What is it?
Registration is a process for obtaining British citizenship that is open to people from a variety of backgrounds.
Registration is best known as the way for children living in the UK to obtain citizenship but is also available to children abroad who have certain ties to the UK.
Some adults outside the UK may also be able to register as British if they would have qualified for citizenship at an earlier time, if not for historic discrimination. Typical examples include where citizenship could not be passed on through the maternal line or in cases of ‘illegitimacy’.
Who qualifies for registration?
You may qualify for registration if any of the following apply
Children under the age of 18
- You were born in the UK and either of your parents later obtained British citizenship or indefinite leave / permanent residence / settled status
- You were born in the UK and lived in the UK for the first 10 years of your life
- You were born outside the UK but have lived in the UK for several years. Ideally, but not necessarily, you should have indefinite leave and at least one of your parents should qualify for British citizenship
- You were born outside the UK and were adopted by a British citizen
- You were born outside the UK through a surrogacy arrangement
- You were born outside the UK and you have a British parent who was also born outside the UK but who lived in the UK for three years before you were born
- You were born outside the UK and you have a British parent also born outside the UK, and you have both lived in the UK together for at least three years
- You were born in the UK and have lived here for five years and are stateless
Adults aged 18 or over
- You were born outside the UK to a British mother before 1 January 1983
- You were born outside the UK to a British father before 1 July 2006, your father was a British citizen and your parents were not married
- You were born in the UK and lived the first 10 years of your life in the UK
How we can help?
Registration is a very complex area of law due to the continually changing requirements of the British Nationality Act 1981 and the variety of different application routes. The above list summarises some of the most common forms of registration but there may be other routes open to you.
Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers can advise on whether you or your child qualifies for registration, and then 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online enquiry form on this page.