A child born outside the UK to a person with British citizenship can register to become a British citizen. As a British citizen, your child will have the right to live in the UK for the rest of their lives, work, study, claim benefits, apply for a British passport, and use the NHS.
Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your child’s British citizenship application.
A child born to a British citizen abroad can be registered for British citizenship by descent if they have a parent or grandparent who is a UK national.
Unlike people who are born in the UK to a British parent who automatically gains citizenship, people born outside the UK sometimes have to register to gain this status. With British citizenship, it is possible to remain in the UK permanently, work, and study, claim benefits, apply for a British passport, and access the NHS.
Once a child born abroad has received citizenship it is then possible to apply for a British passport on their behalf, meaning they will be free of immigration control. They will then be able to travel into and out of the UK freely without the need for a visa.
British citizenship by descent is passed down a maximum of one generation child born to a British citizen abroad. Unlike a person who is born in the UK and has British citizenship ‘other than by descent’, a person with ‘citizenship by descent’ cannot pass down citizenship to their children.
We recommend checking if your child is already a citizen as they may have automatically been registered. To check, go to the Home Office British citizenship checking website1 or speak to one of our immigration solicitor on 020 3744 2797 who can help.
In order to register a child as British citizen born abroad, the following requirements must be met:
To check if your child is eligible for British citizenship as a child born outside the UK, speak to one of our helpful immigration Solicitors. Call us on 020 3744 2797 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on how to apply for British citizenship for a child born abroad.
If a child was born outside the UK to a British parent, they may be automatically a British citizen or you may need to apply to register for British citizenship on their behalf.
Whether they will have automatically become British citizenship as a child born outside the UK depends on when they were born, as follows:
Your child may automatically get a British citizenship if:
Your child may automatically get a British citizenship if:
Your child may automatically get a British citizenship if they were born outside the UK and their father is British. According to the immigration rules, the father must have been all of the following when they were born:
If a child was not automatically a British citizen as a person who was born outside the UK, they may be able to register as a British citizen by descent. The rules depend on when they were born.
Your child may be eligible to register for British citizenship as a child born outside the UK if:
A child born outside the UK may be able to register for British citizenship if their British father was not married to their mother. However, you will need to show he was British when the child was born. You will also need to show that he was either born or adopted in the UK, given citizenship after applying for it in their own right, or that he worked as a Crown servant when the child was born.
They may be able to register for British citizenship as a child born outside the UK if:
Their mother or father must have been a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time they were born. They must also have been born or adopted in the UK, given citizenship after applying for it in their own right, or worked as a Crown servant when the child was born.
The eligibility rules for British citizenship for a child born abroad can be confusing. Call us on 020 3744 2797 or email at email@example.com for advice on how to apply for British citizenship for a child born abroad.
A child born outside of the UK to parents who are settled in the UK can apply for British citizenship once they have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for one year. To gain ILR the child must live in the UK with both parents and both parents must be settled and residing in the UK
A child can also apply for ILR if one parent is settled in the UK, but only if any of the following are true:
For more information on this matter, please see our article on applying for citizenship for a child born outside UK to settled parents.
Registration is the legal process used by a child of a British parent to gain British citizenship by descent. On the other hand, naturalisation is the process used by other immigrants to the UK to gain citizenship. Registration is simpler than applying to become a citizen through naturalisation. Applicants are not required to pass the Life in the UK test and there is no need to pass an English language test.
There are several items of evidence that are needed applying to register for British citizenship for a child born abroad, including:
The Home Office will explain which documents to provide with your child’s application. Due to the importance of keeping children safe Home Office case officers are particularly careful when it comes to checking documents for registration applications.
To check if you have the necessary documents to support your child’s application, speak to one of our immigration Solicitors. We can handle your child’s British citizenship application, providing you with the best chance of receiving a quick and positive decision. Call us on 020 3744 2797 for a free telephone consultation.
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