10 interesting facts about British Citizenship that Brits don’t know, and it includes children of couples like Meghan and Prince Harry.

#1 Child born in the UK doesn’t automatically become a British citizen. 
Since 1983 at least one parent has to be British at the time of birth, in this case Prince Harry.
Can also work if one parent has a permanent residency immigration status.
If both parents are migrants and don’t have a permanent residency document, their child won’t be entitled to a British passport at birth.#2 Child born outside the UK becomes British by descent, so your ‘grandchild’ may not be British. 
Let’s imagine Meghan and Harry are enjoying Australia and Fiji so much, they decided to stay there until their baby is born. Will the child be British if born abroad? Yes, because Prince Harry is British. But the child will be what the law calls ‘British by descent’. It means Meghan and Harry’s grandchildren will only be British if they are born in the UK. If their grandchildren (from this child) are born outside the UK, they won’t be British and, well, we may have a Royal baby who isn’t a British citizen!There may be an exception to this, however, since Meghan and Harry are touring as a part of the ’Crown service’, so it should be OK!#3 Jokes aside, we have an earlier detailed post for British expats living and working abroad, explaining what happens if they have a child born overseas.
It is actually a very serious point of the British Nationality law: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.com/2015/10/children-born-outside-uk-to-british.html

#4 You can register the child as British but only before they turn 18 years old. 
If you are a Brit born outside the UK (ie you are ‘British by descent’) and you happened to have a child who was also born outside the UK, your child won’t be a British citizen. In this scenario, you could register him/her as British but only if you had lived in Britain for 3 consecutive years at any time prior to the child’s birth. Once registered (for a hefty UK Government fee of £1,000), you could apply for the child’s UK passport. The catch? Your child will also become ‘British by descent’ like you and would have to make sure your grandchildren are born in the UK if they want them to be British.

#5 Born outside the UK before 1983 to a British mother.
Women could not pass the British nationality back then, so you wouldn’t be a British citizen in this scenario. You can, however, examine whether you can register now, since such ‘inequality’ has been corrected.

#6 Born to a British father before 2010 while parents weren’t married.
This was also ‘corrected’ in the law since then, so if you are in the situation where your child (or you) would have been British if not for the marriage condition, you could register as British.

#7 Children born to European citizens (before and after Brexit). 
Many European citizens are, understandably, concerned about this.

If your child is born in the UK before you (an EU/EEA citizen) qualify for permanent residence status: your child is not British but you can register them as British once you have a confirmation of your settled status. There are some exceptions to this rule for children born before 2010, please contact us for clarification.

If your child is born outside the UK before you qualify for permanent residence status: your child is not British and you could only register them as British when parents are applying to become British.

If your child is born in the UK after you have qualified for permanent residence status: your child is British at birth and you can just apply for a UK passport (passport book). Same if the child is born after you have become British yourself.

If your child is born outside the UK after you have qualified for permanent residence status: your child won’t be British at birth.

If your child is born outside the UK after you have become British yourself: your child is British at birth.

Important! Note that we say ‘before/after you qualified for permanent residence’ rather than ‘before/after the date you were issued with a document to confirm it’. This is one of the fundamental differences between UK and EU law. For more details, please contact us.

The rules on British Citizenship will be the same after Brexit. The difference will be how and when the newly-arrived EU citizens will qualify for permanent residence.

#8 European citizens 
As above, he rules on British Citizenship are the same, Brexit or not. The difference will be how and when the newly-arrived EU citizens will qualify for permanent residence. There are on post-Brexit rules but it is expected that EU citizens will have the same rights (or the lack of them) as non-EU citizens now, such as Americans, Australians, Russians, Chinese etc. They usually acquire permanent residency status after 5 years of working in the UK and then apply for Citizenship a year later.

At the moment – and it will continue for EU citizens who come to the UK by the end of 2020 – EU/EEA/Swiss citizens qualify for permanent residence after 5 years of working or studying, then apply for Citizenship a year later.

The difference between the two paragraphs above (after Brexit and now) is the restrictions on free movement and the rights to work in the UK. At the moment, EU citizens are free to come and work here while non-EU citizens have to have a sponsor (UK employer or British spouse) or have to run a business; while student visas don’t lead to permanent status altogether.

#9 Spouses of British citizens (it’s not 3 years – Meghan has to wait 5 years). 
We have an earlier post on this: https://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.com/2017/12/how-will-meghan-markle-become-british.html and also https://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.com/2017/11/uk-marriage-visa-advice-for-meghan.html

Husbands, wives and civil partners of UK citizens can qualify for British Citizenship after 3 years of residence in the UK (somewhat confusing rule) and also after they have secured a permanent residency document (Indefinite Leave). Latter now takes 5 years, hence Meghan would have to wait for 5 long years to become British!

#10 Summary on Naturalisation for adults.
To qualify for British Citizenship, you need:
– 5 years of legal residence in the UK ending ‘now’. In practice, it is 5 years for spouses of Brits and 6 for others.
– Permanent residency document.
– One more year of residence after the above document (this doesn’t apply to those married to Brits).
– Life in the UK test (unless exempt or met during ILR application).
– English language (unless exempt or met during ILR application).
– No criminal convictions or driving fines in the last 3 years.
– There are other, more obscure, rules such as not being declared a bankrupt in the last 10 years.