The title says it all, I’m 17 years old and have just had my Brazilian passport renewed. I’m afraid I won’t be able to work because of it. I’ve lived in Scotland for 14 years and my dad is Scottish, so I thought i was a British citizen, whether it be because I grew up here or through descent.

Does anyone have any idea how I can find this information out? I’ve been in Scotland for my entire education and I’ve only ever left the UK for a two-week holiday my whole entire time here. I mean it’s my home.

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    The UK government has a web site that could help you determine your circumstance. gov.uk/check-british-citizen – user79729 Aug 30 '18 at 16:16
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    Can you clarify whether your father was born in the UK, and where you were born? Citizenship and place of birth of your mother may also help. – jcaron Aug 30 '18 at 22:35

You seem to be worried that you will lose your British citizenship by virtue of renewing your Brazilian passport. Rest assured that this is exceedingly unlikely to happen. There are only a few cases in which British citizenship can be lost involuntarily:

  • Fraud or misrepresentation during the naturalization/registration process (which doesn't apply to you, since you have British citizenship from birth), or
  • The Home Secretary determines that "it would be conducive to the public good to deprive the person of his or her British nationality."

This last one seems awfully broad on its face, and the Home Office is a bit cagey about how it's used; but in practice it seems that it's largely applied to suspected terrorists and spies, ensuring that they cannot re-enter the UK. (See this article for a few more details.)

However, this is exceedingly unlikely to affect you. Moreover, there is no bar under either UK law or Brazilian law to holding two citizenships from birth. As far as I can tell, you will be able to hold both Brazilian and UK citizenships for as long as you choose to do so.

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    I believe OP is not worried about losing his citizenship, but whether he is actually a citizen at all. I know I had the issue in France as, not being born in France, and with a complex family history, I had to have my citizenship confirmed by a tribunal when I went for what I thought would be a routine identity card renewal. As OP was not born in the UK, there are cases (depending on the exact circumstances of his parents) where he could actually not be a British citizen. – jcaron Aug 30 '18 at 22:33

There is an official web page where you can check if you're a British citizen by answering a series of questions.

On the basis of information you've supplied, it seems likely that you are. However, if it turns out that there's some misunderstanding (and for the benefit of future readers of this page who may have different circumstances) then you should also see the related page to check if you can become a British citizen. Given that you've lived in the UK for more than 10 years and are a family member of a British citizen, you would have at least two routes open to apply for indefinite leave to remain, and then after one year you would be able to apply for naturalisation.


Your comment in your duplicate question said that your father was a British citizen when you were born, and that he was born in the UK (and thus he was a British citizen "otherwise than by descent"), and you were born in wedlock. Based on this, you were automatically a British citizen at birth, and you are still a British citizen now. As a British citizen, you can apply for a British passport at any time.

  • Something is wrong with the link. – phoog Aug 31 '18 at 4:58

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i hope this clarifies things, my parents are going to try and make sure the site is 100% right about my status as a british citizen.


If your father is a British citizen, then you are British. If you were born in Britain, then you are British citizen "not by descent", otherwise you are British citizen.

  • Might be worth clarifying: If the OP was not born in Britain, then any children they have, which are not born in Britain, will not inherit the OP's British citizenship (though they might through the other parent of course). If the OP was born in Britain, they will. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 30 '18 at 19:28
  • @MartinBonner: From what I can tell, the OP's children can be registered as British citizens, since he has spent more than three years of his life in the UK. It's not an automatic thing like it is for the children of parents born in the UK, though. See the British Nationality Act. – Michael Seifert Aug 30 '18 at 20:44
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    Assuming OP's father was born in Scotland. Although, irrespective of this, OP may be eligible for an Ancestry Visa even if he's not a UK citizen. – Jim MacKenzie Aug 30 '18 at 21:42
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    "If your father is a British citizen, then you are British": this statement is incorrect because it does not take into account the possibility that the father is a British citizen by descent. – phoog Aug 31 '18 at 2:39
  • @JimMacKenzie or England, or Wales, or Northern Ireland, or any of several other territories. – phoog Aug 31 '18 at 3:46

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