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Giving Birth to a Child in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 19 Feb 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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
E.P - Your Question:
HelloI’ve being living in UK since 19,now I am 24(turning 25 in July) but,i’ve being living illegally.I am registered to a GP and I recieve any health help if need to.Now I am pregnant,my partner has applied to remain in UK but he doesn’t have recieved an answer yet.He’s being living here for nearly 10 years,had he’s visa for 5 years and now it’s been two years since he applied to settle in UK.My question is: Do I have any chance to register my baby as a British citizenship?Will the HM give a visa to me and my baby after I give birth?I would really appreciate if I have an answer from your part.All of this is very stressfully for me.Thank you!

Our Response:
Unless either/both parents are considered a British Citizen, then you would not be able to register your child as a British citizen.
AboutImmigration - 20-Feb-18 @ 11:49 AM
Hello I’ve being living in UK since 19,now i am 24(turning 25 in July) but,i’ve being living illegally.I am registered to a GP and i recieve any health help if need to.Now i am pregnant,my partner has applied to remain in UK but he doesn’t have recieved an answer yet.He’s being living here for nearly 10 years,had he’s visa for 5 years and now it’s been two years since he applied to settle in UK.My question is: Do i have any chance to register my baby as a British citizenship?Will the HM give a visa to me and my baby after i give birth?I would really appreciate if i have an answer from your part.All of this is very stressfully for me. Thank you!
E.P - 19-Feb-18 @ 7:26 AM
I have 2 kids born in uk 2008and2011my first child will be 10 years September 2018 this year. Its she entitled to register as british citizen?
Bb - 17-Feb-18 @ 1:32 AM
Hi there I got permanent residence under EU In 2015.I have two boys one girl, they are 12,10 and 4 years and born here.Their dad is portuguese national been in uk since 1992.What I want to know can we apply for British passport straight away or register them as British citizen? Thank you inadvance
Mandywinzo - 16-Feb-18 @ 8:45 AM
@Danny - You should use form ASF1 and the application is free of charge.
TJ. - 10-Feb-18 @ 2:02 PM
How much will it cost? And which form as I want to read guidelines
Danny - 10-Feb-18 @ 11:12 AM
@Danny - Your child needs to apply for the same status that the parents have.
TJ. - 10-Feb-18 @ 9:23 AM
@sat - If you and your wife give birth in the UK while on a tourist visa you will still have to leave before the visa expires and your child will not be a British citizen. If you and your wife remain in the UK illegally you risk being detained and deported from the UK with your child.
TJ. - 10-Feb-18 @ 9:20 AM
@ZaigEm - If your spouse has PR card you can proceed to apply for a British passport for your child. Even if you do not have a PR card the UK government is working on a new document that will guarantee the rights of EU nationals after Brexit.
TJ. - 10-Feb-18 @ 9:16 AM
Me and my wife are Syrian and given 5 year humanitarian protection in 2015. I have one child born in uk recently. How do I get my child status. H.O said child cannot get travel document as has no status. Which application form shall I use? How much is fee? Is there any help available with cost of fee?
Danny - 9-Feb-18 @ 11:20 PM
Hi. i am from Delhi, India. having a valid UK tourist visa till May 18, already visited UK for 10 days in Dec 17 with my wife.. my wife is pregnant now and due in Oct 18.. now i want to understand the following things.. - if our child born while we are on tourist visa.. ( if i have taken visa again) - if our child born if we over stayed without visa.. means visa expired. - whats the cost of delivery in these cases. - how it can be beneficial for parents in terms of long term visa or permission to stay in UK or in citizenship of child and parents in future. Thanks
sat - 9-Feb-18 @ 7:26 AM
thank you for your reply- my partner has a permanent residency card but i dont. do i need to get one with the Brexit going on? would we only be safe to stay in UK if we have that permanent residency card? Yes my child was born in UK. Thank you
ZaigEm - 8-Feb-18 @ 10:06 PM
@Ozz - If you have a permit which needs to be renewed you are not a Permanent resident in the UK and therefore your child is not a British citizen. People with permanent residency status do not have to renew their status. Once you have ILR you can apply for British citizenship for your child.
TJ. - 8-Feb-18 @ 8:39 PM
@TJ thanks for getting back to me.. Will am holding permanent residents in uk the 10 year rule one I have to renew it every 30 Months is that make any difference for my child to be quefile ?
Ozz - 8-Feb-18 @ 7:26 PM
@Ozz - Your child is not a British citizen unless either you or your wife is settled in the UK with ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
TJ. - 8-Feb-18 @ 5:58 PM
@ZaigEm - Your child is most likely already a British citizen if she was born in the UK. However before you can apply for her British passport at least one parent must apply for an EU Permanent Residency document showing that you became permanent residents before she was born.
