Is my child British?
Not every child born in the UK is a British citizen.
The child born in the UK is British by birth if at the time the child is born at least one of the parents is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain.
A child born outside the UK to a British citizen parent is born British by descent (on condition that the parent is British other than by descent).
If your child is not British by birth you may consider registration of the child as a British citizen.
Children born in the UK to parents who are not British citizens and do not have indefinite leave to remain do not acquire British citizenship at birth. They have the right to be registered as British citizens once at least one of the parents obtains a settled status (or receives indefinite leave to remain). This registration is not subject to ministerial discretion. Good character requirements apply.
A child is entitled to register as a British citizen if his father or mother becomes a member of the British armed forces.
A person born in the UK to non-British parents who has spent the first 10 years of his life in the UK and has not been out of the country for more than 90 days in any one year of the first 10 years of his life, is entitled to be registered as a British citizen. Such application for registration can be made at any time and is not limited by a requirement to apply while the applicant is under 18. The requirement of good character applies.
A child under 18 born outside the UK is entitled to be registered as a British citizen if they are born to a British citizen by descent in the first generation who had spent three years in the UK before the child was born. Such child will be registered as a British citizen by descent.
Alternatively, a child under 18 born outside the UK to a British citizen by descent is entitled to be registered as a British citizen once they and their both parents have lived in the UK for a continuous period of three years immediately before the application is made and during this three year period they have not been out of the country for more than 270 days.
In addition to registration by entitlement, a child may be registered by discretionary powers of the Secretary of State. The rules governing the discretion are both complex and fluid. Best interests of the child are to be heeded and the applicant has to demonstrate that the future of the child lies in the UK.
At Kadmos Consultants we regularly assist clients with registration of the minors, both by entitlement and under discretionary powers of the Secretary of State.
Registration of an adult
Registration as a British citizen for persons over 18 is mainly linked to the UK colonial past and the rules governing registration are complex. In certain circumstances this route is open to British overseas citizens, British protected persons, British subjects or British nationals who do not have the advantage of full British citizenship.
Those who think they may be eligible in this category are strongly advised to seek legal advice.