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My mum & dad went to England in the mid 50s on the British

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My mum & dad went to England in the mid 50s on the British passports of the time. They married & raised 6 kids, four are still in the UK.

During a messy separation in 1976 my dad destroyed mums passport & college papers.

Mum left the UK between 1980-81 (it was before the royal wedding) however on applying for a replacement she was somehow dissuaded from getting a new british passport and was instead encouraged to get a Jamaican one, which she did.

Now retired and receiving her pension from UK, she would like to visit with her children. We would like to know if she can get a replacement British Passport/right to abode, to make any future emergency travel easier (we missed my fathers funeral due to visa issues). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Can you tell me on what basis your parents had British passports in the mid-50s? Were they actually recognised as British citizens back then?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i think at that time Jamaicans as part of the colonies would have been probably designated as 'subjects' I'm looking at my old first passport -Pre 1983 - it says 'British subject' - anyway mum lived/worked/voted in the UK for nearly 30 years. I found the following online hope it helps:

If you were born outside the United Kingdom before 1 January 1983

If you were born outside the United Kingdom before 1 January 1983, you became a British citizen if, immediately before that date, you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and had the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

You may have had citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent from a father who had that citizenship, or because you were registered or naturalised as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

If you have a passport issued before 1 January 1983 that describes you as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies on page 1, you will almost certainly have become a British citizen on 1 January 1983 as long as page 5 says 'Holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom'.

However, if you had the right of abode because you were registered under the British Nationality (No2) Act 1964, you will not normally have become a British citizen on 1 January 1983 unless your mother became a British citizen then.

You may have had right of abode if:

  • you were adopted, naturalised or registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in the United Kingdom (except in certain circumstances);
  • you had been legally settled in the United Kingdom and ordinarily resident there for five years; or
  • when you were born, you had a parent who was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies because he/she was born, adopted, naturalised or registered in the United Kingdom (except in certain circumstances), or because one of your grandparents was.

THere are a few different things your mother could do.

The first one is simply to apply for a British passport at the Kingston High Commission in Jamaica.

British High Commission
P O Box 575
28 Trafalgar Road
Kingston 10

The problem she may have with that approach is that it is going to be difficult for her to provide supporting documents because her passport and college papers were destroyed. I imagine that she will have some documents evidencing her life in the UK for 30 years and she may be able to use those as supporting evidence. She could produce an affidavit (a sworn declaration) that she lived in the UK for 30 years and had a British passport. She would need to explain, in the affidavit, all that happened and that her passport was destroyed etc. A Jamaican lawyer could help her produce the affidavit.

The other option is to come to the UK using a visitor visa (family visitor) and apply for the passport whilst she is here. In that way, she would be able to have an interview here and she could explain the history at the interview. The passport office will be more sympathetic and helpful if they can meet and talk to your mother face to face.

A further option would be to apply from Jamaica for a visa as an elderly dependant relative. You or someone else closely related to your mother would have to sponsor her stay in the UK. So, they would have to house and maintain her and provide documentary evidence of their ability to do so (savings, housing, income etc). This may be an option if your mother is really struggling to
find any documents at all to prove her time and status in the UK.

Overall, I would advise that the best option is to find all evidence she can in Jamaica before coming to the UK as a visitor and then applying for a passport whilst here. That way, the interview process here will help her, she should be able to explain her history and obtain the passport. Once she has that, travel in and out of the UK will be far easier.

John Knox and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
we are still discussing the options you have provided - and I'm sure we will have a follow up question or two for you. The main worry is the prohibitive cost in just applying for the visa with absolutely no guarantee that she will get even a visitors visa.
I understand your concerns. Although there is no guarantee, I have to say that it is highly likely that she would obtain a visa.

Please remember to click ACCEPT so that I receive credit for my work. Thanks

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