United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Double Descent (PG-1981 S3(2) 2010) Protectorate
Listen to our RECENT WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss the ways in which children under 18 can have rights to British nationality.
This solution is available to a child under the age of 18 who has a British parent (or a parent with a potential claim to British nationality) who has spent 3 years in the UK in the past. While it usually requires the parent in question to have been British by descent at the time of the child's birth, it is possible - in some circumstances - to register the child for British citizenship where the parent subsequently acquires/acquired British nationality. Applications of this nature must take place before the child turns 18.
The key requirements are
- Child under the age of 18;
- Born to a British parent (OR to a parent who would have been classified British had it not been for gender discrimination legislation before 1983, or to a parent who renounced British Nationality before the child's birth but resumed it afterwards, OR to a parent who subsequently becomes British);
- This British parent has spent at least 3 years in the United Kingdom (with no more than 270 days of absence during a 3 year period); AND
- A parent of this parent (i.e. the child's relevant grandparent) was classified as being British otherwise than by Descent because of their birth in a former British Protectorate, Protected State or Trust Territory before 1949.
This is not a straightforward application and relies on (amongst other things):
- demonstrating that the child's grandparent was classified as being British otherwise than by descent, despite being born outside of the UK;
- satisfactory evidence to prove the UK residence; AND
- a specified number of days resident in the UK during any 36 month period (so account being made of annual holidays and periods of residence outside of the UK).
In our experience, these applications often fail because the standard of evidence of residence is not met, and the strict application of the rule about residence in the UK. The UK Home Office makes the decision on a case-by-case basis and a degree of negotiation is often required.
Finally, we should point out that this provision is only available while a child is under the age of 18. This provision - as do several others - falls away when a child turns 18 and can be lost forever.