Will my Child Be British if they are born in the United Kingdom?

28 Nov 2022, 29 mins ago

The act of being born in the UK is not of itself enough for someone to become a British citizen. Since the British Nationality Act 1981 came into force, having the UK as place of birth is not enough to acquire British nationality. In fact, a child must have a claim to the nationality based upon the circumstances of their parents.

A child born in the UK will acquire British nationality automatically at the time of birth, only if:

  1. At the time of the child’s birth, the child’s father or mother is a British citizen; or
  2. At the time of the child’s birth, the child’s father or mother is settled in the UK. Being ‘settled’ means that one or both parents hold Indefinite Leave to Remain, or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

If the above does not apply at the time of the child’s birth, then the child will not automatically acquire British citizenship at birth.

In the scenario where a child is born in the UK and is not automatically British at birth, the child should apply as a dependent child under the same visa route as the leave the child’s parents have at the time of the birth. The child should not travel out of the UK until either a British passport or UK immigration document has been issued. Should one or both parents become settled in the UK or acquire British nationality in their own right, whilst the child remains a minor and continues to reside in the UK, the child may then have the option to apply to be registered as a British citizen. An application to be registered as a British citizen must be filed and approved before the child can apply for their first British passport.

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 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