Form MN1 Guidance [2019 Guide]

Who is the MN1 form for?

The MN1 form is designed to allow children under 18 years of age to register to become British citizens under the provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981.

After the age of 18, an application to naturalise using Form AN will be required.

form mn1 fee 2019

What is the Form MN1 Fee in 2019?

The form MN1 fee in 2019 is £1,012. This is the amount that you have to pay the Home Office in order for them to process your application.

The official fees list can be found here.

form mn1 covers

What situations does Form MN1 cover?

1. If your child is born in the UK (not as a British citizen) and you (the child’s parent) become a British citizen or become settled in the UK after your child’s birth

Under section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981, children can register as British citizens if:

  • they were born in the UK from 1st January 1983 onwards; and
  • they were not British when they were born because their mother nor father was British or had permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain; and
  • one of the parents becomes a British citizen or settled prior to the child turning 18 years old; and
  • they are under 18 years old at the time of application

2. If your child was born in the UK (not as a British citizen) to parents who were not born British or were settled in the UK, but a parent to this child becomes a member of the armed forces

Under section 1(3A) of the British Nationality Act 1981, your child will be able to register as a British citizen using Form MN1 in such circumstances.


3. If your child was born in the UK and you are asking for the Home Office to register your child as British using discretion

Under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981, a child may be registered as a British citizen upon the discretion of the Home Secretary after application.

Discretion will be exercised in line with Home Office policy.


4. If your child was born abroad to a parent who is a British citizen ‘by descent’ who lived in the UK for a continuous period of 3 years at any time before your child’s birth

Under section 3(2) of the 1981 Act, in order to qualify:

  • the parent who is a citizen ‘by descent’ must have born to a parent who was a British citizen ‘otherwise than by descent’; and
  • the relevant parent must have resided in the UK (or a British overseas territory if the child was born after 21st May 2002) for 3 years continuously prior to the child’s birth; and
  • the absences during that 3 year period should not be greater than 270 days.

Example

Marie’s maternal grandfather was born in the UK in 1949.

Her mother  Kate was born in France in 1970 and is therefore a British citizen by descent.

Kate lived in the UK between September 1989 and September 1992 and was not absent for over 270 days during this time.

Marie was born in France in 1999.

She is not a British citizen but can be registered as such under section 3(2).

Marie will be registered as a British citizen by descent and will not be able to transfer her citizenship on to any children born abroad.


5. If a  child was born abroad to a parent who is a British citizen ‘by descent’ AND the child and the child’s mother and father lived in the UK for a 3 year period before the date of application

Under section 3(5) of the 1981 Act, in order to register:

  • the child and the child’s parents must have lived in the UK (or a British overseas territory if the child is born after 21st May 2002) continuously for 3 years ending with the date of application; and
  • the child and parents should have been physically in the UK at the beginning of the 3 year period; and
  • the child and the child’s parents must not have been absent from the UK for greater than 270 days within the 3 year period.

Only the child and one parent require to satisfy the above requirements if the parents’ marriage or civil partnership has ended, or they are legally separated.

However, both parents must consent to the registration of the child as a British citizen unless one parent has died.

The child will be registered as a citizen ‘otherwise than by descent’ under this section.


6. If your child was born abroad to a parent serving as a member of the UK armed forces

Under section 4(D) of the 1981 Act, a child will be able to register as a British citizen if:

  • the child was born from 13th January 2010 onwards; and
  • the child was born out with the UK and the territories; and
  • both parents consent to the registration (unless one parent has died); and
  • one of the child’s parents was serving as a member of the armed forces.

‘Member of the armed forces’ is defined as:

  • a member of the regular forces within the meaning of the Armed Forces Act 2006
  • a member of the reserve forces within the meaning of the 2006 Act subject to service law by virtue of section 367(2)(a)-(c) of the 2006 Act

‘Member of the armed forces’ does not include:

  • a member of the forces brought up in a British overseas territory who is serving or training with the UK armed forces
  • a member of another state’s armed forces who is associated with the UK armed forces (ie. as part of a coalition)

7. If your child was born abroad and you or the child’s other parent are applying for British citizenship

Under section 3(1) of the 1981 Act, the Home Office can exercise their discretion when one or both parents apply for British citizenship for themselves and add one or more children to be registered as British citizens as part of a family application.

