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Register a child for
British citizenship:
Children under 18

There are provisions in law to register minor children under the age of 18 as British citizens.
These rights fall way and are lost forever when they turn 18.

It can be important to take action before a child turns 18. After they turn 18, several rights to
British nationality fall away and can be lost forever.


Ensure your child’s nationality sooner rather than later

While the nationality laws are complex around the granting of British nationality to children under 18, there are several obvious circumstances that give rise to a claim.

There are a few general cases in which a child will give rise to a claim of British nationality. These are (but are not limited to) cases where:

  • The child was born stateless and/or did not acquire a citizenship automatically at birth
  • A parent is British and has spent time living in the UK before the child turns 18
  • A parent is British and immigrates with their family to the UK
  • A parent is British and was employed by a UK-domiciled company at the time of the child’s birth
  • A parent who has renounced British nationality in the past
  • A parent qualifies for a UK Ancestry visa
  • The child is gifted in sports, music or the arts
  •  Discretionary registrations of children in special circumstances

The UK is making it tougher to claim nationality

The recent hardening of the UK government’s stance toward migration in general makes it more important than ever to ensure your child’s claim to British nationality is not wasted.

Get in touch with our British nationality expert today if your child is approaching the age of 18. If they’re already older than 18, fear not, there are still many, albeit more complicated and less sure-fire, ways that they can claim British nationality.

South Africa

Cape Town
Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

201 The Annex
Ridgeside Office Park
t: +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

5-7 Selsdon Road
South Croydon
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7581


Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

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