British citizenship for Children born in the UK
A child born in the UK to non-British parents may not automatically qualify for British Citizenship. British Citizenship at birth is only available to children with a parent who holds British Citizenship or settled status.
For a child of non-British parents to receive British Citizenship by birth, at least one parent must have ‘settled status’ in the UK. This can be either Indefinite Leave to Remain or EEA Permanent Residence. You must have evidence to show that either one or both parents are ‘settled’ in the UK. Examples include proof that you passed the Life in the UK test, and ILR certificate or a Permanent Residence Card. You will be able to register your child as a British citizen if you are granted settled status after their birth.
- Citizenship for children born in the UK
- What are the requirements for British citizenship by birth?
- Can a child apply for British citizenship?
- Who is eligible to register as a British citizen?
- How to apply for British citizenship if you were born in the UK
- How can IAS help?
- How much does it cost to register as a British citizen?
- What is form MN1?
What are the requirements for British citizenship by birth?
The most common way to receive automatic British Citizenship is for one or more of the child’s parents to hold British Citizenship at the time of birth. Children with parents who hold British Citizenship will not need to register. They will be eligible for such things as a British passport at birth.
For non-British residents, holding ‘settled status’ at the time of your child’s birth will also entitle them to British Citizenship. Settled status includes Indefinite Leave to Remain and EEA Permanent Residence. This usually requires at least five years of continuous residence in the UK before you are eligible, so it may be something to consider before trying for a baby in the UK.
Can a child born to non-British parents apply for British Citizenship?
For a baby born in the UK to non-British parents who do not have settled status, there is an option to register them after their birth.
If one or more parents is granted settled status or British Citizenship after the birth, you will be able to register your child as a British citizen. This will mean that your child is no longer subject to UK Immigration Rules and their status in the country will be protected as a British citizen.
There is also a 10-year continuous residence route. A child born in the UK to non-British parents who remains in the UK for at least the first 10 years of their life is eligible to register as a British citizen. This also comes with the condition that the child must not spend longer than 90 days out of the country in each year they have lived in the UK.
This route naturally requires an extensive amount of documentation for each year of your child’s life to prove that they meet the continuous residence requirement. It is recommended that you seek expert advice when applying through this route.
Who is eligible to register as a British citizen?
If you were born in the UK, your eligibility to register as a British citizen depends on several different circumstances including when you were born and the immigration status of your parents.
You could be eligible to register as a British citizen if you were born on or after 1st January 1983 and since your birth one of your parents has become a British citizen or obtained settled status, or if you lived in the UK until you were at least 10.
To be eligible your parents must have obtained one of the following immigration stratus’s after your birth:
- British Citizenship
- Indefinite leave to remain
- Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Indefinite leave to enter
- Permanent residence status
You also must be under the age of 18 to register.
You don’t need to register for citizenship if when you were born one or both of your parents were British citizens or had settled status, if this is the case you will automatically be a British citizen. You will also usually have automatic citizenship if you were born in the UK before 1st January 1983.
How to apply for citizenship if you were born in the UK
To register as a British citizen you can apply online by filling in the form available on the gov.uk website.
You will also need to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point. During your appointment you will have your biometric information taken, this is your fingerprints and photograph.
When submitting your application you will also need to submit your supporting documents that prove you are able to meet the citizenship registration requirements. You can submit your documents by either uploading copies of them using the Home Office’s online service of by having them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment.
You can also submit an application by post but the processing time will be significantly longer if you choose to apply this way.
You will usually receive a decision on your application within 6 months, although this time may be longer. If your application is successful you may need to attend a British citizenship ceremony if you are 18 years old or over. Once you have registered as a British citizen you can apply for your first UK passport.
How can IAS help?
UK immigration laws surrounding British nationality and citizenship are complex and can be difficult to understand. Luckily, our immigration lawyers are experts in UK immigration law and can support you with any issue you may be facing.
If your child was born in the UK, but you are unsure whether they are eligible for British citizenship, our immigration lawyers can help you to figure it out.
Our expert lawyers will assess your family’s case and advise you on the best route for registering your child as a British citizen. We offer application services in which one of our expert lawyers will manage your child’s application and submit it for you, ensuring everything is completed to a professional standard. We can also liaise with the Home Office on your behalf throughout the application process.
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The application fee to register as a British citizen is £1,012 as well as the application fee, you will also need to pay to have your biometric information taken, this costs £19.20.
For children under 18, the process of becoming a British citizen is known as registering. For most adult application, the process is naturalisation. Naturalisation is the name given to the process of becoming a citizen of another country.
For those registering as a British citizen, there is no citizenship ceremony requirement. However, if your child turns 18 during their application process, you will be expected to provide an extra £80 to cover this ceremony fee.
Children born in the UK to non-British parents will also not be subject to many of the same requirements as in adult naturalisation. They will not be expected to prove their English Language ability or to take the Life in the UK test.
Form MN1 will be required to register a child born in the UK to non-British parents applying through any route.
This form requires in-depth information about your child’s time in the country. You will need to state every place that they have lived and all countries they may have visited. This will be vital if your child is applying under the continuous residence route. The Home Office will expect to see that they have not spent 90 days outside the country for each year of their life.
You will need to provide a number of important personal documents, such as a birth certificate and any passport they may already hold. You will also need to submit biometric evidence. This is to receive your child’s Biometric Residence Permit. The application includes submitting fingerprints and facial data and the Permit will be issued as a wallet-sized card.
We have an excellent track record of helping children born in the UK to non-British parents register as British citizens. We offer a high-quality, comprehensive service that will give you the best chance for a successful result.
Our services include:
- Assessment of eligibility for your child. We will determine the best route for registering your child.
- Assessment of your own immigration status. If you do not yet hold settled status or British Citizenship, we will advise you on how to get this before registering your child.
- Full document check. We will inform you of which documents to provide and verify that they can be used for your application.
- Completion of all application forms. Your lawyer will complete the relevant application forms for you.
- Letter of Representation. This is a professional document that is submitted with your application in support of your case.
- Liaising with the Home Office. Your lawyer will remain in contact with the authorities until a decision is made.
For more information, or to find out more about your family’s options, contact us online or by calling 0333 363 8577 today.