British Citizenship

British nationality law has been shaped by the UK’s colonial past and has evolved to deal with a large number of entitlements to become a British Citizen, often based on a historical connection to Britain’s former empire.

On the most straightforward level the British Nationality Act 1981 regulates the acquisition of British nationality by birth, descent or adoption. It also provides for the acquisition of British nationality by individuals residing in the UK for a defined period, known as naturalisation. This simple summary belies the complexity of law, which also includes provisions to register individuals as British based upon certain prescribed circumstances, including provisions to retrospectively ameliorate historic gender discrimination, and allows for a number of subsidiary categories of British nationality statuses, based on colonial connections. 

The solicitors at McGill & Co recognise the importance of British citizenship and the benefits it provides. We regularly acquire citizenship for our clients. Often this can involve a highly technical approach, including exhaustive ancestral status tracing to establish a right to citizenship. We are adept in dealing with the Home Office and navigating the detailed ‘Nationality Instructions’ which their caseworkers abide by in decision making. We have also been involved in a number of precedent setting nationality cases, using our knowledge and lateral thought to secure results when it seemed impossible.