Registering a Child for British Citizenship

Immigration & UK residency

This section covers at length the legal requirements and procedures for any person under 18 years of age who would like to register as a British citizen. Under this section, any applicants that are under 18 years of age are referred to as a ‘child’.

Applications for registration should only be made after close consideration for all the legislation, policy and processes. This is because a fee is applicable for any application, and there are no refunds granted to those that are unsuccessful. Therefore, it is vital that anyone looking to apply should have their eligibility checked over thoroughly, and that the procedures should be pored over at length by whoever intends to make the application.

To be applicable for registration as a British citizen applicants must use form MN1 available online at the UK Border Agency’s website, additionally the child must be under 18 years of age upon the day of application. The registration will expire as the child turns 18, requiring a new application for registration or alternatively naturalisation as an adult.

Any children who have been granted automatic authorisation to become British citizens are not required to register in this fashion.

A child can meet the specified criteria requirements for registration as a British citizen through a number of different ways that can often depend upon the child's circumstances. Child applicants are able to apply for registration as a British citizen through entitlement or discretion. The terms of these categories are further detailed below.

If the child has a right under British nationality law to apply and be registered as a British citizen this is considered an entitlement.

In the instance that a child is not entitled to application for registration of British citizenship, any registration exceptions can be judged at the UK Border Agencies discretion. Any extraordinary instances will be considered through the specific circumstances of the child's case, and as to whether it is practical for registration as a British citizen to be granted. When the child is applying for registration at the discretion of the UK Border Agency, as much evidence as possible needs to be provided to sustain the case.

It is not uncommon for families to include children with an entitlement to registration additionally to other children without. When families form an application within these circumstances they are asked to indicate on the form if they still want to register the noted children with automatic entitlement to British citizenship in the instance that the other applicants are unsuccessful. If the parents do indeed choose to do so, it could be the case that the children will have different nationalities.

To form any application for registration, the child must be under 18 on the date of the application's receipt, and be of genuine character if 10 years or over at the date of application.

There are also additional requirements set out that need to be met, and the specifics of these can be found under certain sections of the British Nationality Act 1981.

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