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Giving Birth to a Child in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 13 Dec 2017 | 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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Thanks for your advice. The child has always lived in the UK but he is only 5 now.It is along while until he is able to apply for citizenship and I presume he will be unable to holiday abroad unless there is another way of obtaining a passport
Mel - 13-Dec-17 @ 8:22 PM
@Mel as long as the child has lived in the UK all his life and he is of good character, he is entitled to be registered as a British citizen after the age of 10 regardless of his parents' status. He should use Form T on the govuk website. The absence of parental consent in the application will not lead to a refusal.
TJ. - 13-Dec-17 @ 1:04 AM
Im a foster carer for a child born in the UK.He is on a Full Care Order. His parents are from an EU country. Their whereabouts are unknown. The child has always lived in the UK. I do not think theywere registered in the country of their parents birth. Would they be entitled to British Citizenship?
Mel - 12-Dec-17 @ 11:04 PM
@BuzyLizzy the statement you have quoted is referring to children born in the UK to EU citizens. A child born in the UK is automatically a British citizen if one of the parents is a British citizen it doesn't matter how long the parent has lived in the UK.
TJ. - 11-Dec-17 @ 12:19 AM
"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." What if a child is born in the UK to one British Parent who has the citizenship (Second Generation), NI and the works but has not resided in the UK for 5 continuous years? Thanks :D
BuzyLizzy - 10-Dec-17 @ 1:08 PM
@Jayn only British citizens and permanent residents have a right to live in the UK. If you wish to become lawfully resident in the UK and you do not fit in the above categories you would have to apply for a visa.
TJ. - 9-Dec-17 @ 7:17 AM
Pls I was born in the UK 1987 I know am not entitled to a British citizenship but I want to know if am entitled to lawful resident in UK
Jayn - 9-Dec-17 @ 12:07 AM
@nina - The govuk website gives all the information required for applying for a tier 4 student visa and also gives a list of approved high schools and how to contact them. You will not be able to bring your mother on your visa but if your mother finds an organization in the UK that is willing to sponsor her for work she can apply for a tier 2 general visa.
TJ. - 8-Dec-17 @ 9:12 AM
hi,how exactly can i apply for student visa? i mean in detail because it sais that you can apply for leave to remain? and tell me how to apply for it in high school because i don't know how to contact schools their and get acceptance and what should i give them ? and tell what to do to stay their and settel without beig forced to come back and apply for university visa like how do i just stay their and do everuthing? including what visa my mom must apply for? thank you
nina - 7-Dec-17 @ 11:01 PM
@Sam children born in the UK to parents who are visitors do not qualify for British citizenship. The only developed countries that give citizenship to children that are born to visitors is USA and Canada. Visitors also cannot qualify British citizenship unless they legally change their visa status and live in the UK for at least 6 years
TJ. - 7-Dec-17 @ 11:55 AM
@Arpi children born in the UK to parents who are visitors do not qualify for British citizenship. The only developed countries that give citizenship to children that are born to visitors is USA and Canada. Visitors also cannot qualify British citizenship unless they legally change their visa status and live in the UK for at least 6 years.
TJ. - 7-Dec-17 @ 11:54 AM
Hi I would like to know if I come with my husband on visitor visa to uk (and my parents are britishbut they don’t talk to me) so i want to know I am pregnant 4months and if I cometo Uk my baby will born there he or she gets British citizenship even parents also get British citizenship? Please reply me Thank you
Sam - 7-Dec-17 @ 7:03 AM
Hi I just want to know If I come as a visitor in UK wid my husband and I will give birth to baby in uk So my baby will get British citizenship And what’s about me and my husband can get citizenship too ? Please reply me as soon as possible Thanking you
Arpi - 7-Dec-17 @ 6:44 AM
@nina the only good reason there would be to register a child born in the UK to non citizen/settled parents as a British citizen would be if the child was stateless from birth which I do not think is your position. If your parents never became permanently settled in the UK or British citizens then you will not be able to register. You can apply for tier 4 student visa if you wish to study in the UK.
