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British Nationality Act 1981

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Version Superseded: 13/01/2010

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3 Acquisition by registration: minors.U.K.

(1)If while a person is a minor an application is made for his registration as a British citizen, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, cause him to be registered as such a citizen.

(2)A person born outside the United Kingdom [F1and the qualifying territories] shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen made within the period of twelve months from the date of birth, to be registered as such a citizen if the requirements specified in subsection (3) or, in the case of a person born stateless, the requirements specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of that subsection, are fulfilled in the case of either that person’s father or his mother (“the parent in question”).

(3)The requirements referred to in subsection (2) are—

(a)that the parent in question was a British citizen by descent at the time of the birth; and

(b)that the father or mother of the parent in question—

(i)was a British citizen otherwise than by descent at the time of the birth of the parent in question; or

(ii)became a British citizen otherwise than by descent at commencement, or would have become such a citizen otherwise than by descent at commencement but for his or her death; and

(c)that, as regards some period of three years ending with a date not later than the date of the birth—

(i)the parent in question was in the United Kingdom [F2or a qualifying territory] at the beginning of that period; and

(ii)the number of days on which the parent in question was absent from the United Kingdom [F3and the qualifying territories] in that period does not exceed 270.

(4)If in the special circumstances of any particular case the Secretary of State thinks fit, he may treat subsection (2) as if the reference to twelve months were a reference to six years.

(5)A person born outside the United Kingdom [F4and the qualifying territories] shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen made while he is a minor, to be registered as such a citizen if the following requirements are satisfied, namely—

(a)that at the time of that person’s birth his father or mother was a British citizen by descent; and

(b)subject to subsection (6), that that person and his father and mother were in the United Kingdom [F5or a qualifying territory] at the beginning of the period of three years ending with the date of the application and that, in the case of each of them, the number of days on which the person in question was absent from the United Kingdom [F6and the qualifying territories] in that period does not exceed 270; and

(c)subject to subsection (6), that the consent of his father and mother to the registration has been signified in the prescribed manner.

(6)In the case of an application under subsection (5) for the registration of a person as a British citizen—

(a)if his father or mother died, or their marriage [F7or civil partnership] was terminated, on or before the date of the application, or his father and mother were legally separated on that date, the references to his father and mother in paragraph (b) of that subsection shall be read either as references to his father or as references to his mother; [F8 and]

(b)if his father or mother died on or before that date, the reference to his father and mother in paragraph (c) of that subsection shall be read as a reference to either of them; [F9and]

(c)[F10if he was born illegitimate, all those references shall be read as references to his mother.]

Textual Amendments

F8Word in s. 3(6) inserted (1.7.2006 with effect as mentioned in s. 162(5) of the amending Act) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 9(2)(a), 162 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2(b), 3

F9Word in s. 3(6)(b) ceased to have effect (1.7.2006 with effect as mentioned in s. 162(5) of the amending Act) and repealed (prosp.) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 9(2)(b), 161, 162, Sch. 9 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2(b), 3

F10S. 3(6)(c) ceased to have effect (1.7.2006 with effect as mentioned in s. 162(5) of the amending Act) and repealed (prosp.) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 9(2)(c), 161, 162, Sch. 9 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2(b), 3

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

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