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British Citizenship for Child Born Abroad

Children who are born to British citizens living outside the UK do not automatically qualify for British Citizenship. Find out how to obtain British Citizenship for your child born abroad.

Call us on +1 844 290 6312 for immediate assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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What is British Citizenship for child born abroad?

The ‘British Citizenship for child born abroad’ guidelines are more complex than they used to be. Children born to British parents outside of the UK do not automatically receive British Citizenship at birth.

If you are living outside the UK when your child is born, you will need to register your child as a British citizen. They will not be able to enter the UK without being subject to immigration controls until they are registered. Once you have done this, they will have access to the freedoms granted by British Citizenship.

Registering for British Citizenship for your child born abroad can be done at any time before the child turns 18. You will need to apply for British Citizenship for your child born abroad before they can apply for a British passport.

How can I register for British Citizenship for my child born abroad?

Registering for British Citizenship for your child born abroad is a similar process to Naturalizing as an adult.

Your child will not need to prove their English Language ability or pass a ‘Life in the UK’ test, but you will still need to provide the following:

  • Your child’s immigration history
  • Your reasons for wanting to apply
  • Original documents, such as a birth certificate and current passport

Parents can register a child as a British citizen through a simple process using the application form MN1.

British Citizenship for child born in US

How can IAS help?

The team at IAS has extensive experience in applying for British Citizenship for a child born abroad on behalf of clients. Our expert attorneys will advise you on your best options for getting the result you are looking for such as ensuring your child is eligible, checking documents and liaising with the Home Office.

More specifically, IAS attorneys can help you with every step of the British Citizenship registration process, including the following:

  • Assessing your family’s eligibility and identifying the best route for your child to register as a British citizen
  • Checking your documents to ensure that you are able to prove your child meets all the requirements
  • Completing your application forms in full and collating them with your evidence to make your application easy to navigate by the Home Office
  • Producing a Letter of Representation to support your application
  • Liaising with the Home Office until a decision is reached on your case

We offer advice sessions, where you will be able to ask the attorney any questions you may have about British citizenship for your child born abroad.

If you choose to get the help of IAS, you will be assigned a caseworker who will work with you one-on-one to gather and organize your supporting evidence.

Registering for British Citizenship for your child born abroad can be a complex and extensive process. Call us on +1844 290 6312 or make an inquiry online to speak with an expert who can help you start your child’s application.

Is my child eligible for British citizenship by descent?

There are several different ways an individual can become registered as a British Citizen in the UK. These are British Citizenship by birth, descent, registration, adoption and naturalization.

In terms of British Citizenship by descent, your child will need to have been born outside of the United Kingdom to at least one British parent or one British grandparent. The latter is commonly called double descent (British Citizenship by descent grandparent).

However, children who meet these requirements aren’t automatically granted British citizenship, as they must fulfil certain conditions, such as relating to the date of birth and other factors concerning the British parent or grandparent.

British Citizenship by birth

If your child was born in the UK to an EEA national, then they may be classed as a British citizen depending on when they were born. They will be classed as a British citizen as follows:

  • Between 1st January 1983 and 2nd October 2000 – if at least one parent was living in the UK at the time of birth
  • Between 2nd October 2000 and 29th April 2006 – if at least one parent held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residence, before the birth of the child
  • From 30th April 2006 onwards – if the child’s parents lived in the UK continuously and lawfully prior to the child’s birth

Note that with British Citizenship by descent, citizenship cannot automatically pass to any children who are born abroad.

Which route should my child take - registration or naturalization?

Whether you go down the route of naturalization or registration will depend on where your child was born.

If your child was born outside the UK they will be considered eligible for British citizenship by descent. They will not need to pursue the naturalization route to obtain British citizenship but rather they will need to go through the registration process.

While there are some major differences between both the registration and naturalization processes, each is complex and time-consuming, so to avoid unnecessary delays, it’s essential your citizenship application is carried out correctly and accurately.

british citizenship for child born outside uk

Which documents are required to register my child for British Citizenship?

When registering a child for British citizenship, it’s worth noting that the child does not need to pass an English language exam or the Life in the UK test.

However, the following documents are needed:

  • Biometric info (fingerprints, photograph)
  • Original copies of any passports
  • Original copy of birth certificate
  • Child’s full immigration history
  • Reason for registering your child for British citizenship

 

What form do you need to complete to register my child born abroad?

If your child is eligible to apply for British Citizenship by descent, Form MN1 should be used to register them for British nationality.

Form MN1 consists of eight sections, which are:

  • Personal information – details about both you and your child
  • Child’s residence – information related to your child’s residence history
  • Parents’ residence – information related to your own residence history
  • Good character – detail related to personal history, only required for children over 10
  • References – two supporting references
  • Biometric information – child’s fingerprints and photographs
  • Consent – both you and the other parent must give their consent for the registration
  • Declaration – you must declare all information is correct

How long does it take to register for British Citizenship?

After submitting your application for registering your child for British Citizenship it should take 2 to 4 months to receive your decision.

Note that applications made from outside the UK for British Citizenship for a child born abroad need to be submitted through your local consulate first. This will therefore increase the waiting time.

british citizenship for child born outside uk
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Related pages for your continued reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Registering for British Citizenship for your child born abroad is similar to Naturalizing as an adult. However, your child will not need to prove their English Language ability or pass a ‘Life in the UK’ test.

You will still need to provide:

  • Your child’s immigration history
  • Your reasons for wanting to apply
  • Original documents, such as a birth certificate and current passport

Children born in the UK may be British citizens depending on when they were born. If your child was born:

  • From 1 January 1983 to 2 October 2000, they will be a British citizen if either parent was living in the UK at the time;
  • From 2 October 2000 to 29 April 2006, they will only be British if at least one parent had settled status or British Citizenship in the UK prior to the birth;
  • On or after 30 April 2006, they will only be British if at least one parent lived in the UK continuously for five years exercising their rights under European law five years prior to the birth.

For more information or advice about your family circumstances, call +1844 290 6312 now or use our online contact form to request a free call-back.

If at least one of your parents was British, you may be able to claim British Citizenship by descent or by double descent if one of your grandparents was British.

British Citizenship by descent or by double descent require certain guidelines to be met depending on when you and your parents or grandparents were born.

You can apply by descent for British Citizenship for a child born abroad if at least one parent held British Citizenship at the time of birth. Your child will have to register for British Citizenship before they have the same rights as British citizens.

For non-British parents of UK-born children, find out more about who qualifies for British Citizenship by birth.

Only British citizens can apply for a British passport, so this application can only be done once your child has been registered. Once you have their certificate of registration, you can begin the application for their British passport.

This process will be the same as for other British citizens. You must include endorsed photographs, previous passports and a range of other documents.

Find out more about how to apply for a British passport.

IAS’s immigration lawyers have extensive experience in helping clients with applying for British Citizenship for a child born abroad.

We can help you with the entire British Citizenship registration process, including assessing your eligibility, identifying the best route for your child to register as a British citizen, checking documents, completing forms, producing a letter of representation, and liaising with the Home Office on your behalf.

To start applying for British Citizenship for your child born abroad, or to find out more about your options, call +1844 290 6312  or make an enquiry online.

Both the UK and the US allow dual citizenship and US citizens who obtain British Citizenship will be able to keep their US citizenship if they wish to.

Since there is no application process specifically for American British dual citizenship, for an American child born outside the UK to a British parent, what is required is for an application to be made to register for British Citizenship.