A How to Guide on Child Naturalisation Application

You may be eligible to register your child as a British Citizen. Learn more about the child naturalisation application and the different ways to apply.

You may be eligible to register your child as a British Citizen. Learn more about the child naturalisation application and the different ways to apply.

In 2016, 696,271 children were born in England and Wales.

Are you a British citizen or settled resident who just had a child in the UK?

Do you know the proper way to register and naturalize your children?

This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about the British naturalisation application.

Ever since 1983 the laws on who is a British citizen by birth have changed. There are a series of qualifications your family must meet.

Who qualifies?

Few people want to read through thick law books to figure out what the laws are. Reading and understanding British laws can be quite complex.  Here’s the law simplified.

We did all the work for you and here’s the law simplified to help you determine under which section your child qualifies for British Citizenship.

British citizenship can either be granted by descent or by birth.

Citizenship by descent is inherited by a parent who is already British.

Citizenship by birth is self-explanatory. However, children who are born in the UK to non-British citizens don’t acquire British citizenship by birth.

To qualify under section 1(3) the UK born minor’s parents must be British citizens settled here or joined the armed forces. Under section 3(5) children were born outside the UK but to British citizens. Under section 3(2) children born outside the UK and the family has lived in the UK for 3 years.

The requirements are as follows:

Born in the UK

Also known as section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act of 1981. Children born in the UK are entitled if:

  • Born in the UK
  • Not British citizens at birth because neither of the parents was a citizen or settled
  • Neither one of their parents became a citizen or settled in the UK when the child was still a minor
  • Under the age of 18 by the time of the application
  • Good character is established over the age of 10

Not born in the UK

Under section 3(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981:

  • Born outside the UK
  • At least one of the parents was a British citizen by descent at the time of the child’s birth
  • They must be under 18 by the time of the application
  • The child and parents were in the UK at the beginning of 3 years ending on the date of the application
  • During the 3 year period, the child and his parents weren’t absent from the UK for more than 270 days
  • Both parents must consent at the time of the application
  • children 10 or older must be in good character

Under section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981

  • Born outside the UK
  • Either parent was a British citizen by descent (by the child’s grandparent) when the child was born
  • Either the father or the mother of the parent (the child’s grandparent) was a citizen other than descent before or on 1 of January 1983, or at the time of the parent’s birth

The law of 13 January 2010 allows children who are born from British mothers to register as a British citizen when they are born outside the U.K. Prior to this law, only fathers had the right to directly pass British citizenship to their children when not born in the U.K.

Naturalisation application, what to expect?

To make the naturalisation process easier, you should keep up to date with the latest fees, forms, documents, and ways to complete the application. It will make the process run smoothly.


The cost is £973 for a child under 18 to register as a British citizen. Also, add £19.20 for the biometric requirements.

Make sure you check regularly for changes in fees, so you file the appropriate one.

Ways to complete the naturalisation application

The 3 most common ways to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation:

  • Fill out an individual application
  • Consult the Nationality Checking Service (NCS)
  • Obtain the help of an agent or representative

Documents required

Although, similar documents are required under the different sections. It’s important to check the list to see which ones apply to your situation.

Born in the UK

Section 1(3)

  • MN1 application form (two referees)
  • UK birth certificate of the child
  • Evidence of parents’ citizenship, passport, naturalisation certificate, or registration certificate
  • proof of parents’ settled status at the time of the child’s birth such as indefinite leave to remain (ILR), Home Office letter, and biometric residence permit
  • a marriage certificate is required if one of the parents became a citizen or settled after the child was born.
  • Fees

Born Outside the UK

Section 3(5)

  • MN1, two referees, written consent from both parents
  • Child’s birth certificate showing the parent’s information
  • Proof of the parent’s British citizenship by descent at the time of the child’s birth
  • Evidence of residence in the UK for 3 years before the application. During the 3 year period, proof there hasn’t been an absence from the UK for more than 270 days.
  • In case of a deceased parent, the death certificate
  • If the marriage of civil partnership has dissolved, they must show evidence of divorce certificate, decree of nullity, dissolution of civil partnership, or judicial separation
  • Fees

Section 3(2) 

Note that with a child not born in the UK the situation gets a bit more tricky. If one of the parents of the child is living abroad, he or she must sign a consent for the child to become a British citizen.

Another case is when both parents live in the UK, but one of the parents doesn’t have permanent leave to remain. The parents must wait until the parent without leave obtains it before commencing the process for the child.

Consider hiring an immigration lawyer

When filling out a naturalisation application you might want to consider consulting a lawyer. The process seems rather simple and self-explanatory. Why hire an immigration consultant then?

Their job is to stay informed on recent immigration changes.

Lawyers also provide guidance and help you prevent common mistakes:

  • Inconsistent answers
  • Unnecessary information
  • Failure to provide required documents
  • filling out the wrong application or miss a deadline

Proper legal representation can ensure your naturalisation application goes smoothly.

Are you ready to take the step towards your child’s British citizenship?

To learn more about our services and other inquiries contact us.

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