I have no Immigration status, but my child was born in the UK – can I register my child as a British Citizen? – Asif Hanif (Henry Hyams Solicitors)
The information provided in this blog does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice please contact our expert immigration team who will assist you with any queries you may have. We are highly experienced with all immigration matters. Please visit Review Solicitors and see for yourself how our immigration team, Asif Hanif and Katie Vine have been highly rated by existing Clients of the Firm.
As an immigration solicitor, I get asked this question a lot. The answer actually depends on various conditions being met and these are case-specific.
There are many immigration applications available, allowing a child to be registered as a British Citizen following their birth and, or, residence in the UK however, in this article we will be discussing the option to register a child in the UK who has been born here, has resided in the UK for 10 years. This is most commonly referred to as a Form T application.
I have no immigration status – can my child be registered as a British Citizen?
In short, yes! The immigration status of the parent is irrelevant in such applications. As long as the child was born in the UK and has resided here for 10 years, the child is eligible to register as a British Citizen.
Is it really that easy?… well… not quite.
What are the general requirements for this application?
- The child must have been born in the UK on or after 1st January 1983
- The child must have lived in the UK for 10 years from birth
- The child must not have been absent for more than 90 days from the UK in each of the first 10 years of his life
- The child must be of good character
The first two requirements are fairly straightforward and are generally satisfied without any issue. However, the last two requirements do cause some concerns in practice.
My child has been absent from the UK for more than 90 days – will the application be refused?
Not necessarily. The Home Office will take into account your written submissions (usually prepared by your legal team) explaining the reason for the excess absences. Discretion will be applied only if you are able to convince the Home Office that the excess absences were owing to “exceptional circumstances”.
I was not aware of the absence rules – will this affect my child’s application?
This depends on whether or not you are able to convince the Home Office that there were exceptional circumstances that caused the prolonged absence. If you are able to prove this then generally the absences can be waived by the Home Office, however; discretion will not be applied by the Home Office merely because the parents were not “aware” of the rules.
In what circumstances can discretion be applied?
Discretion can be applied by the Home Office, in the following scenarios:
- Absence in each year does not exceed 180 days, and the total absence over the 10 year period does not exceed 990 days.
- If there is an absence of over 180 days in any one year or 990 days over the 10 years, you are able to demonstrate the excess absence was the result of a situation not within your control (this can include issues such as serious medical issues).
What are the Good Character requirements?
Independent checks will be carried out by the Home Office to ensure, the information you have provided on the application form is true.
In short, you must prove that you have shown respect for the rights and freedoms of the UK, have complied with its laws and fulfilled your responsibilities as a resident of the UK.
Failing to declare any criminal/civil sanctions will result in the application being rejected.
There is in fact a very detailed Home Office Policy on the “Good Character Requirement”, which can be found here:
This is a 54-page document, and I can assure you it does not make a good bedtime read!
I can suggest some good bedtime reads, mainly the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, but then again…let’s stick to immigration law shall we?…
What evidence can I submit with my application?
The following is not an exhaustive list, but can be used as general guidance for such applications:
- The child’s existing passport and BRP (if applicable)
- The child’s birth certificate
- Proof of residence for the last 10 years, this can include but is not limited to:
- School reports/letters
- GP immunisation record from birth
- Any other correspondence addressed to the child confirming they have been resident in the UK for the last 10 years, i.e. appointment letters from GP, optician, hospital etc.
- Parental consent form – this forms part of the application form and requires parents/guardians to provide their consent for the child to be registered as a British Citizen.
Do I need any referees for the application?
This application requires two referees. The requirements, in general, are as follows:
The requirements for the first referee:
- They can be a person of any nationality,
- Must be a professional person
The requirements for the second referee:
- They hold a British passport, and
- They are a professional person, OR
- They are over the age of 25 years.
Is there a fee payable for this application?
As I always say, “nothing in this world is for free”. The Home Office fee for this application at present is £1012.00. Other fees such as UKVCAS (biometric enrolment fee) is also payable.
Here at Henry Hyams, we offer a competitive fee to assist you in not only drafting the application form but also drafting legal submissions in support, submitting the application and uploading the application and supporting documents on the UKVCAS portal, in readiness for the biometric enrolment appointment.
At Henry Hyams, we believe Citizenship is important to a child, as it allows them greater opportunities to flourish in the UK. We ensure our experienced legal team assists you all the way with your application until a final decision has been reached by the Home Office.
We have assisted a number of clients over the years with such applications and have a 100% success rate.
Why should I instruct Henry Hyams Solicitors?
At Henry Hyams Solicitors we have a specialist immigration team that has over 30 years of combined experience in assisting our clients with their immigration matters, and we have a very high success rate. Our client reviews reflect our work ethos. In respect of our legal fee, we offer a competitive fixed-fee service, so there are no nasty surprises at the end.
If you would like to discuss your immigration application then please contact our immigration team. Henry Hyams has a highly experienced immigration team to guide you at every stage of your application. Henry Hyams Solicitors have been providing legal advice for over 80 years. We have experienced solicitors who have been providing immigration advice, assistance to clients nationally and internationally for many years.
Asif Hanif Immigration Solicitor at Henry Hyams Solicitors, Oxford House, Oxford Row, Leeds, LS1 3BE