British Citizenship. Recently the Guardian wrote an opinion piece this weekend on America’s approach to securing nationality. It seems to be a more relaxed approach and not one mirrored by the UK, despite arising from English common law.
America allows birth right citizenship which means that anyone born on US soil is entitled to American citizenship. However, under UK immigration, there are only a few narrow routes to apply for British citizenship.
In the UK, those who are born on British soil must live continuously for the first 10 years of their lives before they can register to become British citizens. This means that children cannot fully enjoy summer holidays abroad for fear that there may be problems on their re-entry to the UK as they do not have British citizenship.
Also, children outside of the UK born to a British parent may only register as British citizens if their parent is settled in the UK or is a British citizen by virtue of having a British parent who was born in the UK – known as ‘otherwise than by descent’. This means that British citizenship can only pass one generation outside of the UK.
Commonly, many people naturalise as British citizens after having had indefinite leave to remain in the UK for one year. Here at MLC, we also have noticed that more EEA Nationals choose this option after having gained permanent residence. It must be noted, EEA Nationals who are wishing to naturalise as British citizens must check whether any dependent family members will be affected by this process as EU law and British immigration law operate entirely differently regarding third-country national family members.
Finally, there are the children who have a right to register as British citizens if, after their birth and whilst still a minor, one of their parents becomes settled in the UK or acquires British nationality.
If you have any questions about whether you qualify to naturalise or register as a British citizen, please contact us at MLC Immigration Lawyers on 0161 2244224.
Written by Hannah Wilkinson
MLC Immigration Lawyers