British Citizenship by Birth

One of the many paths to British citizenship is citizenship by birth. However, the rules surrounding this route to citizenship are quite strict, and those applying via this route should ensure they meet eligibility criteria and all other requirements.

Those looking into British citizenship by birth should consult with a legal advisor. Here at Total Law, our legal team is well-versed in the law surrounding citizenship by birth. Give us a call at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to find out how we can help you.

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    British Citizenship By Birth Eligibility Criteria

    The eligibility criteria surrounding citizenship by birth are complex and cover a wide selection of scenarios. For example, an individual may be eligible to apply to become a British citizen if they were born in the UK, but it will depend on where the individual was born and the circumstances of the parents.

    Those who can apply must fit into one of the following criteria:

    • The applicant was born after January 1, 1983.
      • The applicant is under 18 years of age, and since birth, one of the parents of the applicant has been a British citizen. Alternatively, the parent got permission to stay in the UK permanently.
      • The applicant has lived in the UK until they were 10 or older.
    • The applicant will automatically become a British citizen if:
      • They were born in the UK after January 1, 1983.
      • They were born when one of their parents was a British citizen or was settled in the UK.
    • The applicant was born before January 1, 1983.
      • The applicant is automatically a British citizen if they were born in the UK before 1983 unless their father was a diplomat working for a non-UK country.
      • The applicant is automatically a British citizen if they were born in the UK before 1983 unless their father was an enemy alien in occupation and they were born in the Channel Islands during World War Two.
    • The applicant is under 18 years of age.
      An applicant can register to become a British citizen if they were born in the UK, are under 18, and if one of their parents considered the UK as their home country and did any of the following after the applicant was born:

      • The parents became British citizens.
      • The parents got indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
      • The parent obtained settled status.
      • The parent got indefinite leave to enter the UK.
      • The parents got permanent residence status.
    • The applicant lived in the UK until they were 10 years old.
      The applicant can apply for citizenship by birth if they lived in the UK until they were 10 years of age. This does depend on whether the parents of the applicant were settled or British citizens at the time of the applicant’s birth, however. Having settled status means that a person is living in the UK with no time restrictions. This can include individuals who may have one of the following rights:

      • Indefinite leave to remain.
      • Settled status.
      • Right of abode.
      • Permanent residence status.
    • The applicant was born after December 31, 1982, but before July 1st, 2006. If this is the case, the applicant will automatically be a British citizen if, at the time of their birth, one of the following is true:
      • The applicant’s mother was settled or was a British citizen.
      • The applicant’s father was settled in the UK or was a British citizen and was married to the applicant’s mother.
    • If the applicant was born after December 31, 1982, but before July 1, 2006, they may be able to register to become a British citizen if, at the time of their birth, one of the following was true:
      • Both of the applicant’s parents were not British citizens or settled in the UK.
      • The applicant’s father was a British citizen or settled in the UK but was not married to the applicant’s mother.
    • An individual born after July 1, 2006, will automatically be a British citizen if, at the time of their birth, one of their parents was settled in the UK or was a British citizen.
    • An individual born after July 1, 2006, can register to become a British citizen if, at the time of their birth, neither of their parents were settled or British citizens in the UK. However, the applicant cannot have spent any more than 90 days outside of the UK in each of the first 10 years of life. If there were instances of more than 90 days outside of the UK, this needs to be explained on the application.
    • A child who is under the age of 18 and was born outside of the UK can acquire British citizenship, provided that:
      • Both of the child’s parents have lived in the UK for at least 3 years on the date the application is submitted.
      • Both parents consent to and sign the application.
      • if the child is older than 10 years of age, they are of good character.
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      Requirements & Documents Of The British Citizenship By Birth Application

      If a parent is applying for a British passport for their child to obtain citizenship for their child, they will need to provide specific documentation for this. Be aware that in this case, UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) will only accept original documents or official copies of a certificate.

      In this instance, an applicant needs to submit the following along with the application form:

      • The child’s full birth certificate.
      • Any previous valid passport from a different country belonging to the child.
      • Evidence that the child is a British national.

      Where a child is automatically classified as a UK citizen by birth, there is nothing more that needs to be done, and you can apply for a British passport on their behalf.

      However, if the child is not automatically considered a British citizen by birth, then you need to register as a British citizen for a child born in the UK. To do so, applicants will need to complete the appropriate application form.

      • Form MN1 is appropriate for those applying to register a child for British citizenship who is under 18 years of age.
      • Form T is appropriate if the child was born in the UK before 1983 and resided in the UK until they were at least 10 years of age.

      Application Fees

      Those who are under 18 years of age will have to pay £1,214 to apply for British citizenship by birth. However, if the applicant turns 18 during the process of the application, they will then need to pay £80 for their citizenship ceremony. It is possible to apply for a fee waiver for those under 18 years of age who cannot afford the application fee.

