If you were born in the UK prior to 1 January 1983 the you are born British. After this date you would have to have been born to a British national of a person with settled status, meaning, Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence. So for example a child of a Tier 1 Migrant would not be automatically born British, by virtue of being born in the UK. There are a number of ways children, or adults, can become British citizens even though they are not automatically born British. This post looks specifically at how children can Register as British Citizens.
Registration route 1 – A summary for Immigration Lawyers
The child is born in the UK and resides in the UK for the first 10 years of their life. In this circumstance they can usually make an application for British citizenship provided they are of ‘Good Character’ (this only applies to ten year old children and over) and have not been absent from the UK for too many days. This type of application is made on form T and made directly to the Home Office. As part of this application a child will have to prove their residence in the UK; this usually includes documents from every year of the Applicant’s life. Usually from the age of 4 or 5 years old, the child is in education and therefore these documents are easy to come by, however, prior to this age it can be more difficult to evidence the child’s residence. Commonly used documents for this stage of the child’s life include the ‘Red book’ used to record birth details and immunisations, medical records also often refer to children in the first 5 years of the life and the child may have attended nursery which can assist in evidencing this period of residence.
Registration route 2 – A summary for Immigration Advisors
A child born in the UK that is not automatically British, because the parents are not British or settled at the time of the birth, can apply to become British by way of registration if one or both of the parents later obtain settled status or British nationality. In our example above, of the child born in the UK on a Tier 1 dependent visa, not being automatically born British, they could apply for British citizenship once their parents or parent had obtained indefinite leave to remain. This could legitimately mean that the child obtains British citizenship before the parents do. The form required for this kind of application is form MN1. With this route the child will again need to show that they have good character and have been resident in the UK without exceeding the permitted absences. Again good character needs only be shown for children who are ten years old or older.
Immigration Solicitors should remain aware of both law and guidance
There is Home Office guidance available for both routes and this would have to be perused in detail prior to making an application. Applications can be prepared by an immigration lawyer who can advise on the correct documents to submit with the application. The Registration application fee is one which has seen significant increases over the years and now stands at £1,012. The Home Office will, on occasion, make requests of applicants if insufficient documentation is submitted, however often the decision maker will refuse an application that doesn’t meet the requirements. It is therefore in the interest of the applicant to seek advice on the application.
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