I'm trying to apply for my first British passport and have been reading various gov.uk sites for guidance to do it correctly. I have completed the online form, confirmed my identity, and I am at the stage where I'm ready to send supporting documentation - birth certificate, EU passport, and parents passport from when I was born.

I was born in 1986 in the UK, have lived here my whole life, and both of my parents are from an EU/EEA country and I only have an EU passport. My Grandparents are not British either.

One of the pages suggests that I may need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and under "Who should apply - you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen"

"Except in a few cases, you need to apply if: you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen .... This means you need to apply even if you: were born in the UK but are not a British citizen - you can check if you’re a British citizen if you’re not sure".

On this page it states:

If at least one of your parents was a citizen of an EU or EEA country when you were born You’re automatically a British citizen if when you were born at least one of your parents was both: a citizen of a country that was in the EU or the EEA and had full free movement rights living in the UK, and working or studying here

Based on the above I should be a British citizen, however I don't know how I would prove that my parents were living in the UK when I was born. Is there any way for me to know whether I'm considered a British Citizen or is this something I need to prove myself?

  • What country issued the EU-Passports and where were they issued (especially those of your parents when you were born)? Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 18:48
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    @MarkJohnson why would the country issuing the passports matter? totalfreakingnoob: was either of your parents working in the UK? If so, you could provide evidence of that, such as tax records or employment records.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 22:59
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    @MarkJohnson the issue of a passport in the UK is far from conclusive evidence that the bearer of the passport resides there. It might have been issued during an extended visit. totalfreakingnoob: you only need to show that one of your parents was working, so you seem to be all set. Your birth certificate showing both parents is probably sufficient; I doubt that it matters whether they were married.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 2:46
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    @phoog marriage matters in case you can only prove legal settled status through your father, because based on rules valid on 1986 that only works if your parents were married. If legal settled status can be obtained from the mother's side then no marriage certificate is required
    – SztupY
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 15:09
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    @phoog In this case, as an Italian citizen living abroad for longer than 1 year (where registration in the A.I.R.E is required), the passport renewal will be noted as being done as residents of the United Kingdom and is therefore a possible source of proof that could be accepted by the British authorities. One must look at the whole picture that is often only possible when all relevant information is available. It was with this situation in mind, that I wrote the first comment. Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


You will need to prove this yourself, but you might be able to get help. It would obviously be helpful if any of your parents have kept any papertrail from their residence in 1986 (rent agreements for example). An old passport from 1986 of either of your parents containing stamps from the UK that they have been granted leave is the best proof available.

Even without that you might get help from the government: You should be able to obtain your UK birth certificate first from the registrar where you were born. That should contain where your mother had been living which might be enough of a proof on it's own. The council might also have some papertrail about your parents as well. Also you should also obtain their NI numbers and reach out to HMRC who should be able to prove based on that whether they have been working (paying taxes) during 1986 in the UK which would also constitute as proof.

You will also need proof that they were an EU citizen in 1986 not from Spain or Portugal. Their original birth certificates or marriage certificates should be enough if they are in English. Otherwise they need to be translated. You will also need at least on if their passports as well.

For some info check the government site on how to apply for your first passport

If you cannot prove that your parents have been living legally in the UK in 1986 then you might be out of luck however. You should apply for the settlement scheme immediately. One that's granted you have to wait a year and then you should be able to apply for naturalization as a British Citizen. It's a costly process though.

  • I have my birth certificate which shows I was born in the UK. I have my Mother's Italian passport (No ILR) from when I was born as proof of EU citizenship. My Father was working in the UK and the Government Gateway site shows he made National Insurance contribution every year from 1984 onwards. My Mother did not work, so I cannot provide the same evidence for her. I am unsure whether I would need to provide their marriage certificate. If I do, I would need to request this from Italy, have it sent to the UK, and presumably have it translated before submitting it in my passport application. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 19:38
  • You seem to have better luck of proving your father was working legally in the country, but you'll need to prove they were married before you were born for which you'll need their (translated) marriage certificate.
    – SztupY
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 17:15

Since you and your parents are Italian citizens, is is very likly that you and they are registered in the Registry of Italians Resident Abroad (A.I.R.E.) system.

This registry should contain all information about when and where your parents lived while outside of Italy.

Normally a child born outside of Italy should be registered in this system. The same is true for Passport applications and renewals.

This information may be helpfull, especially in the case of your mother, that they were living (and remained) in the United Kingdom at the time of your birth.


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