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How Can Children Become the U.K. Citizens Through Their Parents?

2 min read

British nationality law is complex, and this makes it difficult for individuals to understand their rights and be successful in their claims for nationality.   Each potential application for registration of a minor as a British citizen requires thorough consideration of the child’s and their parents’ current nationality status and immigration history.

In certain circumstances, a child will automatically be a British national and you may not be aware of this.  In this situation, the child will not need be registered as a British citizen and you can just apply for their first British passport. If the child is not a British Citizen, you can apply to ‘register’ them as a British citizen. Registering is a way of applying for British citizenship. 

Your child needs British citizenship before they can get a UK passport.

There are a number of provisions under the British Nationality Act 1981, pursuant to which the child would have the right to become British. We would need to consider:

  • Whether the child was born in the UK or out of the UK
  • How long child has resided in the UK
  • How old is the child
  • Registration of a child born in the UK to a parent who has become a British citizen or settled since the child’s birth
  • Discretionary Registration  
  • Compelling and compassionate curcumstances 

If you can’t afford the fee

You can apply for a ‘fee waiver’. If you get a fee waiver, you will not have to pay the fee.

To apply for a fee waiver, you have to show you do not have enough income and savings to pay for both the fee and essential costs like food and rent. You would need to send documents showing your income and spending for the last 6 months, for example your:

  • pay slips
  • bank statements for all your accounts
  • tenancy agreement
  • utility bills

If social services give you money to help you look after your child, you’ll automatically get a fee waiver – you’ll need to send documents to prove this.

Applications for registration, particularly discretionary registration are complex and will require detailed documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the application.

If you are unsure, as to whether your child is entitled to a British Passport or to registration as a British Citizen contact immigration solicitors at BLJ Law to discuss your nationality case.  Our dedicated solicitors are experts in this complex area of law and can guide you to success in your application.

Please contact us on Tel: 020 3096 5984 or [email protected]


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