We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews
British Citizenship for Child Born Abroad

British citizenship for child born abroad

If you are the parent of a child born abroad and you want to find out if they are automatically granted British citizenship, or how to claim it on their behalf, we can help.

Our Birmingham-based immigration experts offer our complete range of services in person, over the phone, and via Skype. Call us on  0121 667 6530 to find out more.

 

Request a call back from our immigration experts

Fill out the form

Getting citizenship for a child born outside of the UK

If a child is born abroad and at least one of their parents is a British national, they are classed as a British citizen by descent. However, a baby in this scenario isn’t automatically granted UK citizenship unless they are also born on UK soil, and qualify for British citizenship by birth. In order to claim their citizenship by descent, they must first be registered as a British national.

To register a child as a British citizen, a parent can apply using the application form MN1. This must be done before the child or young person has their 18th birthday.

Our team of qualified immigration lawyers, based in Birmingham, can help you if you want to find out how to make a ‘British citizenship for child born abroad’ claim. Call us on 0121 667 6530 for more details.

EXCELLENT
Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews
Reviews.io Logo

Registration requirements for children and parents

To register a child who was born outside of the UK for citizenship, you and your child must fulfull several requirements:

The child must:

  • Have been born outside the UK
  • Be under the age of 18
  • (If over the age of 10 at the time of application): be of ‘good character’

(At least one of) the child’s parents must:

  • Be a British citizen
  • Have lived in the UK for at least three years before the registration is made

The application process

To register a child for citizenship in Britain, you must submit a form MN1 and supporting documents that prove the child and the parent(s) meet(s) the requirements.

You also need to pay a registration fee of £460. You will also be charged an extra £50 for each child that is registering at the same time.

If the child applicant is living outside the UK at the time of application, it needs to be sent t the Home Office.

An application for British citizenship for a child born abroad is usually processed within a a few months of being submitted.

Citizenship by descent

If a child is born to either one or two British parents (who were born in the UK) the child will be a British citizen by descent.

This means that they have a right to citizenship based on their parent’s claim. If a child has a grandparent who was/is a British national (again, born in the UK) they are eligible for British citizenship by double descent.

If a child is born in the UK to a British parent, they do not need to take any action; they are automatically a citizen. If the same child is born outside the UK, they are still a British citizen by descent, but they need to register for this citizenship. This is a relatively straightforward process and is very different to the British naturalisation process.

Documents needed

Unlike in naturalisation applications, the registration process for British citizenship for a child born overseas does not require proving they meet the ‘Life in the UK’ or English language requirements.

However, there are other documents that need to be submitted to support an application of this nature. These include:

  • Biometric information for the applicant (including fingerprints and digital photographs)
  • The reasons your child is being registered as a British citizen
  • Passports and birth certificates for yourself and your applying child
  • Your child’s immigration history, including where outside the UK they were born

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn how to register British citizenship for a child born abroad. Contact us

Fill out the form

Automatic citizenship

If a child is born on British soil, to one or two parents who are British citizens (who were born in the UK themselves) the child is granted automatic citizenship. No action needs to be taken in this circumstance.

If a child is born on British soil and one or two of the parents are an EEA national (other than British), there is a chance they will still be automatically granted citizenship. This depends on when they were born. They will qualify if they were born between:

– 1 January 1983 and October 2nd 2000 (if at least one parent was living in the UK at the time)

– 2 October 2000 and April 2006 (if at least one parent held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residence before the birth)

If a child is born outside of the UK, they will need to take some form of action to claim their citizenship or become a British citizen. In this case, they will either be a citizen by descent or British citizen otherwise than by descent.

This is usually either registration or naturalisation. Both processes are very different from one another. Registration, generally, is more straightforward and simple that naturalising as a British citizen.

Application forms

If a child is a British citizen by descent, and needs to register for citizenship, the person applying on their behalf should submit form MN1 to the Home Office.

Form MN1 is made up of eight key section. These are:

  • Personal information – this refers to the child and the parent
  • Residence – this refers to where yourself and the child have lived in the past (including where the child was born)
  • Good character – if the child who is registering has past his or her 10th birthday at the time of registration they must show they meet the British citizenship ‘good character requirement’. This focuses on whether they have any form of criminal history or penalties.
  • References – you need to provide two references of two people who know your child. These people cannot be related and they must be professionals.
  • Biometric information – you should provide the child’s fingerprints and photographs
  • Consent – both parents must sign the consent section
  • Declaration – you must declare anything you believe the Home Office should know and you should be open and honest in doing this.

Fees

Currently, the cost to register a child as a British citizen is £1,012.

As well as this cost, there is a biometric enrolment fee of £19.20.

Processing times

A Form MN1 takes approximately 8-10 weeks to process once it has been submitted.

In complex cases, this time can be longer.

For legal advice and assistance with your British Citizenship application, get in touch us now. Learn more

Fill out the form

Advice Package icon

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

Application Package icon

Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Fast Track Package icon

Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

Appeal Package icon

Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

Advice Package image

The Advice Package

During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

Fill out the form

Request the Advice Package
Application Package image

The Application Package

With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

Fill out the form

Request the Application Package
Fast Track Package image

The Fast Track Package

Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

Fill out the form

Request the Fast Track Package
Appeal Package image

The Appeal Package

By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

Fill out the form

Request the Appeal Package

If you wish to find out how you can settle in the UK, our team is happy to assist. Learn more

Fill out the form

Related pages for your continued reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can make an application for a British passport on behalf of a child born abroad if:

  • Your child is a British citizen by descent (meaning one or both of their parents are British nationals)
  • Your child has successfully registered for British citizenship; or
  • Your child has naturalised as a British citizen

If you or the other parent of your child is a British national, who was born in the UK, they can claim British citizenship easily through them.

However, if they were born abroad, they will not automatically be considered British. They must first register as a British citizen. After this process has been undergone, they will be classed as a British citizen and will have the same rights as all British nationals.

You can apply for citizenship for a child born abroad by completing the application form MN1. This can be done via the Home Office website. It has eight key sections and can be completed by a parent on behalf of a child. It should be submitted alongside all supporting evidence (including a signed photograph and birth certificates) directly to the Home Office, online or via post.

A child born to either a British father or mother is a citizen by descent. If this child is born outside of the UK (not on British soil) cannot exercise their rights as British citizens until they register their claim to citizenship.

This title refers to anyone who becomes a British citizen who does not have a nationality claim which they can make through either of their parents or grandparents. An example would be people who become citizens through the process of naturalisation – like non EEA nationals who apply after gaining ILR as the spouse of a UK national.

British citizens can work, study, conduct business, travel in and out of and vote in the UK. They also have access to public funds.