United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Registration - Minor 3(1) Gen
Section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 simply reads;
‘If while a person is a minor, an application for his registration as a British Citizen, The Secretary of State shall, if he feels fit, cause him to be registered as such a Citizen’.
The paragraph gives a broad discretion to the Home Secretary to effectively 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.
The criteria for registration is as follows;
a) The application must be made before the child’s 18th birthday; AND
- Both the applicant’s parents should be British Citizens; OR
- At least one parent is British and the other must hold indefinite leave; AND
c) Both parents must consent to the application;
d) The child’s future must lie with the UK; AND
e) The child must hold a "settled" status in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Remain, Permanent Residency or an Irish citizen). In some circumstances, the child could still be registered if they don't hold this status (but this requires professional advice).
Where the child is over 13 years of age, a period of 2 years residence must also be completed in the UK.