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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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chunderella Wed 24-Jul-13 19:11:32

Sorry to hear about that Trazzletoes.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Wed 24-Jul-13 19:02:02

Trazzle, don't worry, I have seen your thread very recently take care of yourself. FX for your son.

Trazzletoes Wed 24-Jul-13 16:41:50

I haven't forgotten I promised to answer questions, but my DS has had an unexpected extended stay in hospital <sigh>

Chunderella Wed 24-Jul-13 16:30:13

LeMousquetaire are you saying you're not British, DDs dad is, you weren't married and she was born in the UK in 2005?

If so, no she wouldn't have acquired British nationality at birth. Reason being that unmarried fathers couldn't pass on their citizenship until some time in 2006. Nothing to do with citizenship by descent etc. Just plain sexism. However, people in your daughter's position can now register as British. I've a feeling you have to pay the fee though, which is very unfair.

Living any child born in the UK to a British parent, regardless of which one, whether they were married and how they got their status is British.

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 18-Jul-13 07:09:18

Living - same thing applies (when I did nationality work the parents had to be married if the father could pass his nationality on if the baby was born overseas, but I think this is no longer the case - Trazzle can probably advise on this). If you were born overseas, regardless of when (am assuming you are not so ancient that you fall under BNA 1948), and were not born to someone in government service, you will be British by descent. The Embassy were probably covering their backs as they didn't have all the info and paperwork open to them! We had some very complex cases, where people thought they were British because their father had been a consultant on an ODA contract in Africa in the 1960s, and a bit of research showed that the father was hired as an independent consultant on a government contract, rather than being a civil servant, and this exception to the rule didn't apply to them. But what it did teach me was that the Brits are very good at record keeping, because we never had one case that was a "don't know" or "not proven"!

Living Thu 18-Jul-13 06:38:46

Thanks - that's what I'd always understood. How does it work for a male that is British by descent though - does the same thing apply or does it have to be the mother?

I grew up thinking I was British by descent (what I'd always been told, I'm an expat brat) only to discover that I was born before the cut off point. I remember getting quite stressed about this when I was pregnant first time round as DH was also not born in the UK (but his father was serving overseas). When I called the British embassy to ask whether I needed to deliver in the UK they said 'oh I'm not sure, maybe you should be be safe' hmm

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 17-Jul-13 06:40:55

Living - yes, if someone is British by descent and they come back to UK to heave the baby out on UK soil, the child is British OTBD (I have several friends who have done this).

If the child's parent (father, prior to 1.1.83) was posted overseas by HMG - so in military, civil or diplomatic service and the child is born overseas during this posting (and not while they are on holiday in Benidorm!) then the child is British OTBD and can pass his/her nationality on. It does depend on the nature of the posting - I am not sure if those working for the EU, for example, would be covered by this ruling, as they would not be employed by HMG.

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).

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?

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 14-Jul-13 19:26:04

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

That is what we thought but apparently not!

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?

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.

Flibbertyjibbet Fri 12-Jul-13 10:34:06

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?


Flibbertyjibbet Fri 12-Jul-13 10:29:18


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?

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

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?

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.

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)."


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)

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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