Becoming a British citizen is a significant life event. Apart from allowing a child to apply for a British citizen passport, British citizenship gives them the opportunity to participate more fully in the life of their local community as they grow up. For the application to succeed, you will need to show that the child satisfies any requirements that are set out in British nationality law.

There are different ways to become a British citizen. You can either naturalise as a British Citizen (Naturalisation as a British citizen) or register yourself as a British Citizen (Registration as British citizen).

Naturalisation as a British Citizen

You can usually apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen if you are over the age of 18 years and 12 months after the grant of your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Settled status by virtue of section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981. An application for naturalisation as a British Citizen is made by using an online application form AN. The law also requires you to prove that you were in the UK exactly 5 years before the day the Home Office receives your application. You must also prove your knowledge of English, have passed Life in the UK test and intend to continue living in the UK. You must also be a person of good character as it is one of the key requirements for the success of your application. You should also not have spent more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years and 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months.

Register as a British Citizen

If you do not qualify for British citizenship automatically or not entitled to registration, you may be eligible to apply for Registration as a British citizen on a discretionary basis if it is in the best interest of the child under section 3 (1) of the British Nationality Act 198. The chances of success are generally based on the evidence and assessment of child’s circumstances in particular if the future of the child clearly lies in the UK and UK by all means is the centre of the child’s life.