Registration as a British Citizen
Citizenship through entitlement and discretion
There are a number of routes for children to apply for British citizenship.
• Some routes give them a right under British nationality law to apply and be registered as British citizens. These are entitlements.
• Other routes allow children to be granted on the decision of the Home Secretary. In these cases applications must show that the child meets existing criteria that the Home Secretary has already agreed should allow children to be registered as British. Or, in other cases, they should demonstrate that it would
be right for the Home Secretary exceptionally to allow a child to be registered as a British citizen because of the compelling nature of the child’s circumstances. These are at the Home Secretary’s discretion.
You may have automatic claim to British citizenship.
• section 11 of the British Nationality Act 1981 which explains which people born before 1 January 1983 acquired British citizenship automatically on that date
• sections 1(1) and 1(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 which explain which people born, or deemed to have been born, in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 or in the UK or a qualifying territory on or after 21 May 2002, acquired British citizenship
• section 1(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981 which explains which people acquire British citizenship by adoption or parental order in the UK on or after 1 January 1983
• sections 1(2) and 1(3) of the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 which explain which people born, or deemed to have been born, in the Falkland Islands on or after 1 January 1983 before 21 May 2002 acquired British citizenship automatically at birth
• section 2(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981, as amended by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002 which explains which people born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 acquired British citizenship automatically at birth
• the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, which makes special provision in respect of those who, immediately before 21 May 2002, were either British overseas territories citizens or had a connection with the British Indian Ocean territory
• the British Nationality Act 1981 (Immigration Rules Appendix EU) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 which insert section 10A into the British Nationality Act 1981, ensuring that specific children born in the UK after the grace period ends on 30 June 2021, who would otherwise not be British citizens, do not need to make a separate application to become one
Contact us to discuss your immigration matter by calling us on +44(0)7548856403 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing our Contact Form. One of our advisers will be happy to assist you personally.