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Giving Birth to a Child in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 16 Aug 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]
Need urgent help! I'm in the UK on a two year working visa I'm Australian. The visa runs out in May 2019 and I've just had a baby with a British citizen. We're not married but engaged. I need to know what rights I have and what will happen when my Visa runs out. Also is it best to give my baby my last name so he can't stop me from leaving without my baby? I need urgent advice! Please please ??????
EmmaM - 16-Aug-18 @ 2:28 PM
@Dan - Your daughter can apply for UK passport immediately however one parent must first apply for a Permanent Residency document (PR) so that you can prove that you have settled status in the UK. This document must be attached to your daughter's passport application form.
TJ. - 16-Aug-18 @ 2:24 PM
@Yesooooo - The parents can apply for discretionary leave to remain unsing the FLR(FP) form
TJ. - 16-Aug-18 @ 2:21 PM
Yesooooo- Your Question:
My daughter is 8 years old now and born in United Kingdom, but both parents don’t have stay, what should I do so that everyone will have stay? Please help

Our Response:
Much depends upon the current status of you, the parents. You would have to clarify this before I can answer.
AboutImmigration - 16-Aug-18 @ 12:06 PM
Hi, We are 2 EU Citizens (Italian) who live and work in U.K. since 2010, married in 2016. We had our first child here, can she hold dual citizenship and if so, does she needs naturalisation or we can apply for UK Passport right away? Thanks!
Dan - 16-Aug-18 @ 6:06 AM
My daughter is 8 years old now and born in United Kingdom, but both parents don’t have stay, what should i do so that everyone will have stay? Please help
Yesooooo - 15-Aug-18 @ 4:25 PM
@Joanna88 - Your child will be a British citizen entitled to child benefit. Other income support benefits will depend on your individual circumstances.
TJ. - 14-Aug-18 @ 10:46 PM
@YJT - If your child is born in the UK then that child is automatically a British citizen. All applications you make for your stay will be for you alone
TJ. - 14-Aug-18 @ 10:43 PM
Hello, I am Pregnant and a single mother to be, I have a Swedish passport and have been in the UK for 9 years. My child will be born here, her dad is British l, what rights do we have? They are saying that I am only “jobseeker status” and therefore can not claim any income support, maternity allowance or ESA during my first year with my daughter. What happens when she is born, what help can I get?
Joanna88 - 14-Aug-18 @ 5:17 PM
Hello, I’m currently in the midst of applying for extension of my partner visa for another 2.5 years, my partner is A British citizen. I wanted to check, if we were to have a baby, will he/she be a brutish citizen as my partner is? When I do apply for ILR, would I have to be an additional fee for a dependent even though my baby would be a British citizen?
YJT - 14-Aug-18 @ 11:48 AM
@Catalina - Your child is not a British citizen so she is not entitled to a British passport. However once she is 10 years old she can apply to register as a British citizen using the form T.
TJ. - 12-Aug-18 @ 7:59 PM
Hi! I livein Uk with my family . My daughter was born here , she is 6 years old. We don’t have British citizenship ! Can I apply for her , for British passport! Thank you in advance for your help!
Catalina - 12-Aug-18 @ 6:31 PM
@Rit - You cannot register your children as British citizens if they were not born in the UK. If they were born in the UK you will have to wait until you get Permanent Residency before you can apply to register them. If the Home Office finds out that you have children, your application for Permanent Residency based on a dependant visa may be refused.
TJ. - 6-Aug-18 @ 9:34 PM
Hi, I'm from ghana, I joined my dad as a daughter of EU family member, I have got two children and I haven't still registered them as British citizens because I'm applying for my ilr in weeks time.can I apply for citizenship for my children before I apply for ilr. Many thanks
Rit - 5-Aug-18 @ 2:25 AM
@Mjuk - For your wife to apply for a family visa as a spouse she will likely have to leave the country first and apply outside the UK. If you meet the requirements she can apply under the 5 year route for ILR. If you don't meet the requirements she can apply under the 10 year route for ILR.
TJ. - 4-Aug-18 @ 1:47 AM
@Mayur - Your child is not eligible for a British passport under any circumstances.
TJ. - 4-Aug-18 @ 1:35 AM
Hi there I’m uk citizen ( indefinite leave to uk ) We wanna to apply for spouse visa for my fiancé who is from Canada, we just wondering what is the bestprocess for us ? Also we live together now , ps she came here by tier 5 visa , And also she is pregnant now , we just don’t know how to apply for her to get leave to remin . Thanks for any advice.
Mjuk - 3-Aug-18 @ 6:28 PM
i have a child and he born in UK , i registered his name in born certificate, at the time ofhis born we have leave to remain visa in 2009 and wecame back to our home country in 2012 for permanently. Now i can apply for British passport for my child or give me suggestion what i have to do to get British passport, please. Our leave to remain visa expired on 21/11/2012 and now we are in our home country India.
Mayur - 3-Aug-18 @ 10:00 AM
@Palak - Your child born in the UK will have the same citizenship as you and you will all be deported if you overstay your visas
TJ. - 29-Jul-18 @ 12:33 PM
@Tjay - If neither parent is a British citizen, a child born in the UK will have to live in the UK for a continuous period of at least 10 years before the child can apply to register as a British citizen
TJ. - 29-Jul-18 @ 12:31 PM
If my boyfriend go and me go to uknd born child in ukthen we have permanent residence from embasy
Palak - 28-Jul-18 @ 3:38 PM
I leave in Nigeria with my wife. I want her to have our baby in the UK. How long will it take our child to take up a UK citizenship? How do I go about it?
Tjay - 27-Jul-18 @ 9:16 PM
@Buba drely - You were born in the UK after 31.12.1982 So you are not eligible for a British passport
TJ. - 24-Jul-18 @ 8:37 AM
I was born in the uk in the year 1996 and i spent just 3months. My parents are neither british citizens nor permanent residence and they dont live in uk. Can i apply for a British passport?
Buba drely - 23-Jul-18 @ 8:57 PM
@Damee - A child born in the UK to non British non resident parents from 1st January 1983 cannot apply for a British passport. That child can only apply to register as a British citizen after living in the UK for at least 10 years or if the child's parents become permanent residents or British citizens whichever comes earlier
TJ. - 20-Jul-18 @ 10:18 PM
@Lola - You are a British citizen and can apply for a British passport. Any children you have are also British citizens and can apply for British passports
TJ. - 20-Jul-18 @ 10:14 PM
Hello, can a child born in the UK to non citizens or non residents of UK apply for a British passport. How long does the child have to stay? Must the child reside in UK to qualify for it as well?
Damee - 20-Jul-18 @ 11:39 AM
I was born in the UK in 1982 to non British parents , but didn't live in the UK for a long period , am I eligible for the British passport? Can I apply for a British passport?
Lola - 19-Jul-18 @ 6:55 PM
Phil - Your Question:
If my non EU girlfriend gives birth to our child in an NHS hospital, will we be charged for the services provided?I am native British

Our Response:
Non-EEA nationals who are visiting the UK and have not paid the NHS surcharge will be charged for accessing NHS services.
AboutImmigration - 16-Jul-18 @ 11:48 AM
@Phil - Where does your girlfriend live? If she ordinarily lives in the UK, she can access free maternity care and if she is not ordinarily resident in the UK, she will have to pay.
TJ. - 15-Jul-18 @ 9:23 PM
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