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Aussie baby of British mum going to the UK - help with visas please!

(36 Posts)
Thumbwitch Mon 18-Mar-13 13:07:27

I am a Brit in Australia, married to an Aussie, with one British-born son (Aussie citizen by descent) who has both a UK and an Aussie passport; and
I now also have an Aussie-born son, who is just about to get his first Aussie passport. He doesn't have a British one, there's no time; he's not a British citizen because I haven't sorted that out yet - does he need a visa, does anyone know?

And how can I get this sorted out before we travel on 4th April?? Arrrrghhhh!!

(Yes I know I should have dealt with all this in good time, but I didn't - the visa thing didn't even cross my mind until late last week blush)

13loki Wed 03-Apr-13 07:57:00

If there is a chance you will go back to live in UK before your youngest is an adult, don't apply for his citizenship yet. DH and I are both British by descent. We lived in the UK for 8 years, during which time we had 2 kids, British otherwise than by descent. Now we live in Sweden, and are gong to have another baby. The Home Office advise you not to get citizenship if you will later go and live in the UK, as the child could then be British otherwise than by descent and more easily pass on citizenship.

NotTreadingGrapes Tue 02-Apr-13 09:40:28

Children of long term (generational) expats not in Crown Service can also be registered as BCs under some sections of the British Nationality Act.

Generally speaking you need to have had a lengthy period of UK residence at some time prior to the child's birth or in later years with an older child, the child does. Check out Section 3 of the Nationality Act.

These are quite rare though.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 02-Apr-13 09:33:58

But like you said, you are the exception because your dad was working for the military. (I assume the british crown agents is something like that)?

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 02-Apr-13 09:33:19

Erebus that's because you are british by descent. In that case you won't be able to pass on the citizenship.

I've got three different citizenships and I always only carry one passport. (Most of the time I only have one non-expired passport, depending on where I live). I didn't know the rule that you must travel to a country you have citizenship with that countries passport. I just got asked the question where is my xx passport. I just told them it's expired. They are always happy with that and then give me visitor visa stamp.

Erebus Tue 02-Apr-13 09:25:18

Skim read all of what appear sto be sound advice, but my situation nearly threw us:

I am British of British parents but I wasn't born in the UK. DH is an Aussie, both DSs are Aussie born. I gaily applied for British passports for the DSs (to emigrate here) only to find that, as I wasn't born in the UK, they might not be entitled to British citizenship shock.

Luckily my father was working for the British Crown Agents abroad when I was born there, and my mother still has the paperwork to prove it, 40 years later, so no problem, but had my parents been on holiday to that country when I was born, my DSs would not have been able to get British citizenship....

EdithWeston Tue 02-Apr-13 08:36:56

Yes, it's because much of the cost of the consular service (all documents, emergency assistance, etc) is defrayed that way - ie payment bourn by long term expats who are the greater users of the service (together with holidaymakers with lost documents, who face similar fees).

It's been like that or at least a decade (when the biometric passports came out, and the (now abandoned plan for ID cards was around)).

Thumbwitch Tue 02-Apr-13 06:32:27

Jeez, they get you every which way, don't they? I checked the prices of getting a UK passport - it's about 3x the cost from here as it would be in the UK. Daylight robbery, really.

Much easier to get an Irish passport (DH) - he just applies online then trots up to the Irish Embassy in Sydney and there you go!

May not bother with the boys' UK passports again then sad sad - too expensive.

natation Wed 20-Mar-13 08:06:15

PS well the dad travelled back from the UK, he was the one who had lodged his child's application whilst in the UK, obviously the child couldn't travel as no valid passport!

natation Wed 20-Mar-13 08:04:07

Alas British passports are not issued abroad any more, only emergency ones. They might transit a 3rd country eg Australia to New Zealand, but they are actually issued in the UK and flown back again. From where I am in Belgium, you apply via the British embassy in Paris, initial checks of paperwork and photos done there, then sent to the UK.

A word of warning about getting British passports done whilst on holiday in the UK. A friend of mine did this a few months ago, but they travelled back here before the passport arrived back. UK Identity and Passport Services phoned one of the referees, the referee was asked the location of the applicant that day, referee told the truth, UK IPS refused to issue the passport and no refund either :-( Had to apply a 2nd time from here, but worse still, had to get an emergency passport which is still issued in Brussels, as the family were travelling less than a month later and because the application from the UK was rejected, there was no time left to apply from Belgium! So in all they paid 3 times!!!! You'll need to brief referees and your dad about the possibility of being phoned up and asked your whereabouts.

Thumbwitch Tue 19-Mar-13 22:46:34

Natation, I meant DS2's British citizenship, not DH. He is an Irish citizen as well as Australian, he has no need of or right to a British passport. smile

No, the High Commission in Australian doesn't issue passports any more. They come from New Zealand instead. <sigh>

I may download the forms, get the relevant bits filled in and signed and then lodge them while in the UK - get the passports sent to my Dad's and then either pay for him to send them out to us registered post leave them with him until we go back next year, as they won't be needed to get back to Australia, iyswim.

natation Tue 19-Mar-13 19:28:57

Births of British citizens born in Australia cannot be registered with GRO, along with several other counties of birth.

