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Giving Birth to a Child in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 18 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Giving Birth To A Child In The Uk

Prior to 1 January 1983 almost any child born in the UK automatically acquired British citizenship. Since then the rules have changed. A child born today in the UK will only have British citizenship if at least one of their parents is a British citizen or was living in the UK with permission to stay here permanently.

Children Born to Citizens of the European Economic Area

Children born in the UK to citizens of the European Economic Area may be British citizens depending on when they were born. Children born:
  • From 1 January 1983 to 2 October 2000 will be British citizens if either parent was living in the UK at the time;
  • From 2 October 2000 to 29 April 2006 will only be British citizens if at least one parent had obtained indefinite leave to remain or the unconditional right to permanent residence in the UK prior to the birth;
  • On or after 30 April 2006 will be British citizens if at least one parent lived in the UK continuously for five years pursuant to their rights under European law prior to the birth.
Similar rules apply to children of Swiss citizens born in the UK from 1 June 2002 onwards.

Registering Children as Citizens

In some circumstances the parents of children under the age of 18 may be able to register their children as British citizens using form MN1. In some cases this will be an automatic right and in others it will be up to the discretion of the UK Border Agency. The following categories of children may be entitled to be registered as British citizens:
  • Children born to parents who subsequently acquire rights of permanent residence or British citizenship are entitled to be registered as British citizens;
  • Children who were born in the UK after 1 January 1983 and lived in the UK for the first 10 years of their life will be entitled to register as British citizens;
  • A child born prior to 1 July 2006 whose British father was not married to the child’s foreign national mother may be entitled to register as a British citizen.
  • Children born in the UK to parents who are neither British citizens nor permanent residents may be entitled to register as citizens if the parents can satisfy the authorities that there is a good reason why the child should be registered as a British citizen.

Children Born Abroad to British Citizens

The rules on whether a child born abroad to parents who are British citizens are complex. Whether such a child will be entitled to citizenship will depend on when the child was born and the type of citizenship that the parents have. In cases where the child’s parents acquired citizenship as a result of their own parents’ citizenship, rather than in their own right, they may not be able to pass their citizenship on to a child born outside of the UK.

Hospital Treatment in the UK

Full-time residents of the UK are entitled to free medical treatment from a General Practitioner (GP) or in a National Health Service (NHS) hospital. This would include pre- and neo-natal treatment. Visitors from the European Economic Area may be entitled to free treatment under European law. Some foreign nationals who are temporarily in the UK may be able to register with a GP and receive free treatment but it is usually up to the individual GP whether they agree to this.

Anyone in the UK is entitled to receive free emergency health care in the Accident and Emergency department of an NHS hospital. Family planning services are also available for free to anyone.

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[Add a Comment]
@Sam - You can apply for a visitor visa but you must clearly state that you are coming to the UK to give birth and that you can do this without accessing public funds.
TJ. - 18-Jun-18 @ 6:37 PM
@J - If your wife is on a marriage visitor visa, she must leave the UK before being able to apply for a family visa as a spouse.
TJ. - 18-Jun-18 @ 6:33 PM
I am a Filipina married to a British and would like to know if i can just give birth to the UK? My husband and I do not plan on settling down in the UK just as yet because we have to sort some business ventures here in Philippines. But I am just curious as to the possibility of me giving birth in the UK? what kind of visa would i apply? Please i would appreciate your response. Thank you.
Sam - 18-Jun-18 @ 5:23 PM
J - Your Question:
Hi I'm married to a Ukrainian woman and shes hear on the marrige visa for 6 months then applying for a spouse visa I am British citizen and we would like to have our first child in the uk this means the child will be British but what will happen to my wife will she need to leave me and the child to apply for further visa or would she be given the right to stay also ?? Thanks

Our Response:
Your wife would have the right to apply to extend her visa.
AboutImmigration - 18-Jun-18 @ 3:09 PM
J - Your Question:
Hi,I am married and both living in the UK for 7 years. We are EU citizens and having a baby soon who will be born in the UK. I would like my child to be registered as British and have only a British passport. What is the process to follow? Thanks, J

