British Citizenship for Stateless Child
The International legal definition of a stateless person is a “person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”. Today, at least 10 million people around the world are denied nationality. Some of them are deprived of basic healthcare, benefits and protection.
British Citizenship for a stateless child.
In the UK, the British Nationality Act 1981 governs nationality. Under this Act, individuals may be eligible to apply to register as British citizen if they are stateless. If your child is stateless, paragraph 3 of schedule 2 of the 1981 Act may be relevant.
Eligibility requirements depend on where and when a child was born.
Applicants born in the UK or overseas territories on or after 1 January 1983.
The applicant is eligible If they:
are under 22 years old
have lived in the UK or a British overseas territory for at least 5 years before applying
were in the UK or a British overseas territory exactly 5 years before the Home Office received their application
There is also a residence criterion, requiring the applicant to spend no more than 450 days outside the UK or British overseas territory during those 5 years
Applicants born outside the UK or overseas territories on or after 1 January 1983.
The applicant can only apply if:
they have been born stateless and always been stateless
they have lived in the UK or a British overseas territory for at least 3 years before the date of application
when they were born, their mother or father was a British citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen, British overseas citizen or British subject.
The residence requirement is that the applicant should have not been absent from the UK or British Overseas territory for more than 270 days in the 3-year period.
Condition of Stay.
Successful applicants will be invited to a citizenship ceremony if they are 18 or over and become British citizens. They will be free of any immigration restrictions. They can work, study and exercise other freedoms such as voting.
How to Apply/ Fees.
Applications are submitted online. If the applicant lives in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or a British overseas territory, they have to apply in person or by post instead. The decision is usually taken within 6 months.
Application fees: it costs £1,206 to apply if the applicant is 18 or over and £1,012 if the applicant is under 18. The biometric information fee costs £19.20 and is paid separately.
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