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Baby born abroad to British parents: passports

(82 Posts)
angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Wed 10-Jul-13 17:53:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LinzerTorte Thu 11-Jul-13 18:31:28

Trazzletoes I'm confused because it seems that if you're British by descent and have children born overseas, if you go back and live in the UK for three years then your DC will be able to automatically pass on British citizenship (wherever they have children).

Whereas if you're British otherwise than by descent (like me), it appears that your DC's children can only be British citizens if they're born in the UK and it's not automatic - despite the fact that you originally had a closer connection to Britain IYSWIM. I couldn't find any information saying that if I, as a British citizen otherwise than by descent, went back and lived in the UK for three years with the DC, they could then be British citizens otherwise than by descent too (as would be the case if I was British by descent).

That's probably as clear as mud. grin

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 11-Jul-13 18:34:15

Hi, I am in the same position as you OP. We are both British but DC2 will be born here in Washington later in the year.

I was told by the embassy (lots of friends who work there) that the new baby will automatically have dual nationality - US by birthplace and UK by descent. As soon as you're a US citizen, you have to travel in and out of the US on a US passport anyway, so that's the one you need to get first. (Also, conveniently, means no more queues as an alien at passport control for the rest of the family!) Following that, you can go to the embassy or consulate (depending where you are) and have the baby's details registered so they are on British records too and get a British birth certificate. IIRC, this costs $300. You can also get a British passport through the embassy - though currently the Washington office directs people to NYC for this service.

PM me if you're anywhere nearby, there are a few of us here!

angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Thu 11-Jul-13 19:17:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 11-Jul-13 19:30:59

No problem! Good luck with everything.

Trazzletoes Thu 11-Jul-13 20:55:18

"Trazzletoes I'm confused because it seems that if you're British by descent and have children born overseas, if you go back and live in the UK for three years then your DC will be able to automatically pass on British citizenship (wherever they have children)."

correct

Whereas if you're British otherwise than by descent (like me), it appears that your DC's children can only be British citizens if they're born in the UK and it's not automatic - despite the fact that you originally had a closer connection to Britain IYSWIM. I couldn't find any information saying that if I, as a British citizen otherwise than by descent, went back and lived in the UK for three years with the DC, they could then be British citizens otherwise than by descent too (as would be the case if I was British by descent).

misunderstanding!!!

If you are British otherwise than by descent, your child (born after 2006) is AUTOMATICALLY British, no matter where in the world they are born. There is no need to apply for registration as British because the child is British from birth and can just pay for a passport.

British Citizenship otherwise than by descent is "top-grade" as it were.

Trazzletoes Thu 11-Jul-13 20:57:17

Linzer sorry, your child born abroad will be British by descent. You can't do anything to "upgrade" that. But if your child then lives in the UK for 3 years, their child will be British otherwise than by descent if they apply to be registered.

LinzerTorte Thu 11-Jul-13 21:35:48

Trazzle Thanks, your second post is the answer to my question! Yes, I realise that the DC are automatically British through me and that their births don't need to be registered at the consulate (I didn't bother with the younger two, who still had British passports).

It's highly unlikely that we'll be going back to the UK while the DC are still under 18 so it was more a rhetorical question, but still interesting to know the answer.

angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Thu 11-Jul-13 21:47:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NomDeClavier Thu 11-Jul-13 21:55:49

I've heard of instances of people ignoring the British by descent, coming to the UK and naturalising after the requisite period. I presume that only works if you're not relying on your British nationality/connection to go back to the UK.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 12-Jul-13 06:39:37

Still confused
"Trazzletoes I'm confused because it seems that if you're British by descent and have children born overseas, if you go back and live in the UK for three years then your DC will be able to automatically pass on British citizenship (wherever they have children)."

correct

so why doesn't it work for DD1? is it because she is born in 2005 in the UK (lived there more than 3 years) and we weren't married?

Does that mean that if we stay 3 years in the UK DD2 can be british because we are married and she is born in 2010?

or does it works only for children with only 2 british parents (for many generations)

Trazzletoes Fri 12-Jul-13 06:47:40

Mousequetaire can I answer your question over the weekend? I'm in hospital with DS right now and so don't have my usual stuff - Nationality law is pretty complicated and I don't want to tell you the wrong answer! My instinct is that there's a way round it for both DDs, in that if DD2 can become British due to the 3 year rule, then at the very least DD1 ought to be able to be British by discretion but I need to read up on that a bit.

But yes, 2005 and unmarried is an unfortunate combination in Nationality Law.

Trazzletoes Fri 12-Jul-13 06:51:29

Let me make sure I have the facts right though: you are not BRitish. DH is British by descent. DD1 was born in the UK in 2005 while you were not married to each other. She has lived in the UK for a bit? DD2 was born abroad but has also never lived in the UK, yes?

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 12-Jul-13 09:33:05

Hope your DS is OK. Of course it can wait.
You are right, we are all in the UK now but not long enough to be resident again.
We did reregistered DD1 when we married she was 6 months and she lived in the UK till 3.5 yo.
We did ask if it was because we weren't married and they said no, then never mentioned anything about DH not being born in the UK being the reason. I think the registra and the passport office were both confused. We ask again at the consulate when DD2 was born but they just ignored the requests and never called back as promise so we gave up chasing it.
It is all within 4 EU countries though so it doesn't really matter for them, it might for their children. DD1 really wants to be british though because it is were she is born and has attachment

linzertorte

I am not sure whether to be depressed or annoyed at what you have told me, my auntie is already deceased otherwise I'd be probably having a row with her right now over why she insisted I needed the passport and Social Security number. She was insisting it was for when I came over to work there, but being born there would mean I'd get a green card no probs, and my BRITISH passport, which I entered the US on for that visit, simply has a visa in saying I can enter for unlimited visits of unlimited duration. When I applied for that visa it came with a letter saying this visa is for life so no need to renew it if I want to visit the US after the passport expires, simply take this visa with me.

