British Citizenship by Birth

How to Apply for British Citizenship by Birth?

British citizenship by birth is available to children born in the UK or to UK nationals abroad, depending on specific requirements. Not all children born in the UK automatically receive nationality. Similarly, it is not always possible to seek citizenship based solely on the status of a child’s parents.

If you want to apply for by-birth nationality for your child, it is best to consult an experienced immigration lawyer. The London-based Adam Bernard’s British citizenship solicitors London can offer comprehensive advice and guidance in this area.

Registering a Child for UK Citizenship

As noted above, not all children born in the UK are eligible for UK nationality. If you are seeking this route to citizenship for your child, they must meet the following criterion:

  • The child must have lived in the UK for at least three years before the application if aged above 13
  • The child is born to non-British parents who already have settled status in the UK. In this case, nationality is automatically obtained at birth.
  • The child is born to non-British parents who later receive Settled Status or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The child becomes eligible to register for citizenship once the parents receive this status.

Children under 18 who are eligible for UK nationality must first register with the authorities. You can do so by submitting an online form and then visiting a UKVCAS-designated centre to submit your biometric details.

If you are unsure about any part of the British citizenship application process, you can consult an experienced immigration lawyer.

Who Can Apply for British Citizenship by Descent?

You can seek British citizenship by birth if at least one of your parents was a British citizen at the time of your birth. This usually applies if you were born outside the UK. In such a case, you automatically become a citizen of the UK.

You can also seek citizenship by descent in other cases where you do not receive it automatically. For instance, if your parents weren’t married at the time of your birth and your father was a British citizen, you can seek nationality by descent if you were born between 1983 and June 2006.

If your mother, instead of your father, was a British citizen at the time of your birth, and the two weren’t formally married, you can still apply for by-descent nationality if you were born before 1983.

Applying for nationality by descent or birth can be a complicated process due to several sub-routes and exceptions. Our British citizenship solicitors London can help you determine which route is best suited to your British citizenship application.

Automatic Nationality for UK-Born Children

Children born in the UK who meet specific requirements may be eligible to automatically acquire citizenship. Children born in the UK before January 1, 1983, automatically acquire British citizenship.
One exception is if you were born during the World War 2 in the Channel Islands. Another exception is if you were born in the UK while your father was serving as a diplomat in the UK. In these two cases, you do not automatically acquire British nationality
Others are eligible if:

  • The child is born on or after January 1, 1983
  • At least one parent acquires British nationality or receives a permanent settlement status in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme or ILR
  • The child continued to live in the UK until at least 10

An experienced immigration lawyer can help you determine whether or not a UK-born child automatically qualifies for British nationality.

How to Register for British Citizenship by Birth?

An individual must be aged 18 or above to apply for British naturalisation. For children under the age of 18 who qualify for UK citizenship by birth or adoption, you must first have the child registered for citizenship.

This is done by filling out Form MN1 and submitting it to the Home Office. Applicants who file this form on behalf of a child as parents must be a resident of the UK or any other overseas territories of the UK.

As a parent submitting the form, you must fill in your personal details. Both parents must provide these details. In addition, the parents must also provide written consent that they seek the registration of their child to apply for citizenship UK.

If you are applying as a single parent, you will need to explain your unique circumstances in an additional statement attached to the form.

You will also need two referees to confirm the identity of your child for the Home Office. These referees must also provide a statement explaining why the child should be awarded citizenship status.

The form itself and the registration process, in general, can be quite complicated. It is best to get legal assistance to make sure you don’t omit anything important or make any mistakes that may cause the application to be rejected. An experienced immigration lawyer can also advise you on how to choose the right referees for your MN1 application.

Applying for a Child Passport

For children who are eligible for a British passport but have never held one, you must first apply for a child passport. This applies to children under the age of 16. A referee who has known you for at least two years, is a UK citizen, and belongs to a recognised profession must confirm the identity of the child.
It takes around three weeks for a child passport application to be processed. An application submitted by post carries a fee of £58.50. If you apply online, the fee is £49.

Documents Required to Apply for Child Passport

You must submit the relevant documentation when applying for a child passport. Please note that UKVI only accepts original documents for a passport application. In some cases, you can submit an official copy of a relevant certificate. However, if you submit a photocopy or even a certified copy as a substitute for the original document, UKVI will not accept your application.

The relevant documentation when applying for a child passport includes:

  • Any previous passports that your child may have held.
  • Documentation to prove that your child has British nationality.
  • The birth or adoption certificate of your child.
  • Proof of name change of the child if the parent’s name on the passport and the birth certificate are not the same. You must also provide a suitable proof of name change, such as at least one official record where the updated name has been used.

All documents you provide along with the passport application must be in English or Welsh. If they are not in either of these languages, you must have them translated using designated professional translation services.

British Citizenship Application for Adopted Children

It is also possible for an adopted child to acquire British citizenship through the nationality status of a parent. If a UK national has adopted a child on or after January 1, 1983, this child automatically qualifies for British citizenship.

In other cases, you can seek British nationality for an adopted child if you are a UK adopting parent and have filed a Parental Order for the child. The Parental Order is sought through a UK court and once approved it makes you the legal parents of the child. You can then apply for the British citizenship of the adopted child.

If a child acquires British nationality and the parental order or adoption that led to the nationality ceases to be valid, the child’s citizenship will not be revoked. He or she will continue to be a British citizen.

If you adopted a child as a UK parent but did so outside of the UK, the citizenship application process for this child will be different. An experienced immigration lawyer can advise you on how best to proceed in such a case.

Why Choose Adam Bernard’s Citizenship Solicitors?

Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law offices, our British citizenship solicitors London offer comprehensive guidance when it comes to UK immigration. We have the reputation of being among the best immigration solicitors for the following reasons:

  • Experienced Solicitors. Our experienced immigration lawyers have extensive experience in working on immigration cases. We are very thoroughly aware of the requirements for various immigration routes, visa options, and permits. With this knowledge and experience, we are in a position to offer you highly valuable advice.
  • Tailored Guidance. Each immigration case is unique, which is why our advice is tailored to the specifics of your case. We take your unique circumstances and background into consideration to see which visa option or route best suits your needs.
  • Help at Every Step. Our British citizenship solicitors London can help you along every step of the British citizenship application process from the planning phase through the actual filing to reviews and refusal appeals.

Call us today at 0207 100 0505 to schedule a free consultation with our solicitors.

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      0207 100 2525