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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I got my British passport in 1971 - I was born in India -

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I got my British passport in 1971 - I was born in India - will my son be eligible for a British passport
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I got my British passport in 1972 at the age of 12 years. My son was born in Bangladesh in 1997 and has a Bangladesh passport . Presently he has completed his IFP at Warwick University and wishes to study PPE at Warwick. Can he get a UK passport? My wife has a Bangladesh passport. We all live in Bangladesh.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was born in 1960 in India


How did you obtain uk citizenship please? How were you eligible for it please?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My mother and I arrived in the UK in 1971 soon after the start of our war of independence in Bangladesh. My mother who was also born in India has a British passport.


I am still a bit unclear on how you got your UK citizenship. Did you naturalise as a UK citizen when you arrived in the UK? Were you simply given UK citizenship when you arrived?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not really sure as I was only 11 or 12 at the time. I have the document which was sent with my British passport at the time. My mother is very elderly so cannot remember details. Please advise.


Did your mother have any UK ancestry?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. She went to school and university and got her British passport around 1957 or 1958

Ok. So you think your mother got her passport as a result of her residing in the UK by going to school/university?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that's right. I think in those days she could get a British passport by applying for one as a Commonwealth citizen.


Thanks for your question. I will try to help.

Unfortunately, I do not think your son is eligible for a UK passport.

The most optimistic scenario would be that your mother obtained UK citizenship “otherwise than by descent”. Even this is still unclear on the information that you have given me.

If she had this citizenship (ie. the most useful in terms of passing to children) then because you were born outside the UK you would have inherited it from her “by descent”.

Unfortunately, this means that you cannot automatically pass your citizenship on to your children if they are born outside the UK. The only way that your son would have been able to apply for UK citizenship would be by registering him whilst he was a child. In order to do this you would have to have shown that you are a UK citizen by descent and that you spent three years in the UK at some point before he was born and that you did not leave the UK for more than 270 days within this three year period.

However, because registration in these circumstances would have to occur before the child is an adult it would not now be possible for him to register as a UK citizen because he is an adult. This is very strictly applied.

This means that if he now wished to naturalise as a UK citizen he would have to go through the same process as any other non-UK, Non-eea citizen, which means that he would have to secure a visa which allowed for him to work in the UK and then live her on that visa until such time as he is able to apply for “indefinite leave to remain” (usually 5 years) and then apply to naturalise 12 months after obtaining indefinite leave to remain.

I am really sorry that I could not have better news for you

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back. Please remember to leave positive feedback using the stars at the top of the page.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Tom,If I got my passport by naturalisation prior to 1983 then wouldn't my son be eligible for a passport?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also from 1971 onwards I was in school and university in the UK with no large time outside of the UK


Yes, if you got your UK passport by naturalisation then you would hold UK citizenship "otherwise than by descent". This means that you would be able to pass on your UK citizenship to your son even though he was born outside the UK. In these circumstances, your son would be able to apply for a UK passport provided you could prove the facts of his birth and that you receive citizenship by naturalisation.

I assumed that you didn't get it by naturalisation because you said that you arrived in the UK in 1971 and got your passport in 1972, which would mean that you had only been living in the Uk for 1 year and this period of residence would not be sufficient at the time (I believe) for you to qualify for naturalisation only a year after you arrived.

Your time spent in the UK at school is not realy relevant to your son's citizenship by regsitration because your son is now an adult.

If you were able to show that you obtained your citizenship by naturalisation then your son would be eligible though.

Please do remember to leave feedback


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How is it possible to track how I got my passport in 1972 because I am not very clear on this?


It isn't really, it's the responsibility of the person who obtains the passport (or their parent) to know how they obtained citizenship. In the absence of this you have to rely on the analysis of the facts as you can best establish them, which is what I did:

1. 1 year is not long enough for you to naturalise when you got your passport in 1972

2. Therefore, the most probable way that you got your citizenship is by descent from your mother who got her passport in '57/'58

3. Therefore, you are a UK citizen "by descent"

4. Therefore, you cannot automatically pass on citizenship to your child

5. Therefore, the only way that your son could have registered as a UK citizen is by registration, which is required to happen before he is an adult.

6. Your son is an adult and is therefore not able to register as a UK citizen. Therefore he is not eligible.

Please do leave feedback.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the feedback - there are potentially two ways I might have the British passport.1. Through my mother and so by descent - if so, how long does it normally take to get this passport on this basis?Or2. Political asylum - we had a war of independence in 1971 and we had to flee the country with one suitcase as our lives were in danger at the time - how long would it take to get a passport under such a situation?On another note - you mentioned that 'one year iS not enough for you to naturalise when you got your passport in 1972'. What is the normal time frame for that to happen?Rgds/Shahid

You have said that you already obtained your passport in 1971.

1. It normally takes about 4-8 weeks to have passport renewed.

2. I have no idea how long it took to get a passport in these circumstances in 1971.

The normal time frame to naturalise would be something like 5-6 years.

Please leave feedback using the stars at the top of the page.


Thomas and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your feedback. What would be the best and shortest time to get a British passport for my son. Rgds
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thoughts please...............


He would have to apply for a work visa, usually a tier 2 sponsored skilled worker visa and then spend 5 years on it wokring. Then the would have to apply for "indefinite leave to remain". Then he would have to wait 12 months after obtaining ILR and then apply to naturalise provided he met the criteria on the following page:


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi TomWhat if I were to set up a company in the UK and he could work in it and apply for a work permit??Shahid

It would not work because it would be for the sole purpose of getting him a visa.

If he had access to £200,000 then he could apply for a tier 1 entrepreneur visa:


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not understand why it would not work. As a British national I can set up a company without having to invest GBP 200K. I can then say I wish to employ him because he has certain skill sets that are needed in my business and so I can apply for a work permit for him - where is the problem?

Trust me. It would not work and you would waste time and money because it's purely for the purpose of getting him a visa. Forget about it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The company formed would be doing a legitimise business - I have a business in Bangladesh sp this uk company could be a representative office which would assist to expand my existing it would not be for the purpose of getting a work

I cannot comment further.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Disappointing that you cannot comment further because I believe I have a genuine case as I am running a legitimate business in Bangladesh and I am also looking to expand my activities abroad - especially in the advent of new opportunities with BREXIT happening sometime in the future - what could be better than having my son looking after my expansion scheme in the UK especially since he has specialised knowledge of the Bangladesh business environment and skill sets that I could not readily/easily find in the UK.Shahid


If you were to propose to make your son a director in a company in the UK and to invest £200, 000.00 in the business in the UK then I would encourage you to make application after instructing a solicitor.

If you do not have access to this amount and proposed to simply set up a company and sponsor your son then it would not work, I am sorry.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess you are not a businessman - obviously if I were to set up a company I would have a business plan - This would business plan would require specialised personnel with skill sets who understood the business environment in Bangladesh - since my son would have that experience it is quite logical that I would like him to join me in developing my business in the UK and create further employment, not only for my son, but for others as my business would expand - this can be shared with the immigration authorities - I still dont see why this will not be recognised as a genuine application. I may not initially invest PDS 200K but I would certainly invest a certain amount to set up the company and get it running.Shahid

I am a lawyer and a businessman, I have set up my own successful practice.

You are quite simply not accepting my view from my extensive experience, you would waste time and money if you do not but that is entirely your prerogative and I wish you luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your information. Let's agree to disagree..

Well, fine.