My Settled Status Is Not Yet Granted, Will My Child Be Born British?

To those not familiar with British Nationality law, it often comes as surprise to learn that birth in the UK is not sufficient to establish British Nationality. The British Nationality Act 1981 was key to ending the right to citizenship simply through birth in the UK and section 1(1) of that Act provides that a person born in the UK is a British Citizen if, at the time of their birth either parent is a British Citizen or either parent is settled in the UK (settled means having indefinite leave to remain). 

Where a child is born in the UK and their parent is not British or does not have settled status then the usual position under British nationality law is that once the parent gets settled status then the child can apply to register as a British Citizen at a cost of £1012 on a form MN1.

The British Nationality Act 1981 (Immigration Rules Appendix EU)(Amendment Regulations 2021 SI 2021 No 743) The British Nationality Act 1981 (Immigration Rules Appendix EU) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk) has introduced limited changes for children born after 1st July 2021. 

And so, for children born after 1st July 2021 to:

  1. an individual who made an application for settled status to the EU settlement scheme before 31st June 2021 and their application had not been decided when the child was born, or

  1. an individual who made a late application to the EU settlement scheme for settled status can show that they had reasonable grounds for making the late application, their application had not been decided before the child was born and they would have met the relevant eligibility requirements immediately before 1st July 2021 had they applied in time to the EU settlement scheme,

that child will be British from the date that their parent’s settled status is granted. Rather than applying to register as a British citizen and pay the hefty fee of £1012, then the child can proceed straight to applying for a British passport.

Concerns have been expressed that children may be deprived of their citizenship through lack of awareness of their acquisition or inability to provide evidence of that acquisition and the Home Office is being urged to ensure that the relevant information will be made available to applicants to assist them in proving their entitlement.

This does not apply to children born to individuals who have pre-settled status. Those children themselves need to apply within three months of their birth to register under the EU settlement scheme. Once their parent has upgraded to settled status then that child would have to register as a British Citizen in the usual way on a Form MN1 paying the fee of £1012.

Here at Drummond Miller, we advise on all aspects of immigration and nationality law, and please do contact us should you require advice.