Did you know when a child is born here, it is not automatically a UK citizen?
You need to find out whether the child has UK citizenship having been born in Great Britain or if you’re able to register them as UK citizens. Either way, you need to have an understanding of how the system works and get the best advice.
Can children in the UK get automatic citizenship?
The first thing to consider is whether a child born in Great Britain has citizenship. This will be resolved by looking at the parents’ UK status.
A child born in Great Britain on or after 1 January 1983, who had a parent who was a UK citizen or settled here will be entitled to UK citizen automatically.
What is the meaning of settled?
This means a person is not under any immigration conditions. They have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain.
What if the child is born in the UK and the parents don’t have UK citizenship and not settled?
The child won’t have UK citizenship.
Note: After a parent is settled, the child can make an application to register as a British citizen.
Who is entitled to register?
If a child has UK citizenship by birth, they need not register.
A child born here has a right to register as a UK citizen in the following circumstances.
1. The applicant is under 18, and since birth one of their parents became a UK citizen or got permission to stay in the UK permanently, or
2. The applicant has lived in the UK until they were 10 years old or older.
What about those under 18 born here?
In a nutshell, a child can register as a UK citizen if the following conditions are met:
1. A parent becomes settled or a UK citizen.
2. They are under 18 years of age when making the application.
What if a child was born in the UK and lived there until aged 10?
If the child was born in the UK either on or after 1 January 1983 and remained there until they were aged 10, an application to register them as a UK citizen can be made.
It’s important to note, during the 10 years spent in the UK, a child must not have spent more than ninety days outside the UK per year.
A further issue that will be looked at is their character. The applicant mustn’t have been convicted by a criminal court within the current sentencing thresholds.
What if a child doesn’t meet the requirements under the registration by entitlement?
You may consider making an application to the Secretary of State. They have the power to make a decision using discretionary powers.
What is the procedure for registering British citizenship for a child born in the UK?
1. Use form MN1 for the registration of the child’s citizenship.
2. The applicant must pay a fee.
3. Register biometric data. Any child under 16 must be with a parent or guardian while giving the biometric data.
Children under age 6 require a digital photograph of their face. Biometric data is not required.
4. Supporting documents, including evidence of identity, are required. This would typically be a passport or a birth certificate with both parent’s names.
5. The child must be under 18 years of age when making the application (if not, the application must be made as an adult).
6. Note, some countries do not allow their citizens to have dual citizenship. If the application is successful, the applicant may lose their original citizenship status.
7. If the applicant has dual citizenship, there may be requirements by that country to carry out duties such as national service.
Contact WH Solicitors for any help you require with regards to any immigration matter.