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Applying for British passport for baby from outside the UK

(23 Posts)
HarryHarry Sun 12-Aug-18 02:34:36

Does anyone have any experience of this? I applied online but I'm having trouble understanding which supporting documents they require. The wording in the notes is very confusing (even to me, and I teach English for a living!) As far as I can work out, they are saying that since my husband and I were born in the UK after a certain date, we need to provide birth and marriage certificates for both his parents and my parents, i.e. our son's grandparents, in order to prove his claim to British citizenship. But I don't understand why it's not enough that we are ourselves British citizens with British birth certificates and British passports?

Also, some of our parents are either foreign or dead so it will be quite hard to get hold of the required documents for them. We could probably apply for copies of their birth and marriage certificates but I don't want to waste time and money doing so if it's not completely necessary.

I'm going to call the helpline tomorrow but just wondered if anyone who has been through this process recently can tell me what to do.

Rtmhwales Sun 12-Aug-18 02:43:00

I just did DS’s for a birth abroad to British XH and Canadian mother. I needed our marriage license, both our birth certificates plus baby’s birth certificate. Then I needed ex DH’s mother’s (or father, I went with mother) birth certificate because ex DH can’t pass along citizenship when it’s not direct. Basically he can pass it along to our DS if he himself gained it by descent (ie his parents weren’t born British but gained it later through their British parents). So I had to provid his mother or father were born British and that he was born British.

Rtmhwales Sun 12-Aug-18 02:44:00

Sorry, I meant he can’t pass it along if he gained it by descent. I had to prove two generations of British for my DS to get it by descent.

HerRoyalNotness Sun 12-Aug-18 02:44:30

Are you reading the item 2 under parents documents section on the application as you being the applicant?

The applicant is the child so where it says born after 1983 provide parents birth certificate etc.. this is your birth certificate that shows you as the parent of the child. Does that make sense?

(We are just doing ours from abroad too)

Rtmhwales Sun 12-Aug-18 02:45:53

The born after a certain date thing applies to your DC, not you.

MooseBeTimeForSummer Sun 12-Aug-18 02:50:43

I applied from Canada for my son’s uk passport. (DH and I both born in the UK). I recall it was all our birth certificates and our marriage certificate.

HarryHarry Sun 12-Aug-18 02:58:48

Are you sure it means my birth certificate? I've been looking at the supporting documents guidance which mentions grandparents: www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-passport-applications-supporting-documents-guidance

Under Table D, it says:
“If your parents were born on or after 1 January 1983, please provide:
- evidence of your grandparents’ claim to British nationality by providing their birth certificates
- and, in the case of grandfathers, the marriage certificate to your grandmother. This does not apply if your
parent’s British Nationality is based on registration, naturalisation or their immigration status”.

HarryHarry Sun 12-Aug-18 03:07:13

Also Rtmhwales When you say that your ex-H couldn't pass on British citizenship if he gained it by descent, would that apply to us too? In my case I'm first generation British as neither parent was from the UK.

MooseBeTimeForSummer Sun 12-Aug-18 03:14:11

The “your parents” is you though. You answer the questions as if you’re the child

Grasslands Sun 12-Aug-18 03:16:45

over the years rules and regulations change, and sometimes the new rules don't blend fully with the old rules hence some funny dates after 1965 before 1983 etc.
i'm usa born but because i have not lived in the usa for over 12 continuous years i can not pass on citizenship to my children (although if they chose they may apply based on my father).
currently doing uk born grandchildren applying for canadian passport BUT they need to prove citizenship first. as mentioned above strangely formatted document...i might have to call the center and get phone help sad

HerRoyalNotness Sun 12-Aug-18 03:18:19

Read the bit that says this does not apply if parent.... I think the registration bit means you the parent are born in Britain. So if you were not British born then you would refer back to you grandparents to claim it. But that’s not necessary in your case.

HerRoyalNotness Sun 12-Aug-18 03:18:48

*grandparents being your parents

TwoBlueShoes Sun 12-Aug-18 03:37:51

If you were born in the UK, then you need to send your birth certificate as well as the birth certificate of your child from the country they were born in.

This is what I sent when I applied for my children’s passports from abroad.

