The documentation listed as acceptable on uk.gov is:

• Your passport; and • Your full birth certificate (one which includes the name of your parent(s), (which should be requested from the relevant authorities in your country of origin); and • Your mother’s full birth certificate; and either • Her certificate of naturalisation or registration as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (or, before 1 January 1949, as a British subject); or • Papers showing her legal adoption; or • Her expired citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies passport.

The problem is, his mother died in 1979, when he was a teenager. Due to circumstances beyond his control, her birth certificate and passport are lost. I know we can order a copy of the birth certificate (hopefully as easy as paying the cost of it and shipping, or are there hoops to jump through?), and as she was born in the UK, I can't see her having any other naturalization or registration documents.

Her passport was thrown away by her husband's next wife, and so is unrecoverable. Can one order a copy of her passport, or do I need it if her birth certificate shows she was born in England? I don't see how they can expect people to have their parents' passports. What happens if their parents are dead? Do we really need her passport? Do we have a chance of making a successful application?

1 Answer 1


Although the guidance doesn't specifically mention it, in my opinion, your mother's birth certificate showing that your mother was born in the UK before 1983 should be sufficient by itself. Her passport should not be necessary.

Anyone born in the UK before 1983 was automatically a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth with right of abode in the UK (which became "British citizen" in 1983). And since she was born in the UK, her connection to the UK was "otherwise than by descent", and so she would have been able to pass citizenship and right of abode onto you had women able to pass citizenship before 1983; therefore, you are eligible to register as a British citizen now.

  • The relevant gov.uk page says "would have had the right of abode" but the guidance document does not use the conditional: "You will be entitled to registration if you meet all four of the below requirements: ... 3. you have right of abode which you acquired because ... "; if the prospective registrant must have RoA beforehand, could that explain the need for the mother's passport?
    – phoog
    May 4, 2018 at 17:31
  • @phoog: No, I think they just wrote it unclearly. It should say "would have had right of abode". In any case, the mother's birth is sufficient to meet the conditions below. I think the need for the mother's passport is only for cases where the mother got British citizenship through other ways than birth in the UK.
    – user102008
    May 4, 2018 at 18:13
  • The internal guidance seems to support your reasoning.
    – phoog
    May 4, 2018 at 19:17

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