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 exceptionally gifted in sports, music or the arts;
- 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.