All About Child Registration as a British Citizen (Form MN1)

On July 12, 2023 | In British Citizenship | By A Y & J Solicitors Last Updated : January 12, 2024

If you are planning to apply for registration for British Citizenship for your child under the age of 18, you will need to use Form MN1. In this article, we will explain all you need to know about child registration as a British citizen using Form MN1.

What are the benefits of British Citizenship for my child under 18?

Acquiring British Citizenship will offer your child considerable benefits and advantages. They will have the ability to live, work, and study in the UK without any immigration restrictions for the rest of their life. Your child will also be able to apply for a British passport, allowing them to travel freely worldwide and return to the UK. British Citizenship will also give your child the opportunity to grow up as an integral part of their wider and local community.

Should I use Form MN1 Paper form or online form?

You will need to complete and submit a paper Form MN1 if you currently live in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory and your child is under 18 and qualifies for British Citizenship through birth or adoption.

Even if you do not fall within this category, can also use the paper form if you prefer.

However, the majority of eligible applicants use the online form as this is the easiest method of application and you do not need to send in original documents when applying online.

UKVI’s guidance further clarifies that Form MN1 should be used for citizenship applications under any of the following sections of the British Nationality Act 1981:

  • section 1(3) birth in the UK to parents who are now settled in the UK or have become British citizens
  • section 1(3A) birth in the UK to parents who have joined the armed forces
  • section 3(1) child whose parents are applying for British Citizenship
  • section 3(2) birth abroad to parents who are British by descent and have lived in the UK or a qualifying British overseas territory
  • section 3(5) birth abroad to parents who are British by descent but are now living in the UK or a qualifying British overseas territory
  • section 3(1) – registration at the Home Secretary’s discretion
  • section 4D – birth abroad to parents serving in the armed forces

Before completing the application process for British Citizenship for your child, it is important to check that you are using the correct application form.

If your child is now 18, they will need to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen using Form AN instead. Remember, if you use the wrong form, your application may be refused, and you may lose your application fee. There are several other application forms for British Citizenship; hence if you are unsure which form to use, speak to an immigration Solicitor who can advise you.

Do you have a way to calculate the nationality application UK cost?

Yes! Use our calculator below to calculate your nationality application visa cost.

Please answer the questions and you will be able to calculate the approx cost for the nationality application –

Do I need to register my child for British Citizenship?

It is not always necessary to register a child for British Citizenship. You will not need to register your child if they are automatically a British Citizen, for example:

  • British Citizenship otherwise than by descent – this will be the case if your child was born in the UK and you are a British citizen or you were settled in the UK when your child was born
  • British Citizenship by descent – this will be the case if your child was born outside the UK and you are British otherwise than by descent. This route allows a British parent to pass down British Citizenship to a single generation to a child born outside the UK.

Your child may also have acquired British Citizenship automatically if they were born in the UK and you are an EEA or Swiss national. This will depend on when they were born and your immigration status at the time of their birth.

Can I register my child as a British Citizen?

A child will be entitled to register as a British Citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981 if they were (please note this list is not exhaustive):

  • Born in the UK:
    • To a parent who has (since their birth) settled in the UK (i.e. they have obtained ILR) or become British citizens, or
    • On or after 13 January 2010 whose parent (since their birth) become a member of the UK armed forces
  • Born outside the UK:
    • To a parent who is “British by descent”; and
    • That parent has lived in the UK (if the child was born on or after 21 May 2022, has lived in a qualifying British Overseas Territory) for a continuous 3-year period before the child’s birth.

A child under 18 years may also be eligible to register as a British citizen at the discretion of the Home Secretary if (not exhaustive):

  • The child was born outside to parents who are in the process of applying for British Citizenship at the same time
  • The child was adopted overseas by parents with British Citizenship, or
  • The child was born to parents who renounced and then later re-acquired their British Citizenship

In addition, a child may be able to successfully register as a British citizen if there are exceptional circumstances which mean it is in the best interests of the child to be granted British Citizenship. This is referred to as a ‘discretionary decision’ and will be based on the circumstances of the child. The Home Office will take into account their connections to the UK, the immigration status of the parents, how long the child has lived here, the good character of the child, and whether there are any compelling circumstances.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with nationality applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

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