(although I know there's an electronic thingy you have to do now to have a visa so I'd probably have to reapply anyway).

I entered the US that time and left the US that time, on my British passport, which clearly states 'Washington DC' as my place of birth. In fact when I left the US the US passport was being processed and it was posted to my home in the UK.

So I am very pissed off to think that if we were to go for a family holiday to florida or visit my cousins at any time, I run the risk of being denied entry (to the country of my birth ha ha) OR, go through the faff and probably expense of either renewing that bloody passport or filling in some forms to renounce my US citizenship?

Grrrrrrr. I know some people like having dual nationality, my sister waves a British passport when entering the UK and her Australian one when she goes home (citizen cos she's lived there 25 years), but I don't want, have no need for, and never did have any need for, a US passport.
Why did my auntie have to stick her nose in?

question for trazzletoes

One of my cousins was born in the UK while her mother and (non-uk US immigrant) father were in the UK to take advantage of the NHS. Yes I know.... they got on the boat when she was 5m pregnant and she pretended she'd never been away! She didn't have good enough medical insurance to cover complications and had already had two stillbirths sad

Her subsequent children were all born in the US.

This eldest child is married to a US citizen, and has 2 children of her own. cousin and her own eldest child are coming to the UK next month and part of the trip is to take this 22 year old child to London and 'get' her a British Passport, my cousin says that as she was born in the UK to a british mother and non-british father, she can pass on her nationality one generation?

Cousin went back to the US at 3m old and has never lived or worked here since. Her own child has never been here.

Will she be granted a passport based on her mother being born here and having a BP herself?

Thanks

Trazzletoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:12:41

Flib in a nutshell, yes. But she doesn't have to come here to get a passport she can just apply to her local embassy.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 14-Jul-13 12:01:45

Mousquetaire - if you were resident/"settled" in UK when your daughter was born, would she not have been British under section 1(1)(b) of BNA 1981?

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sun 14-Jul-13 12:07:00

That is what we thought but apparently not!

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 14-Jul-13 12:26:35

I know it is a pain in the arse having to prove that you are settled. I used to hate these cases more than anything else - give me a complicated family tree, back in the day, when I did immigration, the more former colonies and oddities, the better, but someone with a child born when they were "settled" in the UK, and my heart used to sink. Unfortunately, we got zero clarity from the HO on how they defined "settled". So I would give citizenship to the children of people who had the right of abode in UK, those who were clearly working there, had been for several years, and could prove it, because if I referred anything - anything at all - back to the Home Office, it would disappear into a black hole, and we'd never hear back from them. I think they have several rooms there, marked "much too difficult". And unfortunately, once we had referred something to them, we were not allowed to make a decision locally.

I wonder if it is worth your while having another go? Trazzle is better placed to advise on this.

jkklpu Sun 14-Jul-13 12:32:00

NB Your child doesn't need a British passport to travel to/live in Britain; it's not the passport that gives nationality. As a passport will cost less if you apply from the UK than from overseas, why don't you wait until you're back in the UK before you apply for one, assuming the US one will still be valid?

Trazzletoes Sun 14-Jul-13 13:05:05

jkk presumably because if they're coming for anything other than a holiday, the child will need a visa anyway which is likely to be costly and time-consuming than getting a passport.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 14-Jul-13 13:45:18

Flibberty - your birth in the US means you are automatically a US citizen, a passport doesn't confer nationality - you would be regarded as American by the US authorities, even without a passport. So even if you completely innocently travelled to Florida on your British passport, you would be likely to be stopped at Immigration if they clocked your place of birth.

I know. I am a dual national and have been since birth, but the rules must have changed since I 'innocently' entered the US on my british passport over 20 years ago.

Passport clearly states Washington DC, and when I applied for the US visa the passport situation was not mentioned by any authorities.

I am wondering now how on earth, if I were to renew the US passport in a few years to travel there, how will I explain its expiry in about 1989 and not been renewed since...

Think I'll just put it on the list of places I've BEEN and carry on finding different places to visit. We came home when I was under 2, I have no memories of it and its not like I left friends there that I'd want to go back and see! There is always Disneyland Paris...

But hey ho, thank goodness for mumsnet, we will book a Mediterranean cruise instead grin

youarewinning Sun 14-Jul-13 19:29:43

DS born abroad to British parents. Registered birth at local office and passport obtained through British embassy.

It was an eu country though - not sure if that changes things?

Living Wed 17-Jul-13 06:29:12

Can I jump on and ask one?

Both by children are British by descent (not born in the UK). We don't plan on returning to the UK anytime soon and in the back of my head I've always been slightly worried about the nationality of their children. If their children are born in the UK (maybe only on a visit or maybe they'll live there, who knows) are the children British other than by descent again?

All this isn't really an issue if their partners have a nationality they can pass on but that's by no means a certainty!

Also, going back a few pages someone mentioned a father being stationed abroad and therefore being British by descent. My understanding is, depending on the nature of the posting, a child born to a parent stationed abroad would be considered British other than by descent (i.e. treated as if they have been born in the UK).

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