I was born in the USA in 1992 to an American father and a Scottish Mother. My father married my mother in 1978 and moved here to USA in 1991, the rest of all my siblings were born in Scotland and have British citizenship. My mother became a US Citizen in 2010, can I still apply for British citizenship and Passport?

  • Was your mother born in Scotland/the UK? See also gov.uk/check-british-citizen
    – Gala
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 16:17
  • Yes my mother was born and raised in Scotland, and moved to USA when she was 34 with my father who is American.
    – Justin
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 16:40
  • 3
    Then I think you are most likely already a British citizen. You will just need to provide documentation to the effect that your mother was born in Scotland (i.e. that she is a British citizen ‘otherwise than by descent’) when you apply for your passport. And you are yourself a British citizen ‘by descent’, which means you won't automatically transmit that citizenship to your children born abroad. But there are people on this site who know a lot more than I do about British citizenship so I hope one of them will provide an answer to confirm or correct all this in the next hours/days.
    – Gala
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 16:45
  • Related: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/2717/…
    – Karlson
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


Based on the information you provided the Government's citizenship checking site is actually quite helpful (it's sometimes not so helpful if you were born before 1983, but in your case it's actually okay):

When were you born?
On or after 1 January 1983

As you were born in 1992

Were you born in the UK or a qualifying territory?

No, the USA is not one of the qualifying territorities

Was one or both of your parents a British citizen 'not by descent'?

Yes, your mother was born and raised in the UK, and is therefore a British citizen not by descent.

Based on this you are already a British citizen by descent, meaning you have gained the citizenship from one of your parents. This type of citizenship is usually a bit limited, as in most cases you won't be able to pass your British citizenship onto your children.

See my other answer on how to apply for your first British passport from abroad.

  • 1
    This is correct. I did this last year, am now in Britain with my dual passports.
    – insidesin
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 14:37
  • 1
    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
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 17:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.