TJ. - 6-Dec-17 @ 7:43 PM
Hi, you said that (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) how can it be done ? what is that good reason could be? because i was born in cardiff britannia in 2002 and i have a twin and another sister was born their in 2003 but from non citizen parents what can i do? can this option may apply on me and my sisters ? if it can't than tell me what type of visa should i apply for to study their under 18 years old because i want to transfer to a high school their andcontinue all my studies their? and thank you so much
nina - 6-Dec-17 @ 5:59 PM
@Bbabsola you will have to wait 12 months before you can apply for citizenship unless you have a British citizen spouse.
TJ. - 3-Dec-17 @ 5:38 PM
@Lina your child will not be a British citizen because neither you or husband are permanently settled in the UK. You can apply for her to become a British citizen once you or your husband become permanent residents in the UK.
TJ. - 3-Dec-17 @ 5:34 PM
@Runesilk if you married your daughter's mother then she is automatically a British citizen and you can apply for a British passport at £80. But if you never married her mother you will have to apply to register her as a British citizen for about £1,000
TJ. - 3-Dec-17 @ 5:25 PM
Hi, just got my ILR after 12 years long residence. I just like to know if I have to wait a year before I can naturalise or if I can straight away. Thanks
bbabsola - 3-Dec-17 @ 8:50 AM
Hi please am Italian citizen and my husband is a Ghanian. I have lived in UK for the past two years and I have got leave to remain card. I Am pregnant and please will my baby qualify to apply for British passport after birth? Thank U
Lina - 3-Dec-17 @ 8:03 AM
Hi. My daughter was born in the UK in April 2006. Mother is South African, I (father) am British. We were wrongly informed by the passport office that she would automatically be South African, so registered her as a citizen. Now see that maybe she can become British? Would the naturalisation fee apply?
Runesilk - 2-Dec-17 @ 10:56 PM
@Tia since your daughter was born in the UK you can register her as a British citizen as long as she is under 18 using the MN1 Form on govuk website immediately after you get your ILR.
TJ. - 1-Dec-17 @ 4:05 PM
Hi my daughter was born in England in 2014 when I was under tier 2 visa. Two years later i sent her to India due to some reasons. Since then she has been living there. Now, soon i will be eligible for PR. How can I take my child back in the Uk. Which law applies and which is the best way? Will she eligible for british citizenship?
Tia - 1-Dec-17 @ 12:18 PM
@Hemjay if your husband is a naturalized British citizen and he is the father of the baby then the baby will be born a British citizen regardless of whether he/she is born in Nigeria or the UK and will qualify for a British passport.
TJ. - 28-Nov-17 @ 8:36 PM
I am currently a Nigerian Citizen and I reside in Nigeria while my husband is now a British citizen who currently resides in the uk. We are in the process of applying for a dependent visa for my first child and I with a baby on the way which would be due before Our application comes through. So, if I travel to the uk with a visitors visa to have the baby with the intention of coming back to my current country of residence to apply for dependent visa, will the baby be given citizenship if he/she is given birth to in d uk, being mindful of my citizenship status?
Hemjay - 27-Nov-17 @ 1:23 PM
@Ib your child can be registered as a British citizen once you or your partner have ILR/PR or becomes a British citizen and the child is under 18
TJ. - 26-Nov-17 @ 1:59 PM
@EA your child born in the UK will not be a British citizen unless at least one parent is permanently settled in the UK or is a British citizen on the date if the child's birth.
TJ. - 26-Nov-17 @ 1:56 PM
@Nat your child is a British citizen and can apply for a British passport.
TJ. - 26-Nov-17 @ 1:54 PM
Hi,I had my baby in d UK and neither my husband and I are British.. What are our options regarding getting my child the necessary British citizenship.. Thanks
Ib - 22-Nov-17 @ 10:43 AM
Hi, I'm currently studying in the UK for a three year course and I'm pregnant. Will my child be given citizenship upon delivery In the UK?
EA - 22-Nov-17 @ 3:51 AM
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