Children will usually be registered if both the parents are granted or already hold British citizenship, or if one parent has indefinite leave to remain/permanent residence and the other holds British citizenship.


8. If your child was adopted abroad by British citizen parents

Under section 3(1) of the 1981 Act, the Home Office can consider applications for registration of adopted children if:

  • one of the adoptive parents is a British citizen otherwise than by descent, and
  • both adoptive parents (if applicable) have consented to the application, and
  • there are no reasons to refuse due to not meeting the ‘good character’ requirement, and
  • the Home Office is convinced that all adoption laws of the country in which the adoption happened, the country of which the adopted child is a national and the country of which the adoptive parents usually reside, have been followed, and
  • the Home Office accepts that the adoption is a genuine one and not arranged in order to arrange the child’s admission to the UK.

Even if some (or all) of the above requirements are not met, the application may still be granted if it demonstrated to be in the best interests of the child.

On the contrary, even if all of the requirements are met, the application may still be refused if it is shown that an adoptive parents character is in question or if there were gaps in the adoption process.

The list of countries which are recognised for adoptions are abroad are contained here.


9. If your child was born to a parent who has resumed British citizenship after renouncing it.

Under section 3(1) of the 1981 Act, a child can apply for registration if:

  • a parent who was previously British renounced their citizenship and thereafter resumed it; and
  • said parent became a British citizen otherwise than by descent when they resumed their British citizenship; and
  • said child was born before the date the parent became a British citizen again; and
  • both parents consent to the registration unless a sufficient reason is provided.

10. Your child may register at the discretion of the Home Office in other circumstances

We cannot cover all possible scenarios in which the Home Office may exercise their discretion to grant a child citizenship.

However, the Home Office will consider the following factors in any applications:

  • any connections the child has with the UK (gained whilst the child has been here legally)
  • where it is likely the child will end up staying
  • the views of the parents
  • the nationality and the immigration status of the parents – both parents should be British citizens, or at least one parent and the other parent should have settlement in the UK
  • if the child meets the ‘good character’ requirement
  • how long the child has lived in the UK – the Home Office will require at least 2 years residence (especially if the child is over 13 years old)
  • any other compelling or compassionate circumstances

If the child is granted citizenship, it will be under section 3(1) of the 1981 Act at the discretion of the Home Office.

form mn1 does not cover

What situations does Form MN1 not cover?

1. If your child is automatically British because they were born in the UK to a parent who is a British citizen or settled in the UK at the time the child was born

If you give birth to a child in the UK, and you are:

  • a British citizen, or
  • have settlement in the UK at the time of the birth, or
  • a member of the UK armed forces

…then your child is a British citizen otherwise than by descent by birth and does not require to be registered as a British citizen.

If your child was born in a British overseas territory after 21st May 2002, then they will be a British citizen by birth if any parent is a British citizen, settled in the UK, settled in that territory, or is a member of the UK armed forces at the time of the birth.

In order to be settled in the UK, the parent(s) must be free from immigration restrictions.


2. If your child is already a British citizen by descent

A child born abroad to a British citizen will be a British citizen ‘by descent’, unless:

  • the child was born before 1st July 2006 to a British father and non-British mother out of wedlock.

In this case, a child can apply for registration under section 4G of the 1981 Act using Form UKF.

A child born abroad to parents who are British by descent, is not automatically British by birth. They can apply for registration through entitlement under section 3(2) or section 3(5) if they satisfy the rules for registration.

They could also apply under section 3(1) at the Home Secretary’s discretion if there are compelling or exceptional reasons for registering a child as British.

