British Citizenship:  Eligibility of a Child


In specific cases, a child may be eligible for British citizenship automatically, for example; if they are born a British citizen. Usually, this would occur where the kid is born in the UK to a mother or father, each of whom is either settled in the UK or British at the time of the child’s birth.

An individual is believed settled if he or she have ILR or, for EEA nationals, PR in the United Kingdom. If the child was not born in the United Kingdom, the child may likewise be born a British citizen if at the time of the child’s birth either mother or father is a British national, on the condition the parent’s British citizenship is obtained otherwise than by ancestor.

In the explained cases mentioned earlier, a child does not necessitate to apply for registration as a British citizen and can apply precisely to the Passport Office (“HMPO”) to be delivered with their initial British passport.

If the child was not born British, he or she may have the right to register as a British citizen by way of birth, or by means of convincing the usual conditions for registration at the Home Office’s will. This means that where the kid has a right to apply to register either by Claim or at the Secretary of State’s discretion, a request for registration will be required to be made to the Home Office, with a ensuing application to HMPO for a Primary British passport if the registration request is positive.

There are plenty of prerequisites in the British Nationality Act 1981 (“BNA 1981”) under which a kid has the right to register as a British national, which signifies that if the child links the applicable principles and is of well-behaved character, they should be registered and there is typically no discretion on the share of the Home Office to deny such an application. For instance, if the child was born in the United Kingdom and either of the parents turn into settled or themselves a British national after the child’s birth, and the kid is below 18 years of age and is of obedient character, then the child has the entitlement to register as a British citizen by right.

Additionally, the child may be allowed to be registered as a British citizen if he or she was born in the United Kingdom and had resided in the UK for a decade that is for the first 10 years of his or her life, with no non-attendances of more than 90 days in any one calendar year. Registration by entitlement also prolongs to children born outside the UK to a British parent who has obtained British nationality by ancestry and has lived in the United Kingdom for more than three years before child’s birth or has lived in the United Kingdom as one with the child for more than three years after the child’s birth.


Ultimately, if the child was neither born British nor has the right to register under the BNA 1981, the Home Office has the option to register a child if an application is submitted for registration while the child is a minor. Discretionary applications of this kind will normally engage contemplation of whether the child’s prospect is evidently seen to lie in the United Kingdom and whether both parents live in the United Kingdom, are settled here, or are not far off from applying to become British themselves.

Where a child is neither British at birth nor has a right to enrolment, nor meets the common discretionary application obligations, the Home Office still has a broader preference to register any child where there are remarkably convincing or kind conditions. Such applications are mainly complicated and would necessitate the submission of thorough backup evidence.

The info set out in this blog does not comprise all the conditions in which a child may have the right to apply for British citizenship.


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