I'm 16, now, and have been living in England, since I moved from my place of birth - Ireland - at 3 months of age.

I'm going to university in September, and have some worries about the implications regarding my Irish citizenship.

I'm trying to apply for Bursaries, Scholarships etc., and many websites ask about British citizenship, right to work, etc.

Both of my parents are British citizens, and as I said I've been living here my whole life, but my parents never took the time to apply for my British citizenship...

Would I just be classed as an external EU citizen; do I have right to work; or, do I have right to remain? What type of right do I have - am I here illegally? I really have no idea, and am confused by the stuff I've read.

Apologies, if this isn't the right place, to ask such questions.

  • How were your parents British citizens? Was either of them born in the UK before 1983?
    – cpast
    Feb 25, 2017 at 15:36
  • No, they gained it, about 20 years ago.
    – Tobi
    Feb 25, 2017 at 16:11
  • 1
    When you say "they gained it," do you mean they went through the naturalization process themselves (i.e. they applied for British citizenship when they were over 18, and their citizenship was not based on their parents or grandparents)? Or how did they get their citizenship?
    – cpast
    Feb 25, 2017 at 16:20
  • They applied; neither other their parent's are British citizens.
    – Tobi
    Feb 25, 2017 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Based on what you said in the comments, it sounds as though both of your parents were naturalized British citizens when you were born. Under British nationality law, if you are born after 1982 to a British parent, you are generally a British citizen. There are a few exceptions:

  • If only your father is British, and you were born before 2006, and if your parents weren't married when you were born and haven't married since, and the country your father considered home when you were born distinguished between children of married and unmarried parents, then you would have to register to become a citizen.
  • If your parents were British citizens by descent (meaning that they were born outside the UK and are only citizens because their parents were), they can't pass on their citizenship to you. In your case, though, your parents apparently naturalized. That means they're not citizens by descent, and so they can pass on their citizenship.

Putting this in the UK government's website, you are already a British citizen. You don't need to register or anything, but can just apply for a passport. You are probably a citizen by descent, so under current nationality law your children will not automatically become British citizens if born outside the UK. However, you would likely be able to register them as citizens before they turn 18.

  • Thank you, cpast, this has really helped me - and put my mind at ease. I'll, confirm the logistics via correspondence with the government, and my parents.
    – Tobi
    Feb 26, 2017 at 0:28

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