All British passports should now be issued in the UK, not at Embassies, High Commisions or other UK consulates. The quickness of issue depends on what checks need to be made with British citizens by descent. For those in Australia, the agent is the Australian Post Office.

At a guess, OP's husband has a father married to mother at time of birth and father is a British citizen other than by descent born in the UK. Here would be the details, if that is the case. It says on the link a first passport issue from Australia via Australia Post Office then sent to the UK and back to Australia takes at least 6 weeks. If this is done in the UK, would probably take a similar amount of time as would be required to attend an interview as well as first adult passport issue.

If you mean getting DS2s passport sorted, well from Australia, this is the link for how to do that. Again it says 6 weeks minimum and an interview at Australia Post Office.

There is no British Embassy in Australia as it is part of the Commonwealth. There is a British High Commission and it does not issue British passports (any more).

If you do either a child issue first passport in the UK, you are hopefully unlikely to be called for interview.

Rhienne Tue 19-Mar-13 18:58:37

Just for info: "As an Australian citizen you must always leave and enter Australia on an Australian passport".

Doesn't seem to be the same rule for the UK, or if there is they hide it well from Google.

twilight3 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:11:49

Off topic warning: I personally traveled back to the UK 2 years ago on my birth cert. and driving license COMBINED (as I tried twice to make clear). So, yes, you can if need be (life IS after all unpredictable).

twilight3 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:08:10

Might be able to get his British citizenship sorted while we're there though?

that depends on distance: you can either do it at the embassy while in Oz or at the consular office in London. Eitherway, it's a very easy and quick procedure, albeit pricey.

Remember though: while a UK birth certificate might be nice for him to have, you DON'T have to register him with the General Register Office to issue a british passport for him.

Have a nice trip

natation Tue 19-Mar-13 16:53:10

Your husband's British citizenship by descent is going to be based on the birth place of the parent, marital status of the parent, year of birth, whether the parent naturalised as British etc, lots of parameters. Without knowing more, I'd guess he needs the full UK ? birth certificate of the parent. It won't matter if he applied now for his British passport or in the UK, I know 3 who have just gone through the process from abroad and took between 3 weeks and 2 months, so not something you could do whilst in the UK unless there a while, applying from Oz will take longer due to Post of course. Same will be true for DS2. You need to look up on the UKBA website that your husband does indeed have British citizenship (I bet you've done it already) and then find the appropriate application form for the passport application as there are many.

Thumbwitch Tue 19-Mar-13 11:42:14

Rhienne - I don't need to check about DS1, he's been back to the UK several times. I take both passports every time.

Natation - thanks for all the info. smile
I may be able to find my birth cert. at my Dad's house, which is where we'll be staying, so I'll look when I get there and go from there.

Actually have just realised that I wouldn't be able to get DS2 a British passport while in the UK anyway as DH won't be with us, and he needs to sign it as well. So will just have to wear the extra cost of getting it done over here whenever.
Might be able to get his British citizenship sorted while we're there though?

natation Tue 19-Mar-13 08:33:39

PS if you have dual nationality, there is no obligation for a British citizen to enter the UK only on their British passport, though it might be advisable. If you use the passport of your other nationality, then you enter as that nationality, eg if entering as Australian, then you'd be on holiday wouldn't you! You can just ignore the "6 months leave to enter no recourse to public funds" endorsement if you are in fact British too and wish to work and can prove your British nationality.

natation Tue 19-Mar-13 08:30:15

You cannot travel to the UK on a driving licence of any kind because it does not prove your nationality, only proves you are allowed to drive. To enter the UK, you need to satisfy UKBA of your identity and nationality.

You cannot travel to the UK on a UK birth certificate because it has no photo and because it does not prove nationality either.

You can travel to the UK on an expired British passport, but doing this in practice can be tricky, especially if flying, it would require an airline to phone UKBA in advance and it would depend on their response whether CLA would be levied if the person turned out not to be the holder of the document. The expired passport is more than likely to be removed at the port of entry and forwarded to the Passport Office, the absolute discretion to waive this rule is down to the chief or inspector on duty. The easiest place you could travel on an expired passport is through juxtaposed ports such as Calais or Paris, where the identity and nationality can be checked at that point, where there is no CLA applied on the carrier. In the past, before 9/11, the use of expired passports and using various forms of docs such as UK driving licences/birth certificates was far more lax, there was even a period of waiving through passengers who waived an EU passport, no opening up - won't even go into the UK security consequences as a result, the person responsible for this needs to hand his head in shame for allowing it. The rules for UKBA are now clear, only expired British passports, British emergency passports, British regular passports are to be accepted, any exceptions would possibly go up to HQ and anyone breaking these rules risks serious disciplinary action. Having said all that, there is an area called COMMON TRAVEL AREA which has been in existence since Ireland's independence. If travelling from Ireland to the UK or from Jersey etc, you don't need a British passport, you can travel on docs of lesser status if Irish or British.

