I am trying to apply for a British passport. I have learned that since I was born to a British mother and an American father, and was born in 1972, that I do not qualify under my mother for citizenship. However I've just seen a post from Danny back in September 2015 that he was able to apply for his with similar circumstances as mine. I would like to know how I can do the same thing.
You are not currently a British citizen, because British citizenship by descent could only be passed from the father prior to 1983.
However, you are currently eligible to register as a British citizen, if you would have gotten citizenship had women been able transmit citizenship the same way men could. Basically, this means your mother had to have been a British citizen "otherwise than by descent" (i.e. she was not herself born outside the UK and got citizenship at birth through her parent; if she was born in the UK or naturalized in the UK that would be fine). If and when your application to register is approved and you are a British citizen, you can get a British passport.
Yes, your situation sounds the same as mine, as long as your mother was a British citizen "otherwise than by descent".
- My mother was born and raised in Scotland by British parents
- My father is a US-only citizen
- I was born in the US in 1971
The starter page for information can be found here - you're looking for form UKM. I did all this back in 2011, so it's possible details have changed, but here are the notes on the process I took at the time:
The trickiest part of the form was needing 2 "referees" (references), preferably one with a British passport that is not related to you. I ended up calling friends of my parents and had them download the form, fill out their section, and mail it to me so I could do the rest.
Once I had that in hand I sent it, along with a form that authorized them to deduct my credit card for fees - it was something like $120 for the embassy to copy all my documents and forward them to the UK. (It looks like the current fee is £80). I gave them:
- My birth certificate. I mailed mine to my birth state (not my current state) to get an apostille. I don't know for sure that this was required in this case, but some countries do require it, and it was only $10. Took about a week there and back.
- My mother's expired passport
- My US passport (expired is OK)
- My mother's birth certificate. I ordered hers from the Scotland's People website (which is also great for genealogy)
- After they had received my packet they sent me an email asking for my parents' marriage certificate to show the link between my parents' names and mine. I really don't know that this was required - they had my birth certificate, after all - but they accepted a scanned email version, so it was easy enough to do. If you have it, I would send it in at the beginning. It seems more like this would apply for the time period where a British father could only pass citizenship to his child if he was married to the mother.
I sent all the originals to the British Embassy in Washington, they scanned it all and checked it over (see point #5, above) and then mailed them back. The return fee was part of the ~$120 I paid.
They say it can take up to 6 months to process, but I planned on getting antsy around 3 months. Fortunately it was basically 3 months to the day from when I got all the documents back in the mail to the day the letter arrived from the British Consulate in Houston.
They gave me an appointment for a month later. I paid ~$140 on the spot for the ceremony (I'm still not 100% convinced that this shouldn't have been included as part of the original fee, but I was excited enough not to quibble). After the ceremony they handed me a passport application form. More forms, mailing and waiting, and I had my UK passport about 2 months later.
Note that you would then be a British citizen "by descent", so you cannot automatically pass your citizenship to your children.
This is correct. I did this last year, am now in Britain with my dual passports. – saneity Sep 11 '15 at 14:37
Agree with the statement that the site is not always helpful for those born before 1983. I was born in 1971 in a very similar situation to the OP (Scottish mother/American father/born in USA), and while the questionnaire is correct in indicating that I was not already a British citizen, it makes no mention whatsoever of the possibility that I could register as a citizen through my mother - the question of parentage is never even asked. I registered back in 2011 and have had dual passports for the last few years. – Danny Sep 17 '15 at 17:56