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Get advice before you apply to register a child through a discretion pathway. Some words and phrases must be in your application for it to succeed.

There are many things the Home Office might take into account about you, your child’s other parent or about your child.


Some things that count for Discretion pathways


Immigration restrictions

  • If your child’s permission to be in the UK is limited this will be take into account.
  • It is best if one parent is a British citizen or has settled immigration status. The status of the other parent will not matter.
  • You can still apply if you and your child have no status on the UK. But get advice now.


How long your child has lived in the UK

  • If you child has lived in the UK for 10 or more years this will be a strong point for you application.
  • But your child must have lived continuously in the UK for at least 2 years.


What is in the child’s best interests

  • You must always be able to show it is in your child’s best interests to be a British citizen.


Compelling reason your child should be a British Citizen

Things that count as compelling reasons are if your child

  • has a job offer, or
  • an offer of a place at college or university, or
  • needs long-term medical treatment they can only get in the UK


A whole family becoming British

You can include children in a family application for British Citizenship. The Home Office has discretion about including children when you and your child’s other parent are not British. But if one of the parents is British, the application will succeed.


Parents who are British otherwise than by descent and adopted children

Applications to register adopted kids are at Home Office discretion if one of adopted parents is British otherwise than by descent.


Key words and phrases

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