The only Australians who need entry clearances for the UK are ones coming here to live, as 6+ months students, on work permits, UK ancestry etc.

First issue British passport in 3 weeks on holiday? Maybe a bit of a high risk, for first born already issued with a British passport, I'd take the risk of getting back a renewal, might even get it back in just a week. Good luck.

DS1 is British other than by descent and can pass on British citizenship to all descendants, DS2 is British by descent and under current UK nationality laws, if he comes to live in the UK for a continuous 3 year period during his life BEFORE he has any children, then his children can also register as British citizens by descent if they do it before they reach 18 years old, under section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 - send him on a 3 year working holiday to the UK!!!

You will indeed need a copy of your own full UK birth certificate now to apply for DS2s British passport, you might not have needed it for DS1 but now the rules have been tightened. You can apply for it online, just make sure you do it on the right link, there are companies who charge a premium price for this and all they do is then go to the official website and do the application you could do yourself.

Rhienne Tue 19-Mar-13 07:47:58

DS2 should be fine, he travels on his Australian passport and is a tourist, no visa needed.

DS1 on the other hand you should check about. If it was the other way around (two passports, visiting Australia) he would HAVE to travel on his Australian passport to enter Australia. It may be the same for the UK, at a UK citizen must enter the UK on a UK passport.

Thumbwitch Tue 19-Mar-13 02:11:05

Yes I did think about that, Savoy - but not sure I'd get it back in time as we're only there for 3 weeks and I don't really want to spend an entire day in Petit France to get an emergency one - but I will still look into it. DS1's UK passport expires in September so I'd like to get him a new one while we're there anyway.

Still haven't phoned them - too busy this morning! BUt will do so and report back smile
Glad it's looking like we don't need one though.

SavoyCabbage Tue 19-Mar-13 01:38:42

When I took my girls back for a holiday one of them had a British passport and the other one had an Australian passport (as her British one had expired). It was all fine and nobody said a word.

You could always apply for the British one while you are there. It's much cheaper.

WhatSheSaid Tue 19-Mar-13 01:17:25

Ok, I travelled from NZ to Uk for a holiday with dd1 when she was 6 months old. I'm British (live in NZ) and she is NZ-born but British citizen by descent.

I travelled on my Uk passport and she on her NZ passport (she is entitled to Uk passport, I have just never got round to getting her one, partly because the Kiwi one cost about $80 and the Uk one about $350)

No one questioned her visa status, she got a 6 month visa stamped in her passport saying she musn't work while there (as I say, she was only 6 mo so I wasn't really planning to send her up chimneys just yet grin).

The only thing I had to ask about was at Heathrow there were queues for EU passport holders and queues for non-EU passports, obviously I was one and she was the other and I couldn't send her through the non-EU queue on her own. I asked an official and they said just to take her through the EU passport queue with me.

I assume the rules for NZ and Oz will be the same? As they are both Commonwealth? But of course I could be wrong, I just assume Nzers and Aussies entering the Uk will have the same visa/passport rules.

Whitewineformeplease Tue 19-Mar-13 00:50:36

Ok, OP, calm down, it's ok, i have been through the same situation recently and you will be fine. I have a DD, 10 months, I am Irish, living in oz, my DH is Aussie, DD has an Australian passport. We travelled to Ireland and the UK for a few weeks when she was 5 months old, you don't need a visa. You're there for a holiday, you have return tickets, there won't be a problem. You don't need a visa if you're only going for a holiday.

Thumbwitch Mon 18-Mar-13 23:39:11

OK - for a bit of clarity - I am British born and bred.
DS1 is also British born and half-bred but Aussie by descent (dad is Aussie)
DS2 is Aussie born but able to be British by descent whenever I sort it out, which I haven't so far.

We are going back to the UK for a 3w holiday to see family; I will of course have my passport with me or I won't be able to travel!
DS1 will have both passports with him as he always does, even though the Aussies have told me he should only travel on his Australian passport; I like to have the British one with us as well to be on the safe side.
DS2 will have an Australian passport but no British one as yet.

I will take DS2's full birth certificate with me. I do not have a copy of my own.

Thank you for your input and I probably will phone the High Commission just to check absolutely!

twilight3 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:26:39

natation , there is really no need to get this aggressive, I stated the facts trying to help OP, if you have a different set of information that is relevant to her situation, please do help her out as she is obviously worried.

Would you really love to see a baby travel on their driving license? confused Or is that you making clever humor?

You can travel back into the UK on an old british passport, or on your birth certificate and driving license, or even by special emergency documentation issued by the embassy. OBVIOUSLY the first two are not relevant to OP, but this is not information I have pulled out of my backside, or info I found on a website, these are things I have learnt due to situations myself and my children have found ourselves in.

A bit of grace can go a long way when exchanging knowledge...

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