Registration as a British Citizen

Under the British Nationality law, a child born in the UK after 1 January 1983 will only acquire British nationality if either his/her mother or father is a British citizen or has settled status in the UK (i.e. has Indefinite Leave to Remain).

If a child does not become a British citizen at birth, he or she may be entitled to Registration as a British citizen later. 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 subject to good character requirement, but is not subject to ministerial discretion.

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 born abroad to automatically acquire British citizenship, the British parent must be a British citizen ‘otherwise than by descent’. This would confer upon the child the status of British citizen ‘by descent’, and the child could not automatically transmit British citizenship to their own children who might be born abroad in the future. A child born abroad to a parent who is British ‘by descent’ can, in certain circumstances, apply to the UKBA for registration as a British citizen.

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.

In nutshell, applicants children can be eligible for registration of a child as a British Citizen in the following ways:-

  • Children born in the UK to parent who has become settled in the United Kingdom or becomes a British citizen; or
  • Children born overseas and whose parents are applying for British citizenship; or
  • Children who have lived in the UK for the first 10 years of his or her life and their parents are not settled
  • What is Automatic acquisition of British citizenship?v
    • A child born in the UK to parents one or both of whom are British citizens, or are settled in the UK at the time the child is born, or members of the UK armed forces is automatically a British citizen otherwise than by descent and does not need to be registered. Similarly, a child born overseas to a British parent is a British citizen by descent and does not need to be registered.

  • How many days am I allowed to stay outside UK to apply for Naturalisation?v
    • In order to meet the continuous residency requirement, applicant should not be outside UK for more than 450 whole days in the five year period or 270 whole days in the three year period (if married to a British national).  Furthermore, they should not spend more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months of the five-year period or three-year period.

  • Will my work related absence be disregarded towards the residency requirement?v
    • Applicant’s absences between 301 and 540 days may be disregard this if they meet all the other requirements and have established your home, family and a large part of their estate here. The absences were unavoidable owing to the nature of their work for a UK-based business which requires frequent travel abroad.

      Absences during the final year: - Applicants absences from the UK for between 101 and 180 days in total during the final year may be disregard the absence if they meet the met the residence requirements over the qualifying period and have demonstrated a link with the UK by establishing their home, family and a large part of their estate here.

  • What is British Citizen ‘Otherwise than by descent’ and ‘by descent’?v
    • There are two ‘types’ of British citizen: ‘otherwise than by descent’ and ‘by descent’. In general terms, someone born in the UK will be a British citizen ‘otherwise than by descent’ and someone born abroad who qualifies for British citizenship will obtain it on the basis of ‘descent’. 

  • What is Good Character requirement?v
    • From the 1st October 2012, certain immigration and nationality decisions were exempt from s4 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. As a result, the concept of a conviction becoming "spent" no longer applies when making an assessment of good character.  The Good Character or Criminality test is applied to all persons over the age of ten (10) year. 

      Some of the following issues that are considered against the ‘Good Character’ requirement are -

      • They have not respected, and/or are not prepared to abide by the law; or
      • They have been involved in or associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, or other actions that are considered not to be conducive to the public good ;
      • Their financial affairs were not in appropriate order; or
      • Their activities were notorious and cast serious doubt on their standing in the local community; or
      • They had been deliberately dishonest or deceptive in their dealings with the UK Government;  or
      • They have assisted in the evasion of immigration control.
  • When can I apply for British Passport?v
    • Once the application for Naturalisation is successful, applicants will have to attend the citizenship ceremony organised by local authorities where they have to take oath of allegiance (or you can make an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God) and a pledge to the Queen.  After this, the applicant will be handed over the ‘Certificate of Naturalisation’. From this day, the applicant will become a British Citizen and then apply for a British Passport.

  • Can I have two nationalities at the same time?v
    • British Nationality law allows you to have more than one nationality. However, you should check with the authorities of your original country before you apply for naturalisation, as some countries do not allow you to be a citizen of that country if you are a British citizen.

  • Biometric Requirementv
    • From 6th April 2015, applicants applying for Registration as a British National need to supply biometric information with their application. Once the application is submitted, the Home Office will send them a letter asking them to enrol their biometrics after the Home Office have received their application. Applicants will be able to enrol their biometric information one of the Post Offices offering this service across the UK using their walk-in service.

  • Government Feesv
    • Home Office fees for Naturalisation/Registration
        Postal  Same day Overseas
      Main Appplicant £1,012.00 N/A N/A
      Partner (if applying together) £1,012.00 N/A N/A
      Child aged under 18 applying for registration £1,012.00 N/A N/A
  • Our Feesv
    • Service                  Fees (GBP)
      Manage your application          £50
      Standard or Postal- Full representation service £350
      Super Priority Service - Minus Representation N/A
      Super Priority Service- Full Representation N/A
      Document Verification Service £150
      Telephone Consultation £100 per/hour
      Face to Face consultation £100 per/hour
      Form Filling Service £150 per application
      * For full description of the services, please refer to our 'Services' section on our website.
  • Processing Timesv
    • In line with the Home Office service standards for processing British citizenship applications, they decide 95 per cent of settlement applications within six (6) months of the application date.

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