Apply for confirmation of
British nationality status
using Form NS

If you believe you have a claim to British nationality and would like confirmation of that status, you can apply for a letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to establish your status using Form NS.

All applications using the form will be considered by a trained nationality caseworker at UKVI and a written decision will be provided as to whether, on the balance of probabilities, the person making the claim holds British nationality.

You cannot use this service to apply for a passport. If you want to obtain a British passport, you must make a passport application and Her Majesty’s Passport Office will consider whether you have a claim to British nationality.

Forms of British nationality

Currently, there are six recognised forms of British nationality:

  • British citizen
  • British Overseas citizen
  • British Overseas Territories citizen
  • British National (Overseas)
  • British subject
  • British protected person.

Other forms of British nationality have existed previously but they are not current, such as citizenship of the UK and Colonies (CUKC), or British dependent territories citizenship. More information on the types of nationality can be found here.

The only British nationals who have the right to live and work in the UK free of any immigration controls are British citizens and certain British subjects with right of abode through qualifying connections under the Immigration Act 1971. People holding one of the other forms of British nationality may only live and work in the UK if their immigration status allows it.

Am I a British citizen?

The law on British nationality is complex and it is not possible to list here all the circumstances that give rise to a claim to British nationality or to cover all of the exceptions to the general principles that could apply.

Before you apply for confirmation using Form NS, you must ensure that you have a clear idea of why, as a matter of law, you believe that you are a British citizen, and be able to provide sufficient evidence in support of your claim.

More information on how to determine whether you are British can be found in the Form NS guidance here. Alternatively, you can seek advice from an OISC regulated immigration advisor.

How to apply for confirmation of British nationality

If you want to apply for a letter to confirm your nationality status, you will need to complete Form NS.

If you live in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory or if you live elsewhere and want to apply by post, you should complete a paper form. If you do not live in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory, you can apply online.

If you are applying by post, you should send your completed form, payment slip (including the fee) and your documents to:

  • The Lieutenant Governor if you are in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man
  • The Governor of the territory if you are in a British Overseas Territory
  • UK Visas and Immigration at the following postal address if you live elsewhere:

Department 1
UK Visas and Immigration
The Capital Building
New Hall Place
L3 9PP

Supporting documents

Alongside your completed application form, you will need to supply documents which support the identity of the people (ancestors) you are using to support your claim to British citizenship. This could include evidence of marriage and registration as citizens of the UK and Colonies or British citizenship, including immigration status, where this is relevant.

If you are applying on behalf of someone other than yourself, for example someone who is unable to apply themselves due to medical incapacity, or if you want to find out about the status of someone who is deceased, you should say who you are and why you are making this application and also provide:

  • Evidence of death or medical incapacity (if relevant)
  • Evidence of how the requestor is linked to the deceased or medically incapacitated applicant (if relevant)

Original documents must only be posted using secure mail, as UKVI cannot accept responsibility for any documents lost in the post.

The decision

Once UKVI has received your application for confirmation of British nationality status, they will contact you to advise that it has been received and acknowledge receipt of your fee.

Your application will be logged onto a computer database which will allow UKVI to track it and any future correspondence they may have with you. The application will then be assessed by a trained nationality caseworker.

Once your case has been considered and a decision has been made, you will be informed of the decision in writing. If the UKVI do not agree with your claim, they will tell you why and, if appropriate, tell you how to reapply with more convincing supporting documents. Reapplications must be supporting by a fresh application fee.

There is no right of appeal or review once you have received a decision.

Support with UK immigration

If you need advice on your nationality status or how to apply for British citizenship, Smith Stone Walters can help. Our dedicated team specialising in individual immigration can help assess your eligibility and, if applicable, provide practical support with your application.

To find out how we can help, please call 0208 461 6660 or email

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