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How Do I Apply for British Citizenship for my Child?

How Do I Apply for British Citizenship for my Child?

Applying for British citizenship on behalf of a child is a complex area of UK immigration law. The rules differ depending on when the child was born and the status of the child’s parents at the time of the child’s birth.

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How Do I Apply for British Citizenship for my Child?

If you are wondering whether you can apply for British citizenship for your child, this is the blog post for you.

There are different rules concerning British citizenship for a child depending on when the child was born and the status of the child’s parents at the time of the child’s birth.

This route to British citizenship is known as British citizenship by Descent. Depending on the circumstances, your child might automatically qualify for British citizenship. Otherwise, you may need to officially register your child as a British citizen.

In this blog post we explain everything you need to know.

hot air balloon with union jack

Rules for Children Born on or After 1st July 2006

The first thing to consider is when your child was born. This has the most implication on the rules around applying for UK citizenship for your child.

If the child was born on or after 1st July 2006, they will automatically be a British citizen if at the time of their birth one of their parents was a British citizen and one of the following is true of that parent:

  • They were born or adopted in the UK
  • They were given citizenship after applying for it through their own right
  • They worked as a Crown servant when their child was born

In this situation, the child could apply for a British passport or, alternatively a letter confirming their citizenship status.

There are other situations under which a child might be eligible for British citizenship if they were born on or after 1st July 2006. The difference is that they would have to apply for British citizenship, rather than it being an automatic process.

Child Born on or After 1st July 2006 and Lived with Parents in the UK

It is possible for a child to become a British citizen if they have lived with their parents in the UK. The child must be under 18 and one of their parents must have been a British citizen when they were born.

Also, the child must have lived with their parents for three years before the date of the proposed citizenship application.

They must not have spent more than 270 days outside the UK during those three years, and they must have been in the UK exactly three years before the Home Office receives the application too.

If the parents have divorced, it is still possible to apply for citizenship on behalf of your child provided that both parents consent to the application.

Child Born on or After 1st July 2006 and British Parent Lived in UK Before Child Was Born

This route enables a child to apply for citizenship even if they have not lived in the UK. This all depends on the circumstances of the child’s parent/s.

All of the following must be true in this situation:

  • Child must be under 18
  • One of the child’s parents was a British citizen at the time of the child’s birth
  • The child’s British parent lived in the UK for at least three years before the child was born
  • The child’s British parent must not have spent more than 270 days outside the UK during those three years
  • The British parent had a parent who was able to pass their citizenship on to them

Child Born Between 1983 and June 2006

Automatic citizenship can also apply to a British citizen who was born outside the UK and all of the following apply:

  • The child’s mother or father was a British citizen at the time of the child’s birth. The parents must have been married if the father had British citizenship but the mother didn’t
  • The British parent was able to pass citizenship on to their child.

There are different rules if the child’s British father was not married to the child’s mother. In this situation, the child would not receive automatic citizenship and would have to complete an application instead.

One of the following must have been true of the father:

  • They were born or adopted in the UK
  • They were given citizenship through their own right
  • They were working as a Crown servant at the time of the child’s birth

Child Born Before 1983

A child will be automatically a British citizen if they were born outside the UK and their father is British.

The child’s father must have been a citizen of the UK and Colonies, married to the child’s mother and have been able to pass citizenship onto the child.

It is also possible for a child born before 1983 to apply for citizenship if their parents were not married when they were born OR their mother was British and not their father.

The parent must have been a citizen of the UK or Colonies, and one of the following must be true:

  • They were born or adopted in the UK
  • They were given citizenship through their own right
  • They were working as a Crown servant at the time of the child’s birth

What is the Process of Registering UK Citizenship for a Child?

If a child is not automatically a British citizen, the child will need to be registered as a British citizen. This essentially means that you will need to apply for British citizenship for your child. The cost for this is currently £1,012. Biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) may also need to be taken, at an additional cost of £19.20.

Firstly, you (or your child) will need to fill in an online application form. The form which needs to be completed depends on the child’s age and the specific route through which they are applying for citizenship.

You will then be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Application Centre (UKVCAS) service point where the child will provide their biometric information.

You will also need to provide certain information and document to prove the child’s eligibility for British citizenship.

 

What Does it Mean to be Able to Pass on Citizenship?

For the purposes of this citizenship route, a right to pass on citizenship to a child means that one of the following applied to the British parent:

  • They were born or adopted in the UK
  • They were given citizenship after applying for it through their own right. (This means that citizenship was not passed on to them from a parent)
  • They were working as a Crown servant when the child was born. This might include service in the armed forces, diplomatic service or overseas civil service

How Birmingham Immigration Lawyers Can Help

If you want to apply for British citizenship for your child, or apply for a British passport for a child who automatically qualifies for citizenship, Birmingham Immigration Lawyers are here for you.

Our immigration lawyers are experienced in all areas of British citizenship and are here to help you whatever your immigration query might be.

We will advise you on all the documentation which you will need to provide for your application and help you to source it too.

To find out more about how we can help you to register your child as a British citizen, please call our friendly team now on 0121 667 6530.