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Old Nov 7th 2001, 4:27 am   #1
Gary
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We live in the US. I am British and my wife is American.

I know our son is naturally American, as he was born in America to a US Mother, but
is he also a British Citizen somehow ?

If he is not would it be sensible for me to somehow get him a UK passport etc ?

What are the pros and cons ?

Could he loose his US Citizenship if I make him a dual national of the UK and US ?

Many thanks in advance Gary
 
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Old Nov 7th 2001, 5:36 am   #2
Shelley
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I don't know the specifics for the UK, but my husband (Canadian) and I have a
little girl, also born in the US. She is also a Canadian citizen because her
father is Canadian, and as soon as we file for her Canadian citizenship card (we
got the paperwork, just haven't sent it in yet) she will have proof that she is.
She would be able to have both a US and Canadian passport. And she will not lose
her US citizenship. You should check the UK embassy website
http://www.britainusa.com/ and see what is required for your son to be recognized
as a UK citizen. Take Care. Shelley

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Old Nov 7th 2001, 6:28 am   #3
Rich Wales
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"Gary" wrote:

> We live in the US. I am British and my wife is American. I know our son is
> naturally American, as he was born in America to a US mother . . .

Actually, your wife's citizenship is irrelevant to this issue. Under US law, =any=
child born in the US is automatically a US citizen, no matter what the citizenship or
immigration status of the parents. The one and only exception to this is if the
parents are foreign diplomats.

> . . . but is he also a British citizen somehow ?

I believe so. As long as you were born or naturalized in the UK, my understanding is
that your children get automatic British citizenship. There are some more complicated
rules which would apply if you are a citizen of the UK because you were born outside
the UK to a British parent.

> would it be sensible for me to somehow get him a UK passport etc ?

Sure. Contact a British consulate or embassy.

> What are the pros and cons ? Could he lose his US citizenship if I make him a
> dual national of the UK and US ?

The biggest advantage I can think of is that, when your son grows up, he will have
greater flexibility in where he wants to live or work. As a citizen of the UK, he
will be able to live/work, not only in the UK, but anywhere in the EU.

Nothing you do can nullify your son's US citizenship. Under US law, it doesn't matter
if he is also a citizen of the UK; he can keep both citizenships for life. (It is
widely believed by Americans that a "born dual" citizen must choose a single
citizenship when he/she grows up, but they're all wrong; there isn't anything in
current US law to require any such choice.)

Note that, according to US law, your son will need to have a US pass- port if he
travels abroad. This may mean he'll need two passports, one from each country. Also,
he'll have to file a US federal income tax return every year -- though there are
provisions in the US tax law which will probably mean he won't have to pay any tax to
Uncle Sam if he's living and working full-time abroad. (The US is one of only a
handful of countries which claims a potential right to tax foreign-source income of
non-resident citizens. The UK, on the other hand, taxes only people who live, and/or
have income from, the UK.)

Rich Wales richw@webcom.com http://www.webcom.com/richw/dualcit/
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 
Old Nov 7th 2001, 12:40 pm   #4
Stephen C. Gallagher
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(snip)

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You should also note that you wouldn't be MAKING him a dual national or even a
British citizen. If you (the father) are British other than by descent, and you were
married to his mother at the time of his birth in the US, then your son is
automatically a British citizen, in addition to automatically being a US citizen. No
action is needed on your part to activate his British citizenship or to have it
conferred upon him.

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To follow this up, the US State Department's website has a page on dual nationality
at: http://travel.state.gov/dualnationality.html

In the second paragraph they specifically state that US law does not require a dual
citizen to choose one citizenship or another. As stated above, there is a belief by
many Americans that a US citizen must make a choice when reaching the age of
majority, and it's not true. Some other countries do require a choice (Japan, for
instance, allows dual nationality for children, but requires adults to choose one
nationality). Neither Britain nor the US requires such a choice

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As a side note, Britain doesn't absolutely require that a British citizen MUST enter
on a British passport if he is entitled to hold a passport from another country.
Entering with a British passport is normally quicker since EU citizens tend to be
admitted to the UK with fewer, if any, questions by an immigration officer.

Also, if entering the UK to do something that is restricted only to certain people
based on their nationality (residing, or working there), a person should enter on a
British or EU passport, or have a passport with the proper immigration
authorizations. Otherwise, that person will have to lie to the immigration officer
and say he's only visiting (not a good idea to lie), or face a lot of questions and
potentially be denied admission because of insufficient proof that he is eligible to
perform what he is intending to do.

You could have a Certificate of Entitlement placed in his US passport. This would
be sufficient proof to UK authorities that he is exempt from immigration controls
in the UK. But to my knowledge it's more expensive than simply getting him a
British passport.

(snip)

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If we go by the book, Britain taxes people who are domiciled in the UK, which is not
100% the same as people who live there, but for all intents and purposes of this
document, you're correct. As you state, they do also tax non-domiciled persons who
have UK sourced income, but only on that UK income.

Stephen Gallagher
 
Old Nov 7th 2001, 4:46 pm   #5
Stephen Gallagher
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"Shelley" <ksfraser@uniontel.net>
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Unlike Canada, where a child born abroad to a Canadian parent must obtain a
Certificate of Canadian Citizenship aka a "Citizenship Card", before being issued any
other document like a passport, etc, Britain does not require this.

The original poster would simply be able to get his child a British passport by
submitting the child's full birth certificate (listing the parent's names), the
parent's marriage certificate, and proof that he is a British citizen other than by
descent (normally a British passport listing a birth place in the UK would suffice).

Stephen Gallagher
 
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