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Is My Child British?

Posted by: Gherson Citizenship and Nationality

Can my child be born British if I am not British?

This series of blogs will explore the various ways in which your child can acquire British citizenship, either by birth or registration, and some of the scenarios in which this may be possible.

In this blog, we will clarify one of the most frequently asked questions: Can my child be born British if I am not British?

In short, yes. However, it is important to note that, as with all areas of UK nationality law, there are specific circumstances and requirements which must be met in order for your child to qualify for British citizenship.

Your child may acquire British citizenship by birth if they satisfy two basic conditions:

  1. They are born in the United Kingdom, after 1 January 1983; and
  2. Either their father or mother must be settled in the UK (or British) at the time of the child’s birth.

What does ‘settled in the UK’ mean?

Is My Child British? Settled in the UK means that the parent in question either holds Indefinite Leave to Remain under the UK Immigration Rules or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

For your child to automatically acquire British citizenship from birth, one or both parents must be settled it the UK at the time of the child’s birth.

If neither parent is settled in the UK at the time of the child’s birth in the UK, then your child will not be born British.

What is the deadline to apply?

There is no deadline by which your child must apply for British citizenship, if they qualify under this route. An application can be made by an adult (any person aged over 18 years), as long as they can evidence that they satisfy the requirements and are British by birth.

What if you become settled in the UK after their child has been born in the UK?

In this instance, your child will not acquire British citizenship automatically by birth and will need to register their claim to citizenship with the Home Office.

There are also special concessions for those who are a member of the British armed forces at the time of their child’s birth, and who are not settled.

The information set out above does not cover all circumstances in which a child may become a British citizen. Please contact Gherson for further expert advice.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson has extensive experience in all aspects of UK immigration law. If you have any queries relating to the blogs published, or are interested in talking to us about your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, 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.

©Gherson 2022


 Ines Yassa 

Spencer Bienvenue

Trainee Solicitor

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