Can I register a child aged under 18 as a British citizen?
This section provides details of how a person under 18 can register as a British citizen using application form MN1. Within this section, a person under 18 will be referred to as a child.
You should read the information in this section before you make an application for registration. You will need to pay a fee when you make your application. If you make an application for registration and it is unsuccessful, we will not refund your fee.
To be able to register as a British citizen using application form MN1 the child must be under 18 on the day we receive the application. Once the child turns 18 he or she will need to apply for registration or naturalisation as an adult.
If the child turns 18 during the application process you will need pay £80 for a citizenship ceremony.
If the child meets the requirements for registration, you should go to the applying section for details of how to apply.
Children who have automatically become British citizens do not need to register. You should read the page Who has citizenship for more details.
There are several ways that a child can meet the requirements to register as a British citizen. Depending on the child's circumstances, they will be able to apply for registration as a British citizen by entitlement or discretion. These terms are explained below.
If the child has a right under British nationality law to apply and be registered as a British citizen this is an entitlement.
If the child does not have a right under British nationality law to apply and be registered as a British citizen, registration will be at our discretion. In these cases we will consider the circumstances of the child's case and whether it is reasonable for them to be registered as a British citizen. If the child is applying for registration at our discretion you should provide as much evidence as possible to support the case.
It is possible that some families include some children with an entitlement to register and others without. If an application is made from families in these circumstances you are asked to indicate on the form if you still wish to register the children who have an entitlement to British citizenship if other applications are unsuccessful. If you do so, the children will have different nationalities.
For all registrations, the child must:
- be under 18 on the date we receive the application; and
- be of good character if they are 10 years or over on the date of application.
The child must also meet the requirements of certain sections of the British Nationality Act 1981.
Sections 1(3), 1(4) and 3(1)
Children born abroad to parents who are British by descent and who are now living in the United Kingdom