Children born abroad to parents who are British by descent and who are now living in the United Kingdom - section 3(5) application
This page explains how a child born outside the United Kingdom who has lived here for the last three years with his or her parents can be registered as a British citizen.
A child will have an entitlement to be registered under section 3(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981 if:
- they were born outside the United Kingdom; or
- they were born after 21 May 2002 outside any of the British overseas territories; and
- they were born to parents who are British citizens by descent; and
- the child and their parents have lived in the United Kingdom (or British overseas territory if born after 21 May 2002) for a three year period ending on the day we receive the application; and
- the child and their parents have been present in the United Kingdom (or British overseas territory) at the start of that period; and
- the child and their parents have not been absent from the United Kingdom (or British overseas territory) for more than 270 days during that period. There is no discretion to ignore absences greater than 270 days; and
- both parents consent to the child being registered as a British citizen (unless they are unable to due to death).
If the parents' marriage or civil partnership has ended or they are legally separated, only the child and one parent need to satisfy the residence requirement.
A child registered under this section will become a British citizen otherwise than by descent and will be able to pass British citizenship on automatically to any of their children born outside the United Kingdom.
Living apart from a husband, wife or civil partner without divorcing or legally ending the partnership. No formal legal document is necessary to prove legal separation provided the couple are not living together. A couple can be separated but still live under the same roof if they arrange the household so that they no longer sleep or eat together, and do not do domestic chores, such as washing or ironing, for each other.