizen or was 'settled' in the UK when you were born then you most likely do have British citizenship. In most cases you will be a British citizen if your mother or father was born or naturalised in the UK.

It all seems pretty complicated, more information can be found at The website. Another good site is The UK Border Agency website.


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Welcome to GB Passport! This site aims to help you to navigate through the maze which is getting a new passport. Passport applications are complicated and it is difficult to get a passport at short notice. Hopefully some of this information will help you! Please remember that this information is meant only as a guide and that for definitive up to date information the government site should be used. If you have had success or problems getting a passport please email admin at gbpassport dot com. Please also email if you have any other information which would be useful to people. Thanks, J.

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