British Passport Eligibility

stewartamanson

New Member
Hi there,

I'm wondering if I can apply for a British passport - My Grandfather (deceased), is of Scottish heritage born in the UK and my father is a British Subject born in Hong Kong during the 50's when it was still a British Colony, later living in Scotland. My father lives in Canada now and holds a Canadian passport and an expired British passport. I was born in Canada and hold just a Canadian passport. Now I'm wondering, because my cousin obtained a British passport a few years ago through our Scottish Grandfather being from there (via birth certificate), but realize now that it only accounts for 1 generation now. That being said is my Father eligible to renew his British passport if it's been expired for quite some time now and that Hong Kong is no longer a British colony? And if he IS eligible, would I be able to gain a British passport through him?
 

stewartamanson

New Member
To add and I'm not sure if this applies but my Grandfather served in the military in WWII who was then stationed in Hong Kong - Hence my Father being born in Hong Kong.
 
Hey,

I think your father can apply for British citizenship under Apply for citizenship if you have a British parent and you were born between 1983 and June 2006. It states that

Your British parent could pass on their citizenship to you if they were one of the following:
  • born or adopted in the UK
  • given citizenship after applying for it in their own right (not based on having a British parent)
  • working as a Crown servant when you were born (for example in the diplomatic service, overseas civil service or armed forces)
For further info visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-british-parent/born-between-1983-and-2006
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
So, the issue revolves around your father's status. Can you look at your father's expired British passport and tell us the three letter code on it? (ex GBR)
 

stewartamanson

New Member
His British passport expired in 1997 and there is no 3 letter code in it anywhere. The front of his passport has a series of letters and numbers starting with a C and ending with a D. Would it be safe to post an image of his passport here?
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
So the issue is that British subjects born in Hong Kong had a limited time to claim different British subject/nationality status, once the British handed over Hong Kong to China. If your father didn't claim a different status and get it, then you cannot even inherit his old British subject status, as the British want it to expire. (This is my understanding.) You can read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_nationality_law_and_Hong_Kong
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
The three letter code would tell us what type of British national your father is.
  • GBR - British Citizen (normal UK Passport)
  • GBD - British Overseas Territories Citizens *
  • GBO - British Overseas Citizens *
  • GBS - British Subjects *
  • GBP - British Protected Persons *
  • GBN - British National Overseas
 

stewartamanson

New Member
I’ve looked at his British passport and there is no 3 letter code on it - just his name, national status (which states British Citizen), passport number, Place of birth (Hong Kong), date of birth (1953), expiration date (Sep 30, 1997), and issue date (Sep 30, 1987 in Ottawa).

Can’t he renew or apply for a new passport given that his Scottish father (my grandfather) was born in the UK? He is deceased but he has all of his documents from the military and birth certificate and all.
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
Oh, so it states "citizen"? That's great news! That means he's a citizen, so everything I've been saying is moot. I'm sorry I led you down this path, this "my father is a British Subject born in Hong Kong during the 50's " through me off. Your father should be able to renew his passport. Whether or not you are able to apply for your own depends upon whether or not the UK Passport Office considers Hong Kong in the 1950s as "abroad".

Sorry for the confusion.
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
So the fact that it's expired for so long just means he'll have to provide more documentation when he submits his renewal; it will be treated as a first time application for a passport so the process is often longer.
 

stewartamanson

New Member
Okay awesome! So but back to my other question - he'll need a valid passport in order for me to be able to apply for my British passport correct?
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
It's definitely better for your application if he has a valid passport, yes. It makes it much easier than if he doesn't.

I'd just like to reiterate: whether or not you're eligible to inherit British citizenship depends upon their interpretation of Hong Kong in 1953. If that's considered "abroad" in some way, you will not be eligible. However, if it is considered British territory (as it was) then you should be eligible without having to prove anything else.
 

nemiros

New Member
At first sight, your story seemed quite tangled for me, but now I get it. Oh, I remember when me and my wife had problems, because of the passport. I am travelling quite a lot so for me, it is important to not have any problems with my passport and documents in general. Once my wife had lost her passport somewhere in the airport when we arrived to our state. We actually didn't know what to do and spent a lot of nerves on that. By accident, I found a passport info guide which helped us to contact the department of state and to prepare all the documents we needed. It really helped us out!
 
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