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British Citizenship for Child Born in The UK to Non-British Parents

We receive many enquiries regarding British citizenship for a child is born in the UK to non-British parents. Many people assume that because a child is born in the UK, they automatically become a British citizen, but this is not always the case. Here will explain whether a child born in the UK to foreign parents gained automatic British citizenship, the eligibility rules, and how to apply.

Does a child born in the UK get British citizenship automatically?

A child born in the UK to 2 non-British parents may not receive British citizenship automatically. If a child is born in the UK to one non-British parent from 1st July 2021, but the other has citizenship or has settled here (e.g., if they have indefinite leave to remain or EU settled status), they will most likely automatically be a British citizen

If they are not automatically considered a British citizen by birth, they may be able to register for British citizenship if certain conditions are met. The rules on automatic citizenship depend on when the child was born in the UK and the circumstances of their parents at the time1. To check if your child is automatically a British citizen, speak to an immigration Solicitor who will be able to check this for you.

Can a child born in the UK get citizenship?

Yes, a child born in the UK to non-British parents may be able to register for British citizenship if they did not gain this status automatically at birth. Again, this depends on the circumstances of the child and their parents, as follows:

Registration for a child who is under the age of 18

Where a child is under 18 and was born in the UK before either parent was granted settlement, it is possible to register for British citizenship if at least one lives in the UK and they have gained one of the following since the child’s birth:

Registration for a child that has lived in the UK until the age of 10

Another way to register for British citizenship for a child born in the UK to non-British parents is based on the length of time the child has lived in the UK. The rules state that where a child who was born in the UK has lived here until the age of 10, they may either be automatically a British citizen or if not, they may be able to register.

Child born in the UK after 31st December 1982 and before 1st July 2006

If a child was born in the UK between these dates, they may automatically be a British citizen if their mother was a British citizen or settled in the UK, or their father was a British citizen or settled in the UK and was married to their mother.

A child who has lived in the UK for the first 10 years of their life may be able to register for citizenship if neither parent is a British citizen or settled in the UK. In this case, it is important to show they have not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in each of the first 10 years of their life.

Child born in the UK after 1st July 2006

A child is normally automatically a British citizen if they were born in the UK after 1st July 2006, and at the time of birth, at least one parent was a British citizen or settled in the UK.

If this is not the case and neither parent was a British citizen or settled here (i.e., a child born in the UK before either parent was granted settlement), the child can register to become a citizen of the UK if they have lived here until the age of 10. Again, it is necessary to show the child has not spent any more than 90 days outside the UK in each of the first 10 years of their life.

How to apply for British citizenship for a child or baby born in the UK to foreign parents

As a non-British parent of a child who was born in the UK, if your child is automatically eligible for British citizenship, there is nothing you will need to do. If you are unsure if your child was registered for British citizenship, it is recommended to check with an immigration Solicitor who can verify this for you.

If your child is eligible to register as a British citizen, as explained above, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Complete form MN1 online2 if applying on the basis that your child is under 18
  • Complete form T online3 if the applicant has lived here until at least age 10
  • Pay the application fee of £1,012 (if under 18) or £1,206 (if over 18)
  • Pay the citizenship ceremony fee of £80
  • Pay the biometric fee of £19.20
  • Make an appointment with a UKVCAS centre to provide biometrics
  • Upload any supporting documents or have them scanned at the UKVCAS appointment

The documents you will need to supply will depend on the circumstances (you will be advised by the Home Office which documents to provide). These may include:

  • The child’s birth certificate
  • Evidence the child has lived in the UK for 10 years (if applying through the 10-year route) – this may include school records.
  • Evidence that either parent has gained citizenship or settlement in the UK since the child’s birth.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Our immigration lawyers and solicitors have successfully secured citizenship for many children who were born in the UK to non-British parents. We know the importance of receiving a positive decision for both parents and the child concerned. Ultimately, gaining UK citizenship is about ensuring security and the future. If you are considering applying for UK citizenship for a child born in the UK to foreign parents, we can:

  • Advise on the various citizenship options available to your child or baby born in the UK to foreign parents
  • Recommend the best citizenship options for your needs
  • Guide you through the citizenship application process
  • Check your child’s citizenship application and documents prior to submission
  • Deal with the Home Office / UKVI with any queries they raise regarding the citizenship application
  • Handle refusals of citizenship applications and ensure that a positive decision is obtained from the Home Office
  • Help secure a British passport for your new born child
  • Help secure a British passport for your child

References

1 GOV.UK: Check British Citizenship

2 GOV.UK: Form MN1

3 GOV.UK: Form T

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