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Registering a Child Born in the UK as a British Citizen after 10 years

If your child was born in the UK and has lived in the UK they may be eligible to apply to register as a British citizen and it is an option you may wish to consider for a number of practical reasons.

Entitlement to Register

Section 1(4) of the British Nationality Act 1981 states that a child born in the UK whose parents are not British or settled in the UK shall have an entitlement to register as a British citizen provided that in each of the first ten years of the child’s life, the number of days spent outside the UK does not exceed 90.  

The British Nationality Act 1981 confirms that only whole days absences from the UK are counted. Therefore the departure date from the UK and the arrival date in the UK are not considered to be absences for this purpose.  Discretion can be exercised in relation to excessive absences and published policies apply.

Generally the child will need to show that they:

(i) have been born in the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 1983;

(ii) they are 10 years of age or over;

(iii) have spent no more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom in each of the first 10 years of your life; and

(iv) be of good character.

Good character is not defined in law and there is no exhaustive list of what must be considered. The Home Office approach is to decide applications according to their own published policy.  An Applicant must take care to ensure that all information is correctly disclosed.  

Evidential Considerations

Form T is the relevant form and you will need to carefully consider what evidence you can obtain and rely on to support the fact that the Applicant was born and has lived in the UK for the first 10 years of their life.  The form can be used by anybody, adults or minors who have spent the first 10 year of their life in the UK. Evidence that might be considered and included, but is not limited to:

  • Birth certificate, passport and travel documents;
  • Nursery/school records;
  • Health records, vaccination records and evidence of appointments;
  • Personal health record (Red Book);
  • Evidence of attendance and involvement in extracurricular clubs and activities;
  • Evidence from professionals and community members involved in the child’s upbringing;

Child’s Best Interests

The Home Office will need to consider the best interests of any child pursuant to section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.  The Secretary of State must have “regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the United Kingdom”

Why Apply?

If your child is currently in the UK without leave or illegally this is a route that you might consider.  Applying for to register the child will mean that once a child turns 18 it will allow them to potentially continue their education, work and receive benefits.  

Parents or carers may also wish to consider regularising their stay on this basis.  There are a range of options open, the best option will depend on individual and specific circumstances.  

There are a number of other circumstances in which a child can make an application to register as a British citizen.

Contact our immigration barristers

If you would like to discuss your entitlement to register your child as British, or if you require legal assistance in connection with an application or an appeal, contact our specialist immigration barristers and lawyers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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