Important change to Home Office guidance allows children to register as British who have completed 10 years residence and who were not born in the UK
The Home Office have made a significant concession within their published guidance on registration of children as British citizens, which will allow many children to register as British who previously would not have qualified. This change has come about as a result of the legal challenges brought by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (‘PRCBC’).
The Home Office publish guidance which is considered by Home Office caseworkers when they are reaching decisions on applications to register children as British. There is a broad discretion within the British Nationality act 1981 for the Home Office to register a child as a British citizen, but this will usually only be done where a sufficiently close connection with the United Kingdom can be established.
The new guidance for a new group of children to register as British
On the 18th July 2022, new guidance was published by the Home Office which introduces a new group of children who should now be able to straightforwardly apply to become British. The criteria set out in the guidance are:
- The child has been brought to the UK at a young age; and
- The child has now completed 10 years of living in the UK; and
- The child has leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain; and
- The parents have acquired status.
The guidance published by the Home Office also recognises that it may be appropriate to register a child as British where they have not yet acquired status, or their parents have not acquired status.
This guidance comes in the wake of the introduction of new Fee Waivers for child registration applications in June 2022. The Home Office will now approve a fee waiver, meaning a fee of £1,012 will not be applied, where it can be established that the fee is not ‘affordable’ for a child.
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