Registration. Child born in the UK. Parent becomes British or settled after birth

You are entitled to be registered as a British citizen if you were born in the UK, and at the time of your birth none of your parents were British citizens or settled in the UK, but, while you are a minor, any of your parents becomes British or settled.

An application must be made for your registration as a British citizen.

Hence, the first requirement is for you to be born in the UK. If you were born outside the UK, you cannot apply to be registered as a British citizen, even if you and your parents live now in the UK and at least one of your parents naturalised as British citizen or was granted settled status (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.

The second requirement is that neither parent was a British citizen or settled at the time of your birth. If you were born in the UK and at the time of your birth at least one of your parents was British or settled, you cannot register as a British citizen, because you became British automatically, by operation of law, at birth, and there is no need to register anymore.

The third requirement is that either of your parents becomes a British citizen or settled in the UK after the date of your birth, but before you turn 18. You must be a minor when your parent becomes British or settled.

The fourth condition to be satisfied is that, on the date the application is received by the Home Office, you are under the age of 18. Registration is a process for the minor children. If you are over the age of 18, you must apply to naturalise as a British citizen.

Finally, if you are over the age of 10, you must be of good character. At this age, that means that you were not convicted of a crime, or involved in crime, that you were not in the UK in breach of immigration laws, and that you do not have a history of dishonesty in your dealings with various departments of the UK government.

If you meet all these requirements and make an application, you are entitled (meaning that it is your right, it is not the discretion of the Secretary of State to grant you citizenship) to be registered as a British citizen “otherwise than by descent”.

What does it mean, to be a British citizen “otherwise than by descent”?

If you will have a child and the child will be born in the UK, the child will be British automatically, by the effect of the law, because at the time of the birth you, as a parent, will be British.

But if your child will be born outside the UK, then you will still be able to pass British citizenship onto the child because you are a British citizen “otherwise than by descent”. In such a case, you child will not be a British citizen “otherwise than by descent”, but a British citizen “by descent”.

Because your child born abroad will be a British citizen “by descent”, your child will be able to pass on British citizenship to any child born in the UK, but not to a child born outside the UK.

Your application to be registered as a British citizen must be supported by evidence in the form of your full birth certificate issued within 12 month period following your birth, demonstrating that you were born in the UK, and showing the full names of your parents.

You will also need to provide evidence that one of your parents became British. You may want to use your parent’s British passport or naturalisation certificate.

If your parent did not become British, but settled, the evidence that must be produced is in the form of an indefinite leave to remain stamp in your parent’s passport, or in the form of a Home Office letter, or a biometric residence permit confirming that your parent has been granted indefinite leave to remain. If your parent is an EEA citizen who has received settled status under Appendix EU, you must provide the Home Office with the unique reference number (made of 16 digits) of the application for settled status submitted by your parent.

The online application process generates at some stage a consent agreement for your registration, a document that must be signed by both your parents (except where only one of them has parental responsibility for you). If any parent refuses to give their consent, this is not a reason for your application to be refused. Again, it is your right to be registered as a British citizen, and it is not mandatory for the caseworker to secure the consent of the parents.

If you want to apply for British citizenship or for a British passport and need specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.