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What is British citizenship by descent?

Under UK nationality rules British citizens are classed as either having British citizenship by descent or British citizenship otherwise than by descent.  Citizens otherwise than by descent, can normally pass to British citizenship through one generation to children born abroad, although that child will be unable to pass the citizenship to subsequent generations who were born abroad.

Who can automatically acquire British citizenship by descent?

A person will automatically acquire British citizenship by descent if they were born outside the UK on or after 1st January 1983 and one or both of the parents is a British citizen other than by descent. British citizen by descent applies when an individual is born outside the UK and one or both parents are British. Section 14(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 provides an extensive definition of the term British citizen by descent.

UK Ancestry – a potential route to British citizenship?

If you have a British grandparent and you are a Commonwealth citizen, then if you are not British but you may be able to come to the UK under the UK Ancestry visa route providing that you are a Commonwealth citizen, 17 years of age or over and have a grandparent who was born in the United Kingdom and you intend to work or be self-employed in the UK and able to maintain and accommodate yourself.  That is a route that leads to settlement and eventually naturalisation as a British citizen.