      Those who lived in the UK until they were 10 years of age will have to pay £1,214 if they are under the age of 18. If they turn 18 during the process of the application, they will then need to pay £80 for their citizenship ceremony.

      Those who are over the age of 18 will have to pay £1,431 to apply, including the fee for the citizenship ceremony.

      British Citizenship By Birth Application Process Step By Step

      How you apply for citizenship by birth depends on the specifics of your situation.

      Applying For Citizenship For Your Child

      Those who are looking to register their children for British citizenship by birth need to be aware that only applicants who are 18 or older will be able to naturalise as British citizens.

      Those who are under the age of 18 will need to apply to be registered. Yet, before they can be included in a citizenship application, the child must first have ILR (indefinite leave to remain).

      Those who are over 13 years of age can qualify to naturalise into the UK if they have lived in the UK for two years before they apply to register.

      Children who were born in the UK but have non-British parents will be able to register for British citizenship once their parents acquire ILR or achieve settled status. However, children of non-British parents who are already settled in the UK will acquire nationality at birth.

      To register a child for British citizenship, the parents need to fill out the online form found on the government website. Form MN1 is required for those registering a child under the age of 18 as a British citizen.

      After this, the applicant will be asked to book an appointment at the closest UKVCAS service point to collect biometric information. Application documents can be scanned and copied at a UKVCAS point as well.

      Step-By-Step

      1. Fill out the online form on the government’s website.
      2. Make an appointment at a UKVCS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services) point.
      3. Attend the appointment at your local UKVCAS centre to provide biometric information.

      Applying For Citizenship If You Lived In The UK Until You Were 10

      Those who lived in the UK until they were 10 years of age can apply online via the government website.

      1. Fill out the form on the UK government website.
      2. Make an appointment at a UKVCAS service point (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services). This appointment is to provide biometric information, such as your photograph and fingerprints. Documents can also be scanned at this location as well.

      It is also possible to apply via post; however, this does take longer. It is advised not to apply via post, especially if you wish to have your documents back by a certain date.

      Paying Application Fees

      Some fees need to be paid for the application. Upon completion of the online application form, the fees must be paid, as shown below:

      • Pay the application fee of £1,012 for those under 18 or £1,206 for those over 18 years of age.
      • Pay the fee for the citizenship ceremony for those over 18, which is £80.
      • Pay the biometrics fee of £19.20.

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        Application Processing Time

        After applying for British citizenship by birth, a decision will usually be made by the Home Office within 6 months; however, some applications can take longer. If additional information is required to process your application,

        If more information is required for your application to be processed, you will be informed of this.

        In the event of a successful application, those who are 18 years old or older will need to attend a citizenship ceremony. After this, you can apply for a passport or a certificate of entitlement if you do not wish to hold a British passport.

        Obtaining The British Passport: The Process

        Individuals who acquire British citizenship will be eligible to apply to get a British passport as an adult or as a child. To apply for a British passport for children or adults, applicants should complete the following step-by-step process:

        1. Complete an online application form. The form you complete depends on your age.
          • A child application form is for those under 16 years of age.
          • An adult application form is for those over 16 years of age.
        2. Once the online application form is completed, the applicant must then pay the passport application fee. The fee to pay for a British passport will also depend on the applicant’s age.
          • A child’s passport costs £49.
          • An adult’s passport costs £75.50.
        3. After the relevant fee has been paid, the applicant should upload the required supporting documents needed for the passport. Applicants will be advised on which documents they need to include; however, they may need to include the following:
          • A digital photo.
          • The applicant’s birth certificate or adoption certificate.
          • Evidence that the applicant has full British citizenship.
          • The applicant’s full birth certificate.
          • Any valid passports from another country that the applicant has.
          • Any court order, such as who may have parental responsibility for a child’s passport.
          • Confirmation of identity.

        Once a British passport application is processed, the applicant will receive a new British passport by post to the address provided during the application.

        Typically, new passports will take 3 weeks to receive after the UK government receives your documents. It can take longer than this if more information is required or if an interview is needed; however, the applicant will be informed if this is the case within 3 weeks.

        Should the applicant apply for their new British passport from a different country, the turnaround times will be different.

        Total Law's Team Can Help You Obtain British Citizenship

        If you were born in the UK, chances are that you will have British citizenship by default; however, this is not always the case in the UK, and there are some cases where those born in the UK may need to apply for their British nationality.

        In this case, you can apply for British citizenship if you meet certain criteria. One of the primary impact factors is whether or not your parent(s) was a British citizen. Applications for citizenship are typically rather straightforward; however, understanding eligibility can be complex, and ensuring you submit sufficient proof in your application is critical.

        This is why it is advisable to seek out the assistance of an expert immigration lawyer. Here at Total Law, our team are experts on British citizenship by birth and can help with your citizenship application. Give us a call today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to find out how we can help you.

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