How Can Children of EU Citizen Get Their British Citizenship If They Are Born abroad?
According to the British Nationality Act 1981:
‘A person born outside the United Kingdom shall be a British citizen if at the time of the birth his father or mother is a British citizen otherwise than by descent’.
What Does This Mean?
This means that if a child is born abroad, s/he can apply to register as a British citizen only after one of his parents becomes a British citizen, not by descent. In other words, when one of the parents gets their British citizenship NOT as a result of being born outside the UK to a British citizen parent.
What If the Child of an EEA National Is Born in the UK?
There is a legal difference between children born in the UK and outside to parents who are settled in the UK.
‘A person born in the United Kingdom shall be a British citizen if at the time of the birth his father or mother is (a) a British citizen; or (b)settled in the United Kingdom’
This means that if the child is born in the UK, s/he will become automatically a British citizen if one of the parents had Indefinite Leave to Remain or a Permanent Residence Document at the time of the child’s birth.
What If the Parent of the Child Does Not Have a Settled Status?
If a parent does not have a settled status but qualifies for one and the child was born outside the UK, the parent will need to:
- Apply for a settled status first;
- After the application is approved, they’ll need to wait for 12 months;
- Apply to naturalise as a British citizen and only after the application is approved they can register their child a British citizen by descent.
The above advice is based on the fact that parents as a NOT British citizen. If one of the parents is a British citizen and the other is an EEA national, the child will gain his British citizen by descent through their British citizen parent.
Once again, I would like to remind you that all information in this blog is NOT intended to serve as the basis for making any decisions and is provided for general information only.