TJ. - 8-Feb-18 @ 5:55 PM
Hi just need help about my wife and new born child in the uk. My wife come to the uk with a visit visa while she was still in uk she we both have a child together and am just wandering if someone can help me if my child can be British citizen and can my child apply for a British pass port..? Am in uk with a resident permit thanks
Ozz - 8-Feb-18 @ 5:34 PM
I have lived in UK for 12 years and have no plans of moving out of UK any time soon. My partner has lived in UK for 7-8 years and has no plans to move either. We are both born in Latvia, not required a visa or anything to stay in UK. We had a child 4 months ago and we are wanting to get her British citizenship, is this possible? If yes then how do I do it? Thank you
ZaigEm - 8-Feb-18 @ 3:58 PM
@Ada your son can het British passport once he has lived in UK for 10 years without going outside UK for more than 90days.
Alliy - 7-Feb-18 @ 5:49 PM
Shally - Your Question:
Asking for a friend. My friend came to UK 11 years ago and was in a ten-year relationship with a British Citizen. They had a child, now aged 8 yrs. A few months ago mother and child had to move out to a hostel due to his abhorrent behaviour. She is therefore living in a hostel, in a town she doesn't know, and desperately trying to find a job doing child-friendly hours. It has been so far impossible to find a job. She has been denied Universal Credit because she has no right to live in the UK! She is borrowing money just to give her child food. Is it really correct that she cannot claim Universal Credit? She is of course related to a UK citizen - her child - so surely she should be eligible? She is feeling utterly depressed that this country where she has put down roots is expecting her and her child, who can only speak English, to move to her country of origin. It will be so hard for them, especially the poor child.

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here, which shows your friend the options she has under the circumstances.
AboutImmigration - 5-Feb-18 @ 2:00 PM
@ada - your son cannot get British citizenship if neither parent is a British citizen or settled permanently in the UK.
TJ. - 4-Feb-18 @ 10:53 AM
I had my child in 2005 with a visiting visa. How do I get British citizenship for my son?
ada - 4-Feb-18 @ 8:08 AM
@said - you can apply for British citizenship 12 months after being granted ILR if you meet the other requirements.
TJ. - 3-Feb-18 @ 3:44 PM
@Shally - only adult British citizens are entitled to universal credit. Even EU citizens cannot access universal credit. Your friend should look into if she can receive other forms of assistance from the government.
TJ. - 3-Feb-18 @ 3:42 PM
hi i have granted ILR for humanitarian protection part of the the legacy cases. i came here 2005. i was without states for 5 years then 2011 i was granted indefinite leave to remain. i would like to know if iam qualified to apply British citizen i appreciate your respond.
said - 3-Feb-18 @ 11:32 AM
Asking for a friend.My friend came to UK 11 years ago and was in a ten-year relationship with a British Citizen. They had a child, now aged 8 yrs. A few months ago mother and child had to move out to a hostel due to his abhorrent behaviour.She is therefore living in a hostel, in a town she doesn't know, and desperately trying to find a job doing child-friendly hours.It has been so far impossible to find a job.She has been denied Universal Credit because she has no right to live in the UK!She is borrowing money just to give her child food.Is it really correct that she cannot claim Universal Credit?She is of course related to a UK citizen - her child - so surely she should be eligible?She is feeling utterly depressed that this country where she has put down roots is expecting her and her child, who can only speak English, to move to her country of origin.It will be so hard for them, especially the poor child.
Shally - 3-Feb-18 @ 9:38 AM
@nirav - your child is not entitled to British nationality because neither you or your wife was a British citizen or permanent resident in the UK when the child was born.
TJ. - 2-Feb-18 @ 5:46 AM
@Galine - The child born in the UK can only share the same status as the parents. You can only apply for leave to remain in the UK once the child turns 7 years old. However a child who is illegally in the UK still has a right to free education.
TJ. - 2-Feb-18 @ 5:45 AM
Hi, my son is born in UK, in oct 2007, at that time me and my wife had visa under science and Graduate Scheme for limited time. After his birth our visa was over and we came back to our resident country INDIA. Now is it possible that my son can apply for British Citizenship after he completes 18 years or so. thanks.
nirav - 1-Feb-18 @ 7:15 AM
Hi I am illegal in the U.K. and I just had a baby girl 8 weeks ago. The baby’s dad has abandoned us ( as he lied to me that he has Italian passport but he’s been here for almost 15years) I don’t know where to find him now. I would like to know what to do for my baby to be legal as the dad too is illegal. Thanks
Galine - 31-Jan-18 @ 9:41 PM
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