Registering a child

If you would like your child to become a British citizen then you will have to ‘register’ them. You can do this at the same time as you apply for your own British citizenship, or at a different time.

We understand that it can be a very exciting yet nerve-wracking experience to apply for citizenship for your child, which is why we’re here to support you all the way through the journey.

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What is child registration?

Registering a child means that you are applying for them to become a UK citizen, which will mean that they are allowed in and out of the UK without being subject to immigration controls.

It also means that your child will be able to participate more fully in the life of their local community in the UK as they grow and develop. As a British citizen some of the things they will be able to do are:

  • Vote when they come of age,
  • Have full access to NHS healthcare,
  • Work without restrictions when they are of age to get a job, and
  • Apply for a British passport

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Who applies for registering a child?

In the UK, anyone under the age of 18 is considered to be a child. UK immigration law states that children cannot apply for their own citizenship, so their parents must apply for citizenship for them by ‘registering’ them.

It is possible to apply for your own British citizenship in the same application that you use to register your child, rather than applying separately. This is called a “family application”. However, you should note that if you do this, you must confirm that you know that your child’s application may be accepted and yours be rejected. You will have to complete the relevant section which invites you to confirm this on your child’s registration application, or else it will be treated as withdrawn and neither of you will be granted citizenship.

If you need help with submitting a family application or registering your child, our immigration team can help you get started and explain everything for you in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

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Requirements for registering a child

In order to be eligible for a registration application, your child must be:

  • Under 18 years old when the application is made, and
  • Considered to be of ‘good character’ if they are over 10 years old, i.e. have not committed crimes or posed a threat to society

Once they turn 18, they are no longer eligible to have you apply on their behalf for registration. They will then have to apply on their own for British citizenship as an adult.

The below considerations will be given to any application you submit to register your child:

  • Whether they are free of restrictions to be in the UK
  • Where their future is likely to lie
  • Both of their parents’ views
  • Both of their parents’ nationality and immigration status – usually, you either both have to be British citizens, or one a citizen and the other settled in the UK
  • How long they have lived in the UK for

All criminal convictions must be declared, including road traffic and drink-driving offences. Criminal record checks will be carried out for children aged 10 and over.

If you aren’t sure whether your child is eligible to register for citizenship, our immigration solicitors can help you understand the requirements and assist you with your application from start to finish.

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Biometric information

All children under the age of 18 and over the age of 6 must provide fingerprints and photos of their face alongside their registration application. Any child under the age of 6 is not required to provide fingerprints, but will have to have their photo taken.

All children under the age of 16 have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they attend their biometric enrolment appointment.

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Documents you have to provide

In addition to their biometric information, you will also have to submit additional documentation alongside their application, including evidence of their identity such as a passport, birth certificate, or driving licence.

The child’s history and your heritage determines what other documentation you have to provide. For more information, contact our immigration team today, who will be able to tell you everything you need to submit and help you compile your application.

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How to apply

The form you will use to apply for your child’s citizenship is called form MN1, and the current application fee for registering a child is £1,012. It is possible to fill this out and submit it on your own, but it’s often a good idea to get a professional to go through it and check that no mistakes have been made.

You can apply on behalf at the same time as you apply for your own citizenship. You can make an individual application by yourself, however you do run the risk of making mistakes in the application which could mean your child gets denied citizenship.

It is therefore advisable to seek assistance from a professional immigration expert before attempting to complete your child’s registration application.

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Citizenship ceremonies

Like adults, if your child is granted citizenship then they will have to attend a citizenship ceremony once their registration application has been accepted. At the ceremony, your child will be asked to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen and pledge their loyalty to the United Kingdom. If they can’t speak English well enough to understand what will be said at the ceremony, they need someone who will understand with them to act as an interpreter.

After they have sworn the oath and pledged their allegiance they will be presented with their certificate of naturalisation as a registered British citizen. The ceremony cost is £80.

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How we can help

Registering your child for British citizenship is very exciting, but it can quickly become complicated. If you aren’t entirely sure what forms to fill out and what information to disclose, you might risk your child’s application being rejected.

That’s where we can help you. Our immigration team are experts in helping people achieve British citizenship, making the process as easy as can be.

We’ll be there for you to help you fill out their application and gather the evidence you need to be successful. We can also answer any questions you may have along the way, to make sure you have peace of mind.

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