Naturalization and Registration are the main route to obtain British Citizenship and are set out in the provisions of the British Nationality Act (BNA) 1981.
The most widely available route to citizenship for those over 18 is that of naturalisation. Section 6(1) BNA states that anyone of sound mind can apply to become a British citizen and if certain conditions are met the Secretary of State has a discretion to grant citizenship.
For children born in the UK, there are two commonly used routes.
Firstly, under section 1(3) BNA, children who were born in the UK at a time when their parents were not settled or did not have British citizenship, can apply to be registered as a British citizen once one of their parents obtain settled status or citizenship.
And secondly, under section 1(4) BNA, children who were born in the UK and have lived in the country for the first 10 years of their lives can apply to be citizens.
Naturalisation under section 6 has a number of requirements including (but not limited to):
The requirements under the two registration routes are usually easier to meet.
Under section 1(3) BNA, the requirements include (but are not limited to):
These requirements can usually be evidenced by a child’s birth certificate and their parents’ current and previous immigration documents, such as their BRPs or new British passport.
For children applying under section 1(4) BNA, the requirements include (but are not limited to):
There is no requirement for a child applicant to have settled/ILR status first, avoiding the need for an additional application. Children also do not need to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language or pass a life in the UK test.
Nationality and Registration applications can often be complicated and time consuming. If you have questions with regards to a possible application for naturalization or registration then please complete our free online assessment.
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