Can I register my child as a British Citizen?

12 Oct 2023, 16 mins ago

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or you are British, your child may be able to register as a British citizen. In this blog, we discuss how your child might be able to register as a British citizen.

Before delving into registration of British citizenship, it is worth considering whether your child was born a British citizen, in which case there would be no need to register as a British citizen.

For example, if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain and your child was born in the UK after you obtained this status, your child would be born British. In addition, if you are British (other than by descent) and your child was born outside of the UK, your child will be born British by descent.

Given the complex nature of this area of law, it is worth seeking legal advice if you are unsure if your child is a British citizen before a registration application is submitted.

Your child may be eligible to register as a British citizen in a number of scenarios, some of which we discuss below.

Child born inside the UK

If your child was born in the UK, and you or their other parent are subsequently granted Indefinite Leave to Remain or become a British citizen, your child can apply to register as a British citizen.

Such an application would be submitted under section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981 whilst the child is under 18 years of age.

Child born outside the UK

If your child was born outside of the UK (but now lives in the UK), and you and/or their other parent are applying for British citizenship, your child may be able to register as a British citizen.  

Such an application would be discretionary and the Home Office will only grant such an application if thought to be appropriate under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

Previous UK residence

If your child was born outside the UK, and you are a British citizen by descent, your child may be able to submit an application to register as a British citizen. Your child may be eligible if, at the time of their birth, you were British and you had lived in the UK for at least 3 years with minimal absences from the UK during that period.

Such an application would be submitted under section 3(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981. There are a number of other scenarios where children will be eligible to apply to register as British citizens. Should you believe your child might be eligible, it would be advisable to seek legal advice.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, 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 do not 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.

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