LostInTheColonies Sun 12-Aug-18 03:56:36

I did this for my DD in 2016 and YES the instructions are confusing, and I also couldn't get some of the information they seemed to require. Further complicated by DD's twat of a father submitting the application before I'd filled in my sections then denying that he'd done this but that's another story.
I sent copies of DD's birth certificate, copies of passports (DD had one already & sent mine for good measure, plus details of my UK one that expired about 15 yrs ago) and any other papers I could think might be relevant. Didn't need my parent's marriage cert. Also had to use the help service and once I had a contact there, they were very helpful. The turnaround was remarkably fast, too - I think the passport was back within a few weeks.

HarryHarry Sun 12-Aug-18 04:05:43

@MooseBeTimeForSummer I get that 'your parents' means me and my husband but it does also mention grandparents, i.e. my parents and my husband's parents, which is the bit I was confused about.

I think @HerRoyalNotness is probably right that the grandparents bit doesn't apply if I was 'registered' as a British citizen. It's just that the way they explain it in the notes makes it seem far more complicated than it should be and I can't afford to make a mistake.

MumInBrussels Sun 12-Aug-18 06:54:49

We've just done our youngest's passport application, and read it the same way you did OP - we sent our parents' marriage and birth certificates, as well as our own. (This is also what we did with our oldest in 2015, on advice from the Passport Office call centre, who did not inspire confidence they they knew any more about the requirements than we did...) It might have be overkill in terms of paperwork, but we did get the passport and paperwork back 2 weeks after we sent off the application, in June, which surprised us by being so fast!

I think registration in this case means being a naturalized citizen, not someone born with British nationality. But I found all the guidance extraordinarily difficult to understand. Why they can't just produce separate clear guidance for parents applying on behalf of their children, whether overseas or not, I do not know!

MumInBrussels Sun 12-Aug-18 06:59:39

Actually, maybe we didn't send our parents' marriage certificates in the end - the form didn't seem so bothered about their marriage details, as I remember. And it was yet more money to get copies from the GRO, so I think we just sent grandparents' birth certificates.

ElinorOliphantIsCompletelyFine Sun 12-Aug-18 07:00:42

I've been filling in the forms too, and I've read it the same was as you OP. Just to be safe, I'd send the information about your parents too.

Ofitck Sun 12-Aug-18 07:13:56

We (both British parents born after 1983) had to send:

Our Birth certificates
Our Marriage certificate
All four grandparents Birth certificates
(The man on the phone said not to worry about grandparents marriage certificates)

I had to buy all the grandparents Birth certificates which I did online. My dads was the hardest as his was Scottish and I couldn’t get it online but luckily he still had his original.

I agree it was awfully worded help.

amyboo Sun 12-Aug-18 08:03:23

I've done this for my 3 kids (all born outside of the UK). We had to send, the local birth certificate, both mine and DH's "long" birth certificates, and our marriage certificate, We got married in the UK, but I guess you might need translations if your certificate is in another language. The long birth certificate is enough to show how you (the child's parents) got your UK citizenship, as it has your place of birth and your parents names and places of birth. As others have said, a child born outside the UK is only entitled to UK citizenship/passport if their parents got their citizenship through birth not descent. In other words, if you're born outside the UK and got your passport because your parents were British, you then can't pass on your British nationality to your kids if you remain living outside the UK. There are a few exceptions - diplomatic service, military service...

HarryHarry Mon 13-Aug-18 01:50:58

Thanks for your replies everybody. I called the helpline today and the guy seemed as confused by the guidance as I was. In the end he told me just to send our birth certificates. I asked him several times if he was absolutely sure and he said yes. I must say he didn't exactly fill me with confidence but I suppose I have to trust him!

Limpshade Mon 13-Aug-18 06:22:48

I'm confused by this - both myself and DH were born in the UK after 1983 and we've had two babies outside the UK now, and neither time have we had to send grandparents' birth certificates. All we sent were our birth certificates and marriage certificates.

Eledamorena Mon 13-Aug-18 10:31:56

The thing about providing additonal info on grandparents if parents were born after 1980-whatever is new, which is why some won't have come across it yet. It applies to babies born in the UK too (we had to provide this info for DC2, born 2017, but not DC1, born 2015).

We were able to provide most but not all info, and I imagine many people would simply not know when or where their parents were married (if indeed they were!) Some might not know full names or dates of birth.

I noted what I could and the woman who processed my application did not even glance at it (I applied in person).

It has to do with tightening up on immigration I believe. Though as you say, British passports and birth certificates are surely enough for this? In OP's case, if she was born in Britain and has British citizenship for this reason (as opposed to by descent) it is irrelevant where her parents were born.

No help really but hopefully this explains the request for additional info a little. I have always found the passport people very helpful on the phone so hopefully you can sort this without difficulty!

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