Fri | Sep 17, 2021

Registering as a British citizen

Published:Monday | May 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie:

I am a British national and I would like to register my child as a British citizen, even though her mother is not British. Is my child eligible? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Dear MJ,

There are different ways that persons can become a British citizen. Some people can 'register' as a British citizen. Persons should be aware that registering as a British citizen is usually simpler than becoming naturalised. However, those persons must be eligible.

The circumstances under which persons may be eligible will vary. Those persons will be eligible if:

a. they have another form of British nationality;

b. they were born before January 1, 1983, to a British mother;

c. they were born to a British father, even if he was not married to the applicant's mother;

d. they were born in the United Kingdom on or after January 1, 1983.

Persons may also be eligible if:

a. they are under 18 years old and do not fit into the other categories;

b. they have a connection with Gibraltar or Hong Kong;

c. they are stateless.

Furthermore, apart from belonging to one of the above groups, there are other eligibility rules that must be met for each category. Please note that the rules are different for those persons who may have previously renounced their British citizenship.

Born before July 1, 2006 to a British father, persons can register as a British citizen if they:

a. were born before July 1, 2006;

b. would have become a British citizen automatically if their parents had been married;

c. are of 'good character' - persons should look at the guidance in form UKF for details, which can be found online.

Please note that children will not automatically become British if they are born outside of the United Kingdom. However, persons may be able to apply for naturalisation instead if they are already resident in the United Kingdom.

With respect to making the application, persons will need to fill in application form UKF and pay the £80 citizenship ceremony fee using the payment slip.

Persons should send the completed application form and pay slip to the correct address for the country where they reside.

After making the application, persons will also need to provide biometric information - fingerprints and a photo - and they will be sent a letter explaining how to get this done. The costs associated with this is £19.20.

Just for completeness, please be aware that there will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom, nor United Kingdom nationals living in the European Union with reference to the above, while the United Kingdom remains in the European Union. hope this helps.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK).