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Children under 18 who are
resident in the UK

There are provisions for children under 18, who are resident in the UK, to acquire rights to British nationality. These rights depend on their age and the status of their parents.

Children born in the UK

More information on the rights of children born in the UK.

Children not born in the UK

Section 3 (1) of the Home Office's guide on registration as a British citizen

A child under the age of 18 born outside of the UK could be registered as a British citizen if:

  • Their family have settled in the UK
  • They have at least one parent who is naturalising as a British citizen (or is already British) and the other parent holds a settled status
  • The child also holds the settled status
  • The child is aged over 13 and has at least two years' UK residence

Section 3 (5)

A child under the age of 18 born outside of the UK could be registered as a British citizen where both of the following apply:

  • One parent is British by descent at the time of the child’s birth
  • Both parents* and the child have been resident in the UK for at least three years (this may be shorter in some cases)

* Where the parents have separated, are living separately or never married, different criteria apply and these should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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

Settled status

 Settled status is most commonly held by one of the following:

South Africa

Cape Town

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


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

United Kingdom


Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
WC1A 1DG +44 (0) 20 7759 7514


5-7 Selsdon Road
South Croydon
CR2 6PU +44 (0) 20 7759 7581



9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS License number 335 126).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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