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I am German permanently living in the UK since 2006, my wife is a non EU / non UK citizen. Our three children were born in the UK in 2011, 2014 and 2017. They hold German passports and I had always assumed them to be German citizens only.

We have all been granted settled status under the EU settlement scheme already. As I learned that Brexit introduces a deadline for being guaranteed dual German/British citizenship according to this information from the German foreign office I now want to apply for British citizenship for my children before the Brexit date.

Upon reading up on the citizenship requirements, I was surprised to learn that apparently my 2 children born in 2014 and 2017 do actually already unknowingly hold British citizenship as they were born after I had already lived in the UK for more than 5 years continuously. My questions are:

1.) Is it advisable that I should not apply for citizenship for my 2 younger children and instead simply apply for a UK passport for them to assert their British citizenship? This seems to be a lot cheaper. What kind of proof will I need to provide with these applications?

2.) Does the Brexit deadline quoted above for being allowed to hold dual citizenship still apply for these 2 children or can I do this at a later time and they will always have guaranteed dual citizenship?

3.) Am I understanding it right that this option is not available to my eldest child, that was born less than 5 years after I moved to the UK? For this child I should presumably apply for citizenship on the basis of its birth certificate and my settled status?

Many Thanks!

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1.) Is it advisable that I should not apply for citizenship for my 2 younger children and instead simply apply for a UK passport for them to assert their British citizenship? This seems to be a lot cheaper. What kind of proof will I need to provide with these applications?

I would do that, but time is short, as it seems that the deadline mentioned in the question is in just over two months. I don't know how long such an application would take. Suppose the UK government decides that you hadn't in fact acquired permanent residence before the birth of your children, or that the evidence you present is not sufficient to establish whether you acquired it, and that your children therefore are not British citizens. In that case, there might not be enough time for them to acquire British citizenship before the deadline. What then? You will want to plan for this contingency. (I would also check whether their acquisition of British citizenship as minors would cause loss of German citizenship -- the rules are usually significantly different for minors.)

The Home Office has been variously rather strict about evidence or not so strict about it. I haven't been following it very closely, but you might want to look into that. If you can show five years of continuous employment in the UK before the birth of your younger children, that should be sufficient, but there have been many horror stories about immigration-related matters since the advent of the "hostile environment" policy.

2.) Does the Brexit deadline quoted above for being allowed to hold dual citizenship still apply for these 2 children or can I do this at a later time and they will always have guaranteed dual citizenship?

If they are indeed already British citizens then it doesn't matter whether they acquire their first UK passport before or after the deadline, because that does not constitute acquisition of British citizenship.

3.) Am I understanding it right that this option is not available to my eldest child, that was born less than 5 years after I moved to the UK? For this child I should presumably apply for citizenship on the basis of its birth certificate and my settled status?

Yes, unless you acquired a right of permanent residence before you reached 5 years in the UK, which would have happened if you were a worker or self employed, and you "ceased activity." I suppose that didn't happen, since your children's ages suggest that you are not of an age for taking your pension.

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    An application to retain German citizenship before obtaining a further citizenship is only required when a person does this of ther own will, which is not the case for minors (since they may recieve it automatically or through action of their parents). – Mark Johnson Oct 27 '20 at 1:08
  • Thanks for your answer. The German authorities have also confirmed that the end of year deadline does not apply to children that acquired British citizenship automatically by birth. – themik81 Dec 1 '20 at 6:13

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