How do I get citizenship for my son/daughter that was born abroad?
A child born overseas to a British national will be deemed a British citizen by descent. However, the process of registration will have to be completed in order for the young person to be able to apply for a British passport.
Parents can register the child for citizenship using the application form MN1. Registering will enable them to enter the country. Registering for citizenship in for a young person that is British by descent must be done before the child reaches the age of 18.
British citizenship for child born abroad- what are the eligibility criteria?
In order to acquire citizenship for your son/daughter that was born abroad, there are a number of eligibility requirements that must first be satisfied.
- Have been born outside the UK
- Have had at least one British parent at the time of birth
- If aged over 10, the child must be of good character
- The child’s mother and father must have lived in the UK for the three years that precede the application being submitted
What does the process of registering my son/daughter as a British citizen consist of?
In order to register your son/daughter as a British national, you must first complete and submit form MN1 along with the supporting documentation.
You must also pay the fee of £460 at this juncture. You will be a charged an additional £50 for each additional child that you apply on behalf of.
For children living outside the UK, the application must be sent to a British diplomatic mission, who will send it on to the Home Office. This will involve an additional fee.
Your application should be processed and decided upon within a few months of its submission.
How do I determine whether my child is a British Citizen by Descent?
In order for your child to be considered a British citizen by descent, they will need to have been born outside of the UK. In addition to this, at least one of their parents must have been a British national at the time of their birth.
Children whose circumstances this applies to do not automatically become British citizens. However, if your son/daughter was born abroad to a British citizen, it is possible to register them for nationality. This is because they will be deemed a British citizen by descent.
Do I opt for registration rather than naturalisation?
If your child is considered a British citizen by descent, they will not need to pursue a naturalisation route in order to obtain full citizenship.
Instead, they will need to complete the process of registration.
Whilst there are key differences between registration and naturalisation, they are both complex and often time-consuming processes.
With this in mind, it is important that registration is carried out correctly and effectively.
What documents will I need in order to register my child as a British national?
Unlike with naturalisation, obtaining citizenship for a child born abroad does not necessitate passing an English language test or the Life in the UK test. Most of the naturalisation requirements do not apply to registration.
Despite this, you will still need to provide:
- Biometric information. This takes the form of fingerprints and digital photographs
- Your reasons for applying to register your child as a British citizen
- All necessary documentation such as passports and birth certificates. These must be original copies.
- Your child’s full immigration history
Our London immigration lawyers will ensure that you successfully register your child as a British national.
Will my child automatically become a British citizen?
If your child was born outside of the UK, they will not gain British nationality automatically. Providing that either you or the child’s other parent is a British citizen, your child will be able to claim British citizenship by descent. Were your child to remain overseas, their children would not be eligible to claim this right.
If your child is born on British soil to an EEA national, there is a chance that they may be classed a British citizen. This depends on when they were born. A child born:
- Between January 1st 1983 and October 2nd 2000 will be classed as a British national if one parent was living in the UK at the time.
- Between October 2nd 2000 and April 26th 2006 will be classed as a British national if at least one parent had Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residence prior to the birth.
- From the April 30th onwards will be classed as a British national lived in the UK continuously and lawfully prior to the birth.
What form do I use to register my child as a British citizen?
If your child is eligible for British citizenship by descent, you should complete and submit application form MN1 in order to register them for nationality. Registration is somewhat simpler than naturalisation, but nonetheless requires considerable attention.
Form MN1 comprises eight sections. These are:
- Personal information- you must detail both yours and your child’s personal details
- Residence- you must provide information pertaining to your child’s UK residence history
- Parent’s residence- you must provide information pertaining to your own residence history
- Good character- this is relevant to children aged 10 and over, and relates to personal history
- Reference- you must include two references. Both must know the child. One must be a professional
- Biometric information- the child’s fingerprints and digital photographs must be submitted
- Consent- both of the child’s parents must sign their consent in this section
- Declaration- you must declare that all the information given is honest and correct
What documents will I need to apply for a British passport for my child?
Upon successfully registering your child as a British citizen, you will able to apply for a passport on their behalf.
It is important to bear in mind that the application can only be commenced once the certificate of registration has been received.
Having acquired British citizenship by descent does not alter the process involved with obtaining a British passport.
The application process will be exactly the same as it is for all other British citizens.
You will need to provide photographs, previous immigration history and a number of other documents.
You will need to provide:
- You certificate of registration
- Birth or adoption certificate
- Someone who can confirm your identity (if applying via paper form)
- Evidence of one of your parents’ immigration status
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Our London immigration lawyers have an immense wealth of experience in relation to registering children born abroad as British nationals.
If your child has British citizenship by descent, we can guide you through the registration process step by step, maximising your chances of the result you want.
Our London immigration lawyers will:
- Conduct a full, thorough document check to ensure all necessary paperwork is in place
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Once form MN1 has been submitted along with the supporting documentation, you should expect for it to be processed and decided upon within 2-4 months.
It is important to note that applications made from outside the UK must first be submitted to your local consulate. This should be borne in mind when considering how long it will take to receive a decision on your application.