Our Response:
You can also see more via the link here , which will help answer your question further.
AboutImmigration - 18-Jun-18 @ 11:16 AM
Hi I'm married to a Ukrainian woman and shes hear on the marrige visa for 6 months then applying for a spouse visa I am British citizen and we would like to have our first child in the uk this means the child will be British but what will happen to my wife will she need to leave me and the child to apply for further visa or would she be given the right to stay also ?? Thanks
J - 17-Jun-18 @ 10:40 PM
@J - To apply for your child's British passport, either you or your partner must first apply for Permanent Residency in the UK (PR)
TJ. - 17-Jun-18 @ 3:21 AM
@DWG - Your story does not add up. But if anyone is living in the UK on an expired visa, they must leave the country as soon as possible to avoid being detained, deported and banned from returning to the UK. It does not matter if this person has a British citizen child because the child has another parent with legal status in the UK
TJ. - 17-Jun-18 @ 3:18 AM
Hi, I am married and both living in the UK for 7 years. We are EU citizens and having a baby soon who will be born in the UK. I would like my child to be registered as British and have only a British passport. What is the process to follow? Thanks, J
J - 16-Jun-18 @ 10:25 PM
Mum to be has been in UK since 2008 up until now, was staying under student visa. Since 2015, her visa has expired but is staying with German EU partner under EU Law she has the rights to stay but not to work. She is now 10 weeks pregnant. The dad to be German EU citizen has been living and worked in UK since 1995. In Brief: Non UK/EU citizen giving birth in UK but dad is UK/EU citizen. The child will be UK Citizen but what will happen to the mum? How can she get to stay in the UK?
DWG - 16-Jun-18 @ 10:15 AM
@sunniva - The woman will need to apply for a visa to come the UK and live between 6 - 11 years legally before she can apply to become a British citizen.
TJ. - 14-Jun-18 @ 8:41 AM
@Ozy16 - Your first child will have to register as a British citizen first. Your second child born in the UK after you have PR will automatically qualify for a British passport without having to register first
TJ. - 13-Jun-18 @ 10:43 PM
Hi, I am married to a EEA national (French national) living and working in UK. I am not British national or European national. We both got PR in 2018 on the base of my husband who lived in UK for more than 8 years and proved 5 years of employment (EEA settlement). Our son daughter born in 2016 and now are expecting our second child in September this year. My question is, for our daughter who was born in 2016 can we apply for her to get a British passport or do we have to register her first as British born and for our second child will we be able to apply directly or will we have to register as a British born. many thanks and regards
Ozy16 - 13-Jun-18 @ 12:44 PM
Hi! A woman, not english citizen, from Afghanistan gave birth to a child in England. Father is english citizen so the child also got the citizenship. The woman, now temporary staying in Afghanistan, wants to go back to England and become an english citizen. What are her chanses?
Sunniva - 13-Jun-18 @ 9:01 AM
@kamin - To obtain British passports for your children the only documents required will be their full UK Birth certificates and your partner's British passport.
TJ. - 12-Jun-18 @ 7:22 PM
Hi, I want to apply for my twins first uk passport (born 2017 in uk). My partner was born in South Africa but he’s also a British citizen. I am EU national living in UK since 2004. In order for my girls to have British passport what supporting documents will be required from me as non british parent to include with an application? Thanks x
kamin - 12-Jun-18 @ 4:39 PM
I born in UK in 2002, My Family was in UK at that time as overseas students (they having leave to remain Visa from 2000) I am now 15 years. After 1 year I left UK with my family until now. Is it allowable for me to apply for British citizen.
AB - 10-Jun-18 @ 1:03 AM
Hi there, Does my son need the Permanent Residence before applying for British citizenship? Or just one of the parents. He wasborn in UK (FEB2006) and last year my husband and I got the permanent Residence. Both are EU passport holders...Form MN1 is also asking if child has permanent settle. thanks a lot
TB - 8-Jun-18 @ 7:45 PM
@ny bby - Because you are over 18 and your mother was not a British citizen when you were born, you cannot apply for British citizenship.
TJ. - 6-Jun-18 @ 5:25 PM
Iborn was in England in1991 but my mum was not having a permit to stay at the time of three month I was sent to Africa because she could not afford the taking care of the at that that can I apply for British citizen.
nya bby - 6-Jun-18 @ 3:45 PM
@Abs - Your daughter is not eligible for a British passport because she is not a British citizen. however if she was born in the UK she can apply to register as a British citizen using the MN1 form. The application fee is approximately £1K
TJ. - 31-May-18 @ 3:27 AM
@Sara - You will have to apply for the same visa that you have for your child but as a dependant
TJ. - 31-May-18 @ 3:25 AM
@TRUSHAR PATEL- Your child can apply to register as a British citizen using the MN1 form before he turns 18
TJ. - 31-May-18 @ 3:23 AM
please,i have indefiniteto remain,since 2012,and i gave birth to my daughter2008 if i want to apply Britishpassportfor her how much is the fee,thank you.
Abs - 31-May-18 @ 12:39 AM
I have a Tier 2 visa. My baby was born this February and I have taken her back home to the Philippines with a travel document only. Now we are planning to come back to UK with the baby. What visa should I apply for her?
Sara - 30-May-18 @ 3:22 PM
hello, My child is a Indian citizen and was born in the UK in 2006 by non-British citizens parents. Right now living in India. As father I got British passport in 2011.I left the country after British citizen due to his medical problem. At the moment he’s 12 years old. When can my child become a British citizen or when is his elegibility to apply for British passport?do I required to go over there Thanks.
TRUSHAR PATEL - 29-May-18 @ 12:22 PM
@Cee - if you were a British citizen before your children were born then they are British citizens and you can apply for their British passports.
TJ. - 28-May-18 @ 9:58 PM
Hi, I was born in the uk at the time my mum didn't have any settlement and I was born after 1983. 1988 I was born. My dad is British and I became a citizen once the law came in 2016 I think to allow unmarried British father's to pass on their national to their kids. I have 2 kids one is 11 and one is 6 aug 2006 aug 2011. Their mum is Dutch EU citizen she came here when she was 11 back in 2001. We are not sure if they qualify due to the misunderstanding of the system
Cee - 28-May-18 @ 4:56 PM
@Ireola -Your can apply for a British passport for your child as long as you are recognized as the father and the child was born in the UK. The child's mother does not qualify for PR unless she applies for the appropriate permit and lives in the UK for the requisite period.
TJ. - 24-May-18 @ 9:38 AM
I have a Permanent resident permit. A tier 4 student just had a baby for me and we both living happily but not legally married to her. Can i apply for a british passport for my baby and can my baby mama get a PR as well? Kindly help out
Ireola - 23-May-18 @ 4:04 PM
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