Italian parents permanently living in the UK whose children were born in the UK should urgently review their child's status.  Foreign parents who relocate and plan to remain in the UK for the foreseeable future should make sure that their children are also registered.  Many people from outside the UK erroneously think that to be born in a country automatically provides the child with the citizenship of that country and therefore fail to look into the legal position for their children, believing that they have acquired citizenship due to their residential status when born.  

All Italian citizens who relocate to another EU country and intend to remain for 12 months or longer should register their presence, at the Consolate  Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all'Estero (Registry of Italian (Citizens) Residing Abroad) or AIRE.  Children born to Italians who also live in the UK should also be registered.

If a child is born and grows up in the UK without acquiring the appropriate status the full impact of their undocumented status will only be felt when they reach the age of majority and are prevented from attending university, working, opening a bank account, having access to medical care or obtaining a driving licence until their position is rationalised if they have the required documentation to enable them to  obtain citizenship or settled status.  The length of time from their birth to the discovery that they require to have documental evidence to achieve settled status may mean that the essential paperwork is lost or not easy to find.  The cut-off time for obtaining settled status is 2020.  Kamena Dorling, of Coran Children's Legal Centre, has produced a report highlighting the problems encountered by children of EU nationals when attempting to gain the right to remain.  She pointed out the fact that one in five children assisted by Coran during the Home Office trial of the settled status system did not have the required documentation nor any realistic way of obtaining it on their own.  A young adult who has lived all their life in the UK and who has no realistic prospect of being able to easily acquire the required status to enable them to remain in the UK, is in an extremely difficult position.

The excellent lawyers in the Giambrone immigration team can offer guidance to parents who wish to avoid the situation where their children end up facing a hostile UK Home Office or, worse still, find that they have no idea where to obtain the documents that are essential to obtain settled status when they reach adulthood.  Should that ever be the case in order to avoid processes that are complex and drawn out, sound legal advice is essential to avoid rejection at the last hurdle which will result in having the go to the back of the queue and start again.

The "awful warning" of the Windrush scandal highlights the very real dangers of failing to ensure that children are also included when Italian parents are securing permanent residency in the UK.   The political climate is volatile and unlikely to change in the near or distant future in light of Brexit which makes it all the more compelling to safeguard your children and protect them in every way against having to battle to live in the country of their birth when they are adults.

If you would like to know more about protecting your children's right to live in the UK through documentary status and residence in the UK please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.