On 1 July 2021, new legislation introduced a new Section to the British Nationality Act 1981.

This new section ensures that certain children born from 1 July 2021 onwards will automatically acquire British citizenship in situations where a parent qualified for settled status before that date, but is only granted it after the child’s birth.

Please read the following - British citizenship for children whose parents miss the EUSS (settled status) deadline
British citizenship for children whose parents miss the EU settled status deadline - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families


Click image for larger version  Name:	image_42.png Views:	1 Size:	182.9 KB ID:	854
All persons born in the UK before 1st January 1983 are British from birth. A change in the law with effect from that date means different rules apply to people born after that depending on the date of birth and parents' status at the time of birth.

UK born children who are automatically British from birth

Children born in the UK before 2 October 2000


In this case, at least one EU citizen parent must be able to show that they were exercising EU Treaty Rights at the date of the child’s birth. If so, the child has British citizenship from birth. This means one parent must have been a worker, self-employed person, student (with CSI cover) or self-sufficient person (with CSI cover) at the time of their birth, even if they hadn’t been doing so for five years.

Children born in the UK between 02 October 2000 and 29 April 2006

Such children can only claim British citizenship if at least one EU citizen parent can prove PR (permanent residence) in the UK at the time of the child’s birth. This means having a document certifying permanent residence, a permanent residence card or ILR issued before the child's birth. Permanent Residence (PR) cannot be backdated further than 30 April 2006.

Children born in the UK after 30 April 2006

After this date, any child born in the UK is a British citizen from birth if at least one EU parent had PR (permanent residence) status OR settled status at the date of the child’s birth. This does not necessarily require the parent to have a PR card, the parent can claim to have acquired PR status based on evidence of exercising EU Treaty Rights for 5 years before the birth. For citizens of those countries that joined the EU in 2004 (A8 countries) and 2007 (A2 countries), it is also vital that the EU citizen parent can show they complied with the necessary registrations required at that time. This includes registering with the Worker Registration Scheme or applying for an Accession Worker Card.

Children who can register as British citizens

Children whose parents have become "settled" since their birth


Children who are born in the UK to EEA parents can subsequently apply to register as British citizens if at least one parent becomes "settled". This means obtaining permanent residence (PR) or Settled Status (ILR). This process is not the same as those who can claim automatic British citizenship from birth. An application for registration needs to be made, a fee has to be paid and the decision may take a few months.

Children (and adults) born in the UK who spent their first 10 years of life in the UK

There is a route to citizenship for children born in the UK who have lived in the UK for the first 10 years of their life and meet the residence criteria and good character requirement. Such children can apply to register as British citizens – regardless of whether their parents have become settled in the UK. They can also apply to register even if they are now over 18 years old.

Children born in the UK to unmarried parents (British citizen and EEA citizen)

A child born after 1 July 2006 is automatically a British citizen if at least one parent was British when the child was born, regardless of whether the parents were married or not.

For children born before 1 July 2006, it depends on whether the mother or father was British at the time of the child’s birth and whether or not the parents were married.
  • If the mother was British, then the child is automatically British – regardless of whether the parents were married or not.
  • If the father was British and married to the mother – then the child is automatically British.
  • If the father was British and not married to the mother – then the child is not automatically British but the child would have an entitlement to register as a British citizen.
See also: