We note that not everyone knows the difference between British Subject and British National and they feel that they are entitled to apply for British Passport as a descent of British Passport Holder.
Who is a British subject
You became a British subject on 1 January 1983 if, until then, you were either:
- a British subject without citizenship, which means you were a British subject on 31 December 1948 who did not become a citizen of the UK and Colonies, a Commonwealth country, Pakistan, or Ireland
- a person who had been a citizen of Ireland on 31 December 1948 and had made a claim to remain a British subject
You also became a British subject on 1 January 1983 if you were a woman who registered as a British subject on the basis of your marriage to a man in one of these categories.
You’re a British subject if you were a citizen of Ireland on 31 December 1948 and made a claim to remain a British subject.
If you did not make a claim to remain a British subject you can apply to the Home Secretary to become a British subject if either:
- you’ve been in Crown service for the UK government
- you’re associated with the UK or a British overseas territory by descent, residence or another way
Children of British subjects
British subjects cannot normally pass on that status to their children if the children were born after 1 January 1983.
However, a child may be a British subject if they were born on or after 1 January 1983 in the UK or a British overseas territory and all the following apply when they are born:
- one of their parents is a British subject
- neither parent is a British citizen, British overseas territories citizen, or British overseas citizen
- they would be stateless without British subject status