Scottish Heritage: How To Acquire Citizenship Through Genealogy

Scottish heritage and sites

If you have some Scottish heritage, you could qualify to apply for citizenship by descent.

When the Scottish government released its White Paper outlining what an independent Scotland might look like, citizenship by descent was a minor but essential element.

In most cases, people perturbed about the acquisition of Scottish citizenship need to familiarize themselves with the constitutional intricacies surrounding the whole issue and distinguish the terms Scottish and British.

Similarly, the Scottish citizenship issues arise amid recent political events prompting England residents to plan to relocate to Scotland. All these people, including the Scottish-born Brits, are searching for reassurance, especially as the debate of independent referendum gains momentum.

Most importantly, the Scotland diaspora needs to understand how the developments could impact their Scottish citizenship by descent or ancestry.

Key Takeaways

  • Currently, there is no such thing as Scottish citizenship as the territory is part of the UK.
  • However, if Scotland ever becomes independent, you can seek citizenship by descent and ancestry.
  • If you’re one of the people with ancestral ties to Scotland, you can easily trace your clans, ancestors and relatives through in-depth genealogy research.

Is There Scottish Citizenship?


The The Granite Tartan Kilt is A Timeless Ode to Scottish Heritage and Elegance

The Granite Tartan Kilt

Currently, there is no such thing as Scottish citizenship as the territory is part of the UK. As of now, the Nationality law is reserved for Westminster and Scotland residents use British citizenship, meaning that all you can do to come close to Scottish citizenship is acquire British citizenship.

However, with prospects of Scottish Independence referendum, it is unrealistic to ignore Scottish independence. In 2014, the Scotland parliament released a draft titled “Scotland’s Future” outlining its citizenship in the event of independence from Britain.

Simply put, all British citizens born in Scotland, with a connection there, or who are habitual state residents will automatically acquire citizenship. Similarly, people of Scottish descent (parent or grandparent) can also qualify for Scottish citizenship.

It’s worth noting that all this remains speculative, and any referendum plans do not guarantee that Scotland will become independent of the UK.

Having said that, Scotland may achieve independence and prompt an overhaul of the proposals in the White Paper. However, the available proposals in Scotland’s Future report provide a crucial insight into the acquisition of Scottish citizenship if you have the state’s heritage and bring the hope of acquiring citizenship, whatever the outcome.

Tracking Your Scottish Heritage

Heir research for adopted individuals

You need to join the dots and back information with concrete evidence

Thanks to the internet and technology, tracing roots back to the village or glen has never been easier for Scotts. Scotland is among the leading states with ancestry records available online dating to the 16th century.

Scotland’s National Records keeps all these records, including birth, marriage, death certificates and all the census record. It created Scotland’s People genealogical website in 1998, allowing everyone to access the more than 100 million records updated regularly.

If you want to conduct a physical search in Scotland, you can visit Scotland’s People Center in Edinburgh, which started operating in the early 50s. You can also try the National Library in the city, which has several publications of historical records like the Genealogical Index of the monumental inscriptions, old parochial records, and the Middle Ages.

If you want government records, property registry, testaments, church, family, or business records, check the National Records of Scotland. In Glasgow, the Mitchell Library also keeps family histories, street directories, emigrant lists, graduation records, and voter’s registries.

How To Research Your Genealogy

A blank family tree

Family Tree

Clearly demonstrating your Scottish heritage is crucial in acquiring the state’s citizenship. Therefore, you need to detail your clans, ancestors and relatives through in-depth genealogy research.

It would be a hassle commuting to all the archives from Glasgow to Edinburg looking for records regarding your grandparents who lived back in the early 90s. Instead, a comprehensive genealogy would identify even closer relatives who would be better guidance to your lineage in Scotland.

Tracking your Scottish ancestor involves detailing the full names of every person connected to you. The family tree has proven most effective in expanding your family detail with you as the root.

Download free family tree samples and make family research a study and a fun activity in your living room. Every space in the family tree should include the person’s full name, special dates like birth and death, and other relevant information.

If you don’t have any reference material at your disposal, try websites and online databases for any clues. Besides, you can visit the National Archives and General Registrar‘s office for all records from birth to census.

How A Genealogist Comes in Handy

Two people shaking hands

Genealogists are bound by the law

In theory, the process sounds easy, but piling up the paperwork and dealing with all the bureaucracy, can be a hassle. This is the point you need a professional genealogist.

A genealogist specializes in the descents of persons and knows the checkmarks of finding a specific ancestor. Record Click Professional Genealogists will expedite the process of unearthing personal information and help you understand the historical contexts.

Only a professional genealogist can perfectly navigate the national library and quickly track your story. They also come in handy when you want to ensure you get everything right during the Scottish citizenship application by descent.

However, it’s advisable to contact your state’s consulate general office for directions on the application process, especially regarding descent, application fee, and duration. Of course, the first step in the citizenship application process starts by visiting the state’s consulate with your genealogy information and records.

How To Conduct Family History Research On A Budget

Leverage Your Scottish Heritage Now

Scottish heritage is one qualification for automatically acquiring Scottish citizenship if the state becomes independent. However, you can only acquire citizenship only if your parents or grandparents are citizens.

In addition to other means of acquiring citizenship, like naturalization, you can seek British citizenship now, and by the time Scotland becomes independent, you may qualify for citizenship provided you prove habitual residence, heritage, or birth in the state.