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Registration of a Child as a British Citizen

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Registration of a Child as a British Citizen

Children Born in the United Kingdom 

British citizenship can be acquired by birth or by registration. Generally, if you are born in the UK to a father or mother who holds indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship, then the child can automatically apply for a Britsh passport, this is also sometime referred as automatic acquisition. If the child is born in the UNited Kingdom to a parent who at the time of birth is a member of Armed for is serving the Armed Forces. 

In the event the if the child is born to the parent who becomes a British Citizen or gets Indefinite Leave to remain after the child's birth, the child will need to apply for registration as a British Citizen. Similar will be the case where the child's parents become member of the Armed Forces after their birth in the UK or relevant colonies. 

Children are also entitled to become British Citizen by registration under their own right, that means that none of the parents need to a part to the application, where the child is born in the UK and has lived in the UK for continuously for first 10 years of their lives, The child in such cases should not be outside the UK for 90 days in any of the first 10 years and meet the good character requirement.  

Children Born Outside the UK 

A child is born outside the UK can apply for registration if at the time of birth the parent of the the child have been a British citizen by descent at the time of child's birth, or the parent became British otherwise by descent or would have become british citizen by descent if they did not die and that the parent was residing in the UK for 3 years before the birth of child and the parent did not leave the UK for more than 270 days in the last 3 years. 

A child born outside the UK can apply for registration whilst being a minor if at the time of birth the parent was a British Citizen by descent and before applying the child and the parent have resided in the UK for 3 years and not travelled outside the UK for 270 days or more.

In any other case the child who has lived in the UK for 5 years, not travelled out for more than 450 days and not outside 90 days outside in the last 12 months. Holds Indefinite Leave to Remain and has not been in breach of immigration laws.

In the case where the child has been granted indefinite leave to remain or indefinite leave to enter the child must meet the above requirements.

How to make an application for Registration 

A child may be eligible to register as a British citizen if he or she meets the following conditions:

  • If the child has another form of British Nationality.
  • If the child was born before 1 January 1983 to a British mother.
  • If the child was born to a British father - even if the father was not married to the mother of the child.
  • If the child was born in the UK before 1 July 2006 and the parents were married.
  • If the child was born in UK on or after the date 1 January 1983.
  • If the child is under 18 years of age and does not fit into any other category.
  • If the child is stateless.

In order to submit an application you must complete the form MN1, this form must be completed appropriately with the correct information. The current application fee is £1214. The application can be completed online or using a paper form, however the form will require the lust of days out of the UK, the Good Character Requirement and the referees.


Days out Requirement 

The general requirements in connection with the days outside the UK are 450 days in the last 5 years, 270 days in the 3 years and 90 days in the last 12 months. However the Home Office has discretion in connection with the days out requirement, as the applicants are provided a period of 990 days in the 10 years and 180 days in 12 month, however disctretion can only be exercised in cases whether the absences are beyond the control of the applicant such as pandemic, natural disaster, illness or any other reason which may be beyond the control of the applicant. It is not enough to state that you were unware of the requirement, 

Good Character Requirement

The good character requirement applies to the children, thus there should be no criminality issues as in the case of an adult. Not being in breach of immigration law also applies, however, since children do not make their own decisions the Home Office does not apply the Immigration law requirement in the cases of the children. 

Referees

Generally, all applications for British Citizenship require referees. The referees are must be involved with the children at a professional level. However, if the children are unable to find a referee, they can provide any referee as an adult.

Documents Required

The documents generally depend on the circumstances of the applicants, however, you can always provide - 

  • Passport for the child;
  • Fully completed form;
  • Documents to prove presence in the UK (redbook, school reports, etc);
  • School Reports;
  • School or GP letters;
  • Passport size photos on referee forms; 
  • List of days outside the UK
  • Completed declaration for referees;
  • Parental consent
  • Letter from Nursery; etc

This list is not an exhaustive list and other documents may be required according to applicants circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

? Can I apply for a British passport for my child if I have settled status?

Yes, you can apply for for the childs British Passport if they were born after you hold the settled status or ILR. If the child is born after then apply for Registration.

? Can I apply for British citizenship for child born abroad?

Yes, you can however you need to prove that the parent was granted british citizenship otherwise by descent. If by descent then you and parent must live in teh UK for 270 days 

? Can I register a child as a British Citizen after 10 years?

Yes, you can register under section 1 (4) of teh British Nationality Act 1981

? Can I apply even if I exceeded the days out?

Yes, you can apply if you have exceed the days out of the UK on the basis of discretion.

? Can I apply if I have no referees ?

Yes, you can apply and provide referees as any adult applicant would.

To learn more about registration as a British Citizen or for help with your application, contact us today.

Do you need to apply for a Registration of a Child as a British Citizen?

Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service



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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.