United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Registration - Minor 3(1) Romein

Section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 simply reads: "‘If while a person is a minor, an application for their registration as a British Citizen, the Secretary of State shall, if they see fit, cause them to be registered as such a Citizen".

The paragraph gives a broad discretion to the Home Secretary to register any child as a British Citizen. Policies have been developed by the Home Office to deal with situations where it is felt that such circumstances would be an appropriate use of the Home Secretary’s discretion. There are around thirty different application types. However, one particular route to registration exists where a parent could have been registered as a British citizen were it not for gender discrimination in the past. Following a recent Supreme Court ruling in the UK, many people who were born outside of the UK to a UK-born maternal grandfather can now register as a British citizen. If such an applicant is already in the UK, their children could be registered as British citizens.

So the broad criteria for this solution are:

a) The application must be made before the child’s 18th birthday;

b) A parent can register now as a British citizen, but was prevented from doing so because of gender discrimination in British nationality law in the past;

c) Both parents must consent to the application; AND

d) The child’s future lies with the UK.


Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.

WhatPassport.com is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.