British passport eligibility

You can apply for a British passport if you have British nationality. But there are some circumstances where your application can be refused or your existing passport can be retained.

When you can get or hold a British passport

You must have British nationality to apply for or hold a British passport.

Having British nationality does not guarantee you a passport. For example, you may not get a new passport (or your existing passport may be taken from you) if:

  • you’re suspected of a serious crime and an arrest warrant has been issued
  • a court order stops you having a UK passport or restricts your travel
  • you’re on bail and bail conditions mean you cannot leave the UK
  • you’ve been brought back to the UK before at the government’s expense and have not repaid what you owe
  • you’ve received a European Union or United Nations order which restricts your travel

A passport can also be cancelled or not renewed if it’s for a child and there’s a court order in place stopping the child from leaving the UK.

Your eligibility and entitlement to a British passport will be considered when you apply.

Passports belong to the government and can be cancelled or withdrawn at any time.

Types of British nationality

You can apply for a British passport if you’re a:

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.