It is assumed that a child of a British citizen born outside the UK will become a British Citizen also. There are various circumstances were British citizenship for child born outside the UK may not be possible.

Is British citizenship for child born outside the UK possible?

There are different scenarios that can lead to your child getting British citizenship. Whether a child is entitled or not depends on whether they fall into one of the following categories and even then there may be options.

British by descent

If a child’s father or mother was born in the UK and is a British Citizen then their children will be British regardless of where they are born. These children if born outside the UK are classed as British by descent. This means that they can’t pass citizenship to their children. Many people overseas may not realise they are British by descent and when it comes to travelling back to the UK with their children who are not entitled to British citizenship this comes as a shock to them.

Section 3(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981

This option will apply to those who have parent’s who are British by descent. normally these parent’s can;t pass on their British nationality to their children. There is however one circumstance that permits their children to apply via MN1 to register their child as a British Citizen. The conditions are that the British by descent parent(s) where living in the UK for at least 3 years before the date of the child’s birth and that during this 3 year period they where not absent from the UK for more than 270 days. It is also expected that the parents register their child’s British nationality before their 1st birthday.

Who will not qualify for British citizenship?

There are many ways in which your child may not qualify for British Citizenship. If you are British by descent and haven;t lived in the UK for over 3 years before their birth then your child will need a family dependent visa to join you in the UK.

If you are unsure about your own British Citizenship eligibility or your child’s then contact WM Immigration to find out how we can help.

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