United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - Children turning 18

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.

When a child turns 18, there are several British Nationality solutions that fall away and are no longer available to them. It is therefore important to ensure that any application for British nationality is made BEFORE the child turns 18. While the nationality laws are complex around the granting of British Nationality to children under 18, there are several circumstances that would warrant further investigation and could give rise to a claim:

  • the child has a parent, grandparent or great grandparent who was born in the UK;
  • the child did not acquire a citizenship automatically at birth (irrespective of whether the child subsequently gained nationality at a later date). This is particularly common in countries that do not not grant automatic citizenship at birth, or who require (one of) the parents to hold a particular status at the time of the child's birth. So two obvious indicators of this are where a) the child was born in a country in which the parents did NOT have nationality of that country, or b) the parents were born OUTSIDE of their child's country of birth;
  • the child was born or is resident in the UK;
  • the child is adopted and one of the parents (either the adopted or biological parent) is/was British;
  • a parent has spent at least three years in the UK (though this can drop to two years and three months in some situations);
  • a parent is British or hold a form of British nationality (BNO, BPP, BOC or BOTC); OR
  • a parent has sole responsibility for the child.

It is critical to look into this before the child turns 18 if a claim in these circumstances is to be successful. This may be the LAST CHANCE that the parents will have to assess their child's eligibility for claiming British Nationality.


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.