UK Family Law

Registration as a British Citizen

Registering a child born in the UK on or after 1st January 1983 or else living in the country up to the age of 10

With UK immigration laws having undergone major changes in 1983, it is no longer simply a case of children born in the UK are given naturalization status or automatically become a British citizen. One or both of the child’s parents must be a British citizen for a child to be classified as one.

Process of Registering Children as Citizens

On fulfillment of certain conditions outlined by the UKBA, the parents of children (who are under the age of 18) are able to register their child as a British citizen. In certain situations, this will be a natural right whereas in other cases it will be at the discretion of the UKBA. Children falling under one of the following categories are eligible to be registered as citizens of the UK: Children who were born on or prior to 1st January 1983 and lived in the UK for the first 10 years of their life. Children born to parents who are neither British citizens nor nationals can be registered as a British citizen if the parents can demonstrate a very strong reason for the child to be granted citizenship. All children born to parents who subsequently become British citizens or are granted permanent residency. Any child who was born before 1st July 2006 and whose British father was not married to their foreign national mother.

Children born outside the UK to British Nationals

Rules pertaining to children born outside the UK to British parents can be complicated. Whether a child is entitled to British citizenship is dependent on when the child was born and the current citizenship status of the parents. Where the parents have acquired British citizenship through their parents rather than obtaining it in their own right, they are entitled to pass citizenship status to their child who resides outside the UK.

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