On 1 July 2021, a new section was introduced to the British Nationality Act 1981 (BNA). The new Section 10A was introduced for children whose parents missed the EU Settled Status deadline.
The British Nationality Act 1981 provides that a child born in the UK automatically acquires British citizenship if at the time of her birth, her father or mother is either a British citizen or settled in the UK. Automatic acquisition means that the child is not required to register or apply for citizenship.
For the purpose of the BNA 1981, “settled in the UK” means a person who is ordinarily resident in the UK and free from immigration time restrictions. This include persons who are ordinarily resident in the UK and hold indefinite leave to remain or right of abode, as well as those people granted Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
A new section of the BNA 1981 has been introduced to ensure that children born in the UK from 1 July 2021 onwards automatically acquire British citizenship in circumstances where a parent qualified for EU settled status before the EUSS deadline (30 June 2021) but is only granted settled status after the child’s birth. Please note that this only applies in situations where a parent acquires settled status under Appendix EU. Therefore, those that acquired Indefinite Leave to Remain under other parts of the Immigration Rules are not covered by the new provision. Those that currently hold EU Pre Settled Status and have children in the UK, must still first acquire settled status and must register their child under section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981.
As mentioned above, the new section covers those parents that were granted settled status after the deadline, either due to delays from the Home Office in granting a decision or because the parent applied late. Please see our previous blog, Late Applications To The EU Settlement Scheme – Clarity Provided for more information for those that have missed the EU Settlement Scheme deadline.
Under the new Section 10A, qualifying children automatically acquire British citizenship from the date that the relevant parent is granted settled status.
Does this apply to your child?
If your child meets the conditions of section 10A of the BNA 1981, the child will automatically acquire British citizenship and will be eligible to apply for a first British passport. The Passport Office has not yet released guidance for those affected. If you or your children are affected by this, please contact us.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson immigration team has a considerable experience with such circumstances, so If you or your children are affected by this or have any queries about your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.