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British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Old Dec 17th 2019, 6:58 am
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Default British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

I don't even like to bring up the 'B' word, but it got me thinking about my two children. They're currently just under ten - their mother is French, I'm English, they were born in France and French is their first language. I'd always assumed when they were older they could easily live more or less where they wanted in Europe including the UK if they chose to go there. Brexit or no Brexit, would their status as British by descent still entitle them to move easily to the UK when they are older? They probably never would, but I don't want to limit their options... If the question is up in the air, could it be made more secure by applying for them to have British passports now (they currently have French ones)?
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 8:55 am
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

As I understand it (I hope some expert like BritinParis will confirm) the child of a British citizen, even born abroad, is automatically also British.
(For people born overseas to a british mother before 1983 it's a bit more complicated, but your children obviously don't come into that category, I mention it only for accuracy).

So the children have the same right as any other British citizen to move to, and live in, Britain.

However, they do of course need their British passports to do so—you should apply for them without delay. Whatever you think the future might hold, it's worth physically having every passport that one is entitled to! (And given Brexit, it may make it easier for them even just to visit Britain in the future if they have their British passports).

I didn't get around to applying for my own children's British passports (born abroad of British mother) and they had to do it when they were adults; it was straightforward, but a nuisance, and I'd advise you to avoid my mistake, do it now, and keep the passports up to date.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Talk to the British embassy in Paris.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Thanks Between Two Worlds and Cyrian. That was my understanding of things, but given the unpredictability of how quickly things can change, I didn't want to bank on it always being the case.

Cyrian - it's probably the best idea. I've just sent them an email.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

I'd get the passports anyway to establish a permanent record of their rights to a British passport - futureproofing them somewhat if you like.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Credit to the British embassy, they did respond very quickly : "While we would like to be able to help you with your enquiry, British embassies and consulates are not able to advise on matters related to British nationality or obtaining citizenship."

I have to direct my enquiry to the British Home Office.

Petitefrancaise - it seems like the best call.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

This is the information the website provides; I include it in case this thread becomes useful for anyone else in the same boat :
British citizenship is normally automatically passed down one generation to children born outside the UK.

For example, you might automatically become a citizen if you’re born outside the UK to a British parent. But your children will not automatically be citizens if they’re born outside the UK.

If you’re not automatically a citizen, you may be eligible to apply to ‘register’ as one.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Originally Posted by G-J-B View Post
This is the information the website provides; I include it in case this thread becomes useful for anyone else in the same boat :
I don't see any urgency for you to obtain your children's British passports, since they're not going to be moving to the UK in the near future. Brexit will have no effect on British nationality law, if they're British by descent now they'll remain so after Brexit.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

I'm not too concerned. It's just the question mark over the use of "normally", which makes me wonder what caveats there are. The hardening up of border control and immigration policies also makes me wonder if things could change in the future. Even laws aren't sacrosanct for time immemorial.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Originally Posted by G-J-B View Post
I'm not too concerned. It's just the question mark over the use of "normally", which makes me wonder what caveats there are. The hardening up of border control and immigration policies also makes me wonder if things could change in the future. Even laws aren't sacrosanct for time immemorial.
I was just pointing out that British nationality law has nothing to do with the EU or Brexit, in the hope of easing any concern you have about your children's options being limited in the future. It's up to you whether or not you get their passports now, but if they are currently British by descent that will not change.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

It's a fair point, I had said the same thing to my wife. I figured getting a child's passport around the ages of 15 would be better, otherwise I'd have the expense now, it would be unused, only to update it in 5 years time... I'll see what the Home Office says. I'd like them to have the UK passport, but I don't want to make a knee-jerk reaction just because of the shenanigans going on at the moment.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Originally Posted by G-J-B View Post
This is the information the website provides; I include it in case this thread becomes useful for anyone else in the same boat :
Hi,
When mine were born (last century), I had them registered at the British Consulate. No idea whether this made any difference when they applied for UK Passports, but it can't do any harm.
The link confirms what I realised quite recently, that they can't pass down their British citizenship (from me) to any children, since they were born outside of the UK.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Registering a birth at the Consulate means that in future they can order copies from relevant office in London/Edinburgh/Belfast.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Thanks DMU and Scott47. DMU, you make your children sound ancient already!s

Yes, you can register a birth at the consulate, but it's not actually necessary in order to get a UK passport. Maybe it speeds things along, I don't know. Scott, I think if you need a copy or translation made, it might be easier as you say.
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Old Dec 17th 2019, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: British by descent - do I need get British passports for my children?

Originally Posted by G-J-B View Post
Thanks DMU and Scott47. DMU, you make your children sound ancient already!s

Yes, you can register a birth at the consulate, but it's not actually necessary in order to get a UK passport. Maybe it speeds things along, I don't know. Scott, I think if you need a copy or translation made, it might be easier as you say.
I'm ancient, myself!!
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