Bishop & Sewell

What is it?

Depending on their parent’s status, children may be able to apply to register as British citizens.

What are the main requirements?

In order for children to register as a British citizen they must be able to demonstrate that either:

  • they were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983;
  • they were not automatically British by birth;
  • their mother or father subsequently became a British citizen or settled in the UK before the applicant turned 18; and
  • the application is made before the applicant turns 18.


  • they were born outside of the UK; and
  • one or both parents are applying for British citizenship at the same time;
  • if only one parent is applying for British citizenship, the other parent is settled in the UK; and
  • the application is made before the applicant turns 18.

Those who are over the age of 10 applying in either category must also be able to demonstrate that they are of good character.

There are also many other circumstances in which a child can apply to register as British generally on a discretionary basis. If you would like further information regarding these circumstances, then please get in touch.

Adults are also able to register as British citizens in certain situations. These include where:

  • they have another form of British nationality or;
  • they have a connection with Gibraltar or Hong Kong or;
  • they have a British mother or father and had the right to become a British citizen when they were born.

How we can help?

The requirements of registration are highly prescriptive and the Home Office routinely refuse applications that do not fully comply with the provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981 and guidance. Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers will assist in preparing and submitting your application to achieve the best possible outcome.

If you’d like to discuss matters further, please email our Immigration team on or complete the online enquiry form on this page.

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