United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Passport for Children
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.
How can your children qualify for British Nationality and be eligible to get a British Passport? They can do so if the following criteria apply:
- born to a parent who was born in the UK before 1983*
- born to a parent who was born in the UK after 1982*
- born to a British parent who was born outside of the UK
- born to a parent who was Naturalised in the UK before the children's birth
- under 18 with a British parent
Children born to a parent who was born in the UK before 1983*
A child is eligible for a British Passport (and what we would term a STANDARD route to British Nationality) if they were born to a parent* (a father or mother) who was born in the UK before 1 Jan 1983. In such situations, the relevant parent is considered as being British Other than by Descent, and can pass British Nationality to their children. Read More
Children born to a parent who was born in the UK after 1982*
An analysis of the circumstances of parent's birth must be undertaken, along with the status of their parents (i.e. the child's grandparents at the time of the parent's birth). Read More
Children born to a British parent who was born outside of the UK*
An analysis of HOW the child's parent became British must be done. There are several circumstances where this parent could have been classified as British Otherwise Than By Descent, with the ability to pass British Nationality to their children. We suggest you try our online Nationality Assessment.
Children born to a parent who was Naturalised in the UK before the child's birth*
A child is eligible for a British Passport (and what we would term a STANDARD route to British Nationality) if they were born to a parent* (a father or mother) who was Naturalised in the UK before their birth. In such situations, the relevant parent is considered as being British Other than by Descent, and can pass British Nationality to their children. Apply Now
Children under 18 with a British parent*
Other than the Standard routes to a British Passport set out above, there are other provisions allowing children under the age of 18 of a British parent to claim a UK Passport. These are generally covered by the following situations:
- A British parent has spent at least 3 years in the UK in the past - read more
- A British parent spends at least 3 years in the UK in the future, as long as the child is still under 18 at the time of application - read more
- A British parent gives birth to a child who is "Stateless" at the time of birth (in other words, the child does not automatically take on the citizenship of their country of birth or a parents' nationality) - read more
- A discretionary registration in exceptional cases (sporting excellence, for example).
Again, there are many MORE SOLUTIONS where children under 18 could qualify, and these require a case-by-case analysis of the circumstances.
* Exceptions to the rules above
It gets more complicated if:
- the parents weren't married at the time of the child's birth; OR
- the child (or a parent) was adopted.
How do I find out if my children can get a British Passport?
Given the complexities of British nationality legislation, and because we handle hundreds of complex enquiries every day, we have developed a simple 4 STEP PROCESS as the most effective way of giving you the answer you’re looking for.
The steps are as follows:
- Step 1: Standard vs Non-Standard. Determine whether your child has a Standard claim to a British Passport. They have a Standard claim if they were born in the UK before 1983, a parent was Naturalised before their birth, or they had a parent born in the UK before 1983 (provided that their parents were married at the time of their birth). All other claims are considered Non-Standard.
- Step 2: Nationality Assessment: If your child does NOT have a Standard Route (as determined in Step 1 above), complete our FREE on-line Nationality Assessment. Your input is filtered against the criteria of hundreds of Non-Standard British Passport solutions that we know of. Your Results Page - the final page on the assessment - will set out all your possible solutions.
- Step 3: Status Trace: From your Results Page (reached in Step 2), you can instruct Philip Gamble (our founder and senior partner, and widely regarded as the world's leading expert on the subject) to review your family tree that you create in Step 2. By ordering this FREE review, you are asking Philip for his opinion on your child's chances of claiming a UK Passport. Philip will respond by email with a Definite, Likely, Possible, Unlikely or Remote answer.
- Step 4: Citizenship Report: You instruct Philip Gamble and his team of specialists in London to review copies of your family documents and research your children's rights to a British Passport. After searching for any possible way in which you can qualify, they will write a detailed Nationality Report, giving you a Yes/No answer. A fee of £350 applies.
What should I do NOW?
To avoid incurring unnecessary research or application fees at this point, we ask you to complete Steps 2 and 3 by:
- Completing our FREE online Nationality Assessment
- Ordering our FREE Status Trace
You will receive a series of emails, setting out clearly the solutions that your children appear to qualify for, as well as Philip’s response to your Status Trace. Once you have completed these two steps, we will contact you by phone or email to discuss your children's nationality situation and talk through what should happen next. This may involve advising you to instruct our team of British Passport specialists to look into their case further to provide a definitive answer (Step 4).
We set out below the criteria and requirements to qualify for British Passport for Children - that is, qualifying through a British parent.
A British Passport for Children is based on birth outside of the United Kingdom to a parent (mother or father) who is British Otherwise than by Descent or who was born in the UK before 1983.
British Citizens (i.e. those who hold full British Citizenship and the right to carry a British Passport) can be divided into two categories:
- British by Descent
- British Other Than by Descent
Click here for more general rules on:
British Passport by Birth (from birth in the UK)
British Passport by Double Descent (passed down from a UK-born grandparent)
British Passport for Children
UK Passport for Children
Passport British Nationality