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Questions about British citizenship for baby born abroad

(41 Posts)
Vespar7 Sun 23-Mar-14 16:27:42


I live abroad and am due to have a baby in July. I was just wondering if anyone knew the rules regarding British citizenship for my baby? I am a British citizen but I have heard that while my child will be entitled to a British passport, their children will not. Also regarding university fees would it make a difference if the baby was born in Switzerland or Austria? We could do both because of where we live.


SpookedMackerel Sun 23-Mar-14 16:33:44

My dd was born abroad - dh and I both British.

Dd is British by descent - born abroad t British parents. You cannot pass on British citizenship by descent, only British citizenship by birth (ie being born in Britain) can be passed on. So if my dd has children with a non-british partner, and they are born outside of Britain, they won't be British.

No idea of university fees.

chocolatewine Sun 23-Mar-14 16:44:44

Your child will be entitled to British Citizenship through you, their children will only get British citizenship if they are born in Britain. It's the same for my children who were born in an African country and a european country..

chocolatewine Sun 23-Mar-14 16:45:58

University fees in Britain are the same for all europeans

LondonInLausanne Sun 23-Mar-14 20:18:06

Uni fees is a tough one. I understood there was an agreement between Switzerland and England where Swiss residents are included in the EU fee band. However i think that has changed/is going to change soon, and Swiss students will pay full international fees.

Not sure what Scottish Unis charge for Swiss residents.

LIZS Sun 23-Mar-14 20:22:43

If Switzerland pulls out of Schengen all sorts of things could change. tbh I don't think the place of birth will be relevant long term as you won't be eligible for the local nationality in either unless your dh/dp has it.

LondonInLausanne Sun 23-Mar-14 20:26:03

What will be relevant is the place of residence for the years preceding application to uni. So if you are intending on living outside of the EU for three years prior to applying then you will pay International fee rates regardless of passport.

Vespar7 Mon 24-Mar-14 15:02:17

Thanks for your responses. Did a bit more research today and it seems like for the moment it doesn't make a difference if we have the baby in Austria or Switzerland though of course in 18 years time that may change!

RaspberryRuffle Mon 24-Mar-14 21:22:46

If your baby is entitled to another nationality (e.g. through your DH), and you plan to move back to the UK to live, you could apply for the other nationality and then when living back in the UK apply for British citizenship for your baby. This would be on a par with British citizenship by birth. This only applies if you're moving back to the UK. You can't 'upgrade' nationality status once granted. If you plan to bring the baby back to the UK you can plan ahead and get any additional paperwork in order to get whatever passport without extra hassle when you have a newborn.

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Tue 25-Mar-14 08:40:13

Raspberry - but if the OP is born in the UK, her child will automatically be British by descent - she won't need to apply for British citizenship for her child once she is in UK.

CharityCase Tue 25-Mar-14 12:46:40

Just to add, if the situation did arise where your child (born outside UK to British parents - British by descent) hooked up with another person in the same situation, and their child was born outside the UK, although you would have to apply for British citizenship, it is highly likely it would be granted (2 British parents, 4 British grandparents) especially if the alternative is that they would be stateless (e.g. if they were born in China, they cant be a Chinese citizen because not ethnically Chinese). This happened to a friend of mine and her DC got British passport with very little issue.

RaspberryRuffle Wed 26-Mar-14 21:39:01

SheherazadeSchadenfreude - Thanks, I was trying not very successfully to reply to points made by SpookedMackerel and chocolatewine about the DC then not being able to pass on British nationality due to being "British by descent". I should have started that off with the DC being automatically British. I meant that if OP wanted her DC to have a "stronger" (can't think of correct word) level of British nationality, and they are entitled to the nationality of the country of birth, they could apply for British nationality at a later stage (if they plan to move back to the UK), so the DC wouldn't "just" be British by descent.
Of course it may be academic if no other nationality entitlement but friends of ours have chosen to do this as they are returning to the UK next year and they have entitlement to another nationality.
CharityCase has explained even further now.

Kelly1814 Sun 30-Mar-14 18:43:54

Depends where you are. I gave birth in the UAE. My Dd is a British citizen, has a British passport. BUT I had to fill in a load of paperwork and get her a British birth certificate in order for her children to be British, one day.

