Stateless Child - British Citizenship

Stateless children born in the UK have a right to register as British citizens after living here for a continuous period of five years. But various practical hurdles undermine this vital provision for reducing statelessness.

To register under paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the British Nationality Act 1981 a stateless person must meet below conditions.

  • is and has always been stateless
  • was under the age of 22 on the date of the application
  • has lived in the UK 5 years prior to the making of the application.

This route became prominent and highly discussed after a recent case law MKV SSHD [2017] EWHC 1365 (ADMIN). The case involved a child (MK) born in the UK in November 2010. Her parents were both nationals of India. MK had made an application for registration as a British citizen under Schedule 2 of the British Nationality Act 1981. The Home Office refused the application and judicial review proceedings were commenced. There were some difficulties in relation to evidence, particularly relating to Indian law and the interpretation and practice of that law.It was determined that MK was entitled to register as a British citizen as she was and is stateless as she does not have Indian nationality. This case will be important for those children who are born in the UK, are stateless and are making an application in the same, or similar circumstances.

Legal aid ought generally to be available to children and young people to ensure they can end their statelessness by registering their right to British citizenship. Our expert Immigration lawyers can carefully prepare your child’s application for British citizenship.

Please contact our immigration team on 0330 058 3929.