However, when a child is born abroad to one or more parents who are in Crown service or service designated for this purpose or in Community institution service the child will be a British citizen otherwise than by descent. In order to qualify, the parent must have been recruited in the UK and have been sent abroad.

If your child is born a British citizen by descent, you will be unable to change their citizenship status by applying to register them or naturalise them as a British citizen otherwise than by descent.


3. If your child is already British because they were born in the UK to an EEA or Swiss national

Children born in the UK to EEA or Swiss nationals, may be British citizens automatically depending on when the child was born.

Children born in the UK before 2nd October 2000 where a parent is an EEA or Swiss national

A child in these circumstances will automatically be a British citizen if the parent was exercising Treaty rights at the time the child was born.

Children born in the UK between 2nd October 2000 and 30th April 2006 where a parent is an EEA or Swiss national

A child born in these circumstances will only be a British citizen if the parent had permanent residence at the time of their birth.  This is not the case with EEA nationals who have an unconditional right of residence (ie. retired people or someone who is incapacitated and unable to work).

Children born in the UK after 30th April 2006 where a parent is an EEA or Swiss national

A child in these circumstance will be a British citizen if their parent had been exercising Treaty rights in the UK for 5 years or has permanent residence.

If any of the above categories do not apply, then the child of an EEA or Swiss national who did not become a British citizen when born may now be able to register as a British citizen under section 1(3) if the parent has become ‘settled’ after the birth.

Settlement is defined as:

  • a grant of indefinite leave to remain (including ILR granted under the EU Settlement Scheme), or
  • exercising Treaty rights for 5 years continuously in the UK (or permanent residence) ending on or after 30th April 2006.

4. If your child was born in the UK and lived in the UK for at least the first 10 years of their life

Section 1(4) of the 1981 Act allows children (and adults) the right to apply for registration if:

  • they were born in the UK on 1st January 1983 onwards; and
  • were not automatically British citizens on birth; and
  • were over the age of 10 years at the time of application; and
  • lived in the UK for the first 10 years of their life; and
  • were not absent from the UK for more than 90 days in that 10 year period.

5. If your child was born before 1st July 2006 and would have become a British citizen automatically if you and the child’s other parent had been married

Section 4F of the 1981 Act allows the registration of children born prior to 1st July 2006 (who would have become British citizens automatically had their father been married to their mother at their birth).

mn1 form approval

Will my MN1 application be guaranteed if I fill it in correctly?

There are several routes available for children to apply for British citizenship.

Under some routes, they are entitled to make applications under British nationality laws and be registered as British citizens.

Other routes allow children to be granted registration as a British citizen on the discretion of the Home Secretary.

It is possible for a parent applying for British citizenship along with their child to not be granted citizenship, whilst their child is considered eligible.

The form includes a section asking parents to confirm that their child should be granted British citizenship should their own application be refused.

If parents do not agree to this, their child’s application will be treated as withdrawn if their own is refused and no refund will be issued.

Why should your child apply for British citizenship using form MN1?

Becoming a British citizen is usually a cause to celebrate.  It will allow your child to be more fully involved in their community and also allows them to apply for a British passport.


What do I need to show for the application to be successful?

For a successful application, your child will simply need to meet the requirements within the provisions of British nationality law.

If you are relying on the discretion of the Home Secretary, your child will need to meet the criteria set out in that regard.

If your child neither meets legal requirements or specific criteria then the onus will be on you to show why your child should be granted British citizenship.


What will happen to my child’s current citizenship?

British citizenship allows you to share nationalities.  However, not all countries allow this.  You should check with the Embassy or High Commission of the country your child is currently a national of to see if they allow dual citizenship.

If you are a citizen of another country, you may continue to be subject to the duties of that country which could include mandatory military service.

good citizen

The ‘good character’ requirement for Form MN1

In order to be deemed of ‘good character’, you simply require to respect the laws of the United Kingdom and fulfil your duties as a resident.

If you are aged 10 years or over, checks will be made to confirm this requirement has been met.

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