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British Citizenship By Birth

A person born within the UK can qualify for British Citizenship By Birth if they have a parent who holds UK citizenship. Contact us at +44 (0) 1293 522 275 or fill our form for advice on your citizenship application.

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November 10, 2023

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Who qualifies for British Citizenship by birth?

Eligibility for British citizenship by birth generally involves being born in the UK to a parent with British citizenship. However, specific criteria for UK citizenship for children born in the UK vary based on their parents’ circumstances and their birthdate:

Born on or after 1st January 1983:

  • Age Requirement: They are under 18 years old.
  • Parental Status: Since birth, at least one of their parents obtained UK citizenship, or the child gained permission for permanent residency in the UK (e.g. Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR).
  • Residency Duration: Continuous residence in the UK until reaching at least 10 years of age.

In most scenarios, an individual eligible to be a UK citizen will automatically hold British citizenship by birth if:

  • They were born in the UK on or after 1st January 1983.
  • At the time of their birth, at least one parent was either a British citizen or settled in the UK (e.g. held ILR).

Born in the UK before 1983:

According to Home Office regulations, an individual is considered a UK citizen by birth if they were born in the UK before 1st January 1983. However, two exceptions exist:

  • Diplomatic Status: The person isn’t a British citizen by birth if born before 1983, and their father was a diplomat representing another nation.
  • War-Time Status: The individual isn’t a British citizen by birth if born before 1983, and their father was categorized as an ‘enemy alien in occupation’ (applicable only if the father was in the Channel Islands during World War 2 at the time of their birth).

Contact our immigration advisors for tailored guidance on your British citizenship application.

Is it possible to acquire British citizenship by birth if I’m born outside the UK?

Yes, an individual can acquire ‘British citizenship by descent’ from a parent who holds British citizenship ‘not by descent’. This provision allows a person with British citizenship ‘not by descent’ to transmit their citizenship to the next generation if their children are born outside the UK.

Generally, an individual is categorised as a British citizen ‘not by descent’ if they were born, adopted, naturalised, or registered in the UK or a qualifying territory. However, it’s important to note that a child holding British Citizenship by descent cannot themselves pass on their citizenship to a child born outside the UK.

For unique details about your specific circumstances, feel free to get in touch with our team of immigration advisors.

How to Apply for British Citizenship for a Child Born in the UK

  • Automatic Citizenship: If your child is automatically recognized as a UK citizen at birth, no further action is required. However, if desired, you can apply for a British passport on their behalf.
  • Registration for Citizenship: If your child isn’t automatically considered a British citizen at birth, you can pursue British Citizenship through registration. Here’s what you’ll need to do based on specific circumstances:
  • Form MN1: For children under 18 years old.
  • Form T: If the applicant was born in the UK before 1983 and resided here until at least the age of 10.

After completing the online application form, follow these steps:

  • Application Fees: Pay the required application fee, which amounts to £1,012 for applicants under 18 or £1,206 for those over 18.
  • Citizenship Ceremony Fee: If applicable, pay the £80 fee for the citizenship ceremony.
  • Biometric Fee: Pay the biometric fee of £19.20.
  • UKVCAS Appointment: Schedule an appointment at a UKVCAS centre to provide biometrics.
  • Document Submission: Upload necessary supporting documents or have them scanned during the UKVCAS appointment.

Note: The fees mentioned might not be applicable to all applicants; eligibility varies depending on the applicant’s birthdate.

Obtaining a British Passport After Acquiring Citizenship

Individuals with British Citizenship have the eligibility to apply for a British passport, whether as a child or as an adult. The process involves several steps:

  • Fill out the Online Application Form: Choose the appropriate form based on age:
    • Child Application Form (for applicants under 16 years old)
    • Adult Application Form (for applicants over 16 years old)
  • Payment of Passport Application Fee: Pay the respective passport application fee online:
    • Child Passport: £49
    • Adult Passport: £75.50
  • Submission of Supporting Documents: Upload necessary supporting documents as directed. These might include:
    • Digital photograph
    • Applicant’s birth or adoption certificate
    • Proof of the applicant’s Citizenship
    • Complete birth certificate
    • Any valid passports from other countries held by the applicant
    • Relevant court orders (indicating parental responsibility)
    • Identity confirmation documents
  • Processing and Delivery: Once the passport application is processed, the new passport will be dispatched by post to the address provided during the application.

Note: The supporting documents required may vary based on individual circumstances and the applicant’s history. For specific guidance or further assistance in the application process, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts.

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