UK citizenship for children of EEA / EU citizens

As many EEA / EU citizens look to apply for permanent residence or other documentation to support their right to stay in the UK – what happens to children of EEA / EU citizens born in the UK?

In many cases, such children might be able to claim automatic British citizenship or to register as British citizens.

The options available depend on when the child was born and what status the EU citizen parents had at that time.

Let’s look at some of the key scenarios;

Children born in the UK before 2 October 2000.

In this case, at least one EU citizen parent must be able to show that they were exercising EU Treaty Rights (such as a worker) at the date of the child’s birth. If so, the child can claim British citizenship.

Children born in the UK between 02 October 2000 and 29 April 2006

Such children can only claim British citizenship if at least one EU citizen parent can prove permanent residence in the UK at the date of the child’s birth. For instance – a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card.

Children born in the UK after 30 April 2006

After this date, any child born in the UK can claim automatic British citizenship if at least one EU parent has permanent residence at the date of the child’s birth.

But – crucially, this does not necessarily require the parent to have an EEA permanent residence card. The parent can claim to have permanent residence based on strong evidence of exercising EU Treaty Rights for 5 years (see our blog post below dated 27 July 2016).

For citizens of those countries that joined the EU in 2004 (A8 countries) and 2007 (A2 countries) it is also vital that the EU citizen parent can show he / she complied with the necessary registrations required at that time. This includes registering on the Worker Registration Scheme or applying for an Accession Worker Card.

Children who can “register” as British citizens

Children who are born in the UK to EU citizen parents can subsequently apply to register as British citizens if at least one parent later obtains EEA permanent residence. This process is not the same as those who can claim automatic British citizenship. Instead, an application for registration needs to be made and takes several months to be approved.

If you need any further information on securing British citizenship for adults or children then please email us on

EEA permanent residence – employment evidence

If you wish to apply for EEA permanent residence as an employee then there are several pieces of evidence that you can provide to prove your employment history in the UK.

One option to consider is to apply for a statement of your National Insurance record. This is completed online and will result in a statement (with your name, National Insurance number etc..) being posted to you. This will detail each “qualifying year” for National Insurance contributions.

This will also state if your annual contributions are Class 1 (employed) or Class 2 (usually self-employed) or a mix of the two.

A National Insurance record is not the only document to provide when applying for EEA permanent residence but it certainly is of benefit.

Remember when applying for permanent residence you need to show that you have been exercising your EU Treaty Rights as an employee for a 5 year period.

Please see this link on applying for a statement of your National Insurance record.

If you have any enquiries on applying for EEA permanent residence then please email us on

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