OnlyThePurpleOnes Tue 01-Apr-14 08:55:12

Kelly can i ask what paperwork? Need to do this for both my DD's. I've been lazy!

Kelly1814 Tue 01-Apr-14 17:04:21

Hi will spend on where you, this link explained it for us, and we could download the form. For us it involved making two copies of everything from our birth certs, marriage cert, baby's birth cert, even my mum's birth certificate....then we couriered it all to the British embassy here in dubai. Oh and all in it cost almost 200 quid, even had to pay for a courier to bring it back to me!

Good luck!

Doobydoo Tue 01-Apr-14 17:09:23

ds 2 was born in southern ireland...he is 7 tomorrow.When we returned to UK in 2001 we had a nightmare! We are both British as are our parents/grandparents etc.We had to get a letter fromthe Home Office to say he is British....took about 18 months.

OnlyThePurpleOnes Wed 02-Apr-14 16:34:04

Thanks Kelly, I'm in the same place as you (I recognise you from the other forum!)

Thanks for the link, need to get myself organised and do it for both DD's.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 05-Apr-14 18:41:56

You can't apply for an "upgrade" on British citizenship. If you are British by descent you can't apply and become British OTBD (otherwise than by descent) Unless you mean taking the otherparent's nationality as oppose to the British one to then naturalise at a later date? You would have to renounce the British by descent first, then re-apply.

Kelly- Were you born abroad? Do you mean you registered your daughter as a BC based on your Dad's citizenship, or you registered her birth?

Kelly1814 Sun 06-Apr-14 10:49:30

no, i wasn't born abroad. but my daughter was. the british embassy here told us that when she had children they would not necessarily be british citizens unless we went through the paperwork above.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 06-Apr-14 11:17:51

How odd. So your daughter is already British by descent yet they made you pay for something else?

What did they give you?

I've come across (on here) parents abroad thinking that they had to register their born-abroad children via the Consulates, and paying, and all they were given in return was a British birth certificate, which isn't necessary to prove citizenship. My daughter was born abroad and is British by descent but I'm not forking out £££s for the Consulate to tell me that.

(I used to work for the Home Office Nationality Division so this was my bread and butter back in the day)

mercibucket Sun 06-Apr-14 11:33:16

handy to have the british birth certificate though
also, i lost oneblush
nightmare if i had had to apply to country of birth
3 quid replacement for uk one (or cheap, anyway)

cannotseeanend Sun 06-Apr-14 12:26:06

except it's not a birth certificate and cannot be used as a piece of identity!

Rosa Sun 06-Apr-14 12:34:59

I am still waiting for a form from the CHB office - I am not entitled to anything ( and am not asking btw) but it is so that the child is registered as a british citizen and at 16 they get automatically issued with an NI number. When I get this form I have to send a copy of the birth certificate . I asked if it had to be the british one - chap though so but wasn't sure. But I guess they will be able to trace via me. However seeing its been 2 months since the form was in the post I can only presume its gone via New Guinea.
Consulate told me that it was advisable to register the birth as British to make things easier in the future.

mrsnec Sun 06-Apr-14 12:52:27

Watching this thread with interest.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 06-Apr-14 13:35:53

I've just been onto the birth registration of children born abroad pages of the gov website, and it is still as I thought.

Nobody needs to register their children with the consulates. All you are doing is spending nigh on £200 for a bit of paper.

They are really naughty IMO about this, because while they state "you don't have to do this" they also say "this may make it easier for you in future" which is very vague. In what way? I know my child is British, she travels on a British passport, which the ppt office wouldn't have given her had they not checked she was British through me!

The confusion often stems from two things a) the word "registration" used for both these "birth certificates" and for certain sections of the BNA where you have an entitlement to British C/ship through, for example, grandparents, so you apply for "registration". Often the consulates let you think you need to do a) in order to have BC/ship by descent. The other thing is the consulate staff deal with nationality as a bit of a sideline together with their other duties. They work for the Foreign Office, not the Home Office, so don't have the in-depth nationality training.

In fact a couple of years ago, on here, I helped a couple of families who realised they had paid for registration of their children (as BCs, not birth regn) when it had never been necessary.

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