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How to determine if biological father is a British citizen

How to determine if biological father is a British citizen

Old Sep 26th 2022, 8:48 am
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Default How to determine if biological father is a British citizen

Hi, I have a very complicated and emotionally charged case, but I'll try to be as brief as possible.

I was born in the United States in 2002 to a South African mother and an American father, whom I'll call 'John'. I later discovered that John is the father of my older sister, but my mum divorced him in 1997. I am the product of her subsequent relationship with a man I'll call 'Giuseppe', an Italian national who worked in London and then New York. My mother's relationship with Giuseppe broke down during her pregnancy and he encouraged my mother to abort. My mother evidently refused and sought to cut off all contact. John, who had recently lost a child from an earlier marriage, agreed to serve as my father. My mother did not rekindle her relationship with him; I was merely told that they had divorced shortly after my birth. Giuseppe was at this point irrelevant, although he did try to contact me through my nanny (I was ~2-3).

In 2006, my family moved to the UAE, where my mum married a British citizen. I attended British international schools, followed by boarding school in England and am now at university in America. Despite only holding American and South African passports, I have regarded myself as British for as long as I can recall. A few years ago, I found out that Giuseppe, not John, was my true father. I have started a paternity suit in the relevant jurisdiction, with the full support and funding of my family. I regard John as my 'true' father; my chief interest is to obtain EU - and, if possible, British - citizenship. If my lawyer is to be believed, I should be an Italian citizen in about 18 months' time, which aligns with my graduation timeline and would allow me to move the Continent.

Now, some Companies House records list my biological father as a British citizen; others list him as Italian. This makes sense, since he worked in the City for a number of years in the 1990s. If he is British, he must have naturalised before my birth, meaning I can register as a British citizen by descent under Form UKF once my paternity suit has been resolved and my birth certificate amended.

My question, then, is how can I determine if he's British? I have thought of filing Form NQ in his name, but I am not legally allowed to do this. I have no near-term plans to live in the UK, and in any case, I am eligible for the Ancestry visa through my mum; this would simply serve as a way to 'substantiate' my Britishness.

Last edited by PossibleBrit; Sep 26th 2022 at 9:48 am.
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Old Sep 26th 2022, 9:33 am
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Default Re: How to determine if biological father is a British citizen

Practically speaking you would need Giuseppe’s full cooperation to claim your British citizenship, presuming Giuseppe himself did actually naturalise prior to your birth.

If that’s not a possibility and you have a maternal grandparent born in the UK then this might be a better route to explore given the recent changes in legislation.
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Old Sep 26th 2022, 9:46 am
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Default Re: How to determine if biological father is a British citizen

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Practically speaking you would need Giuseppe’s full cooperation to claim your British citizenship, presuming Giuseppe himself did actually naturalise prior to your birth.

If that’s not a possibility and you have a maternal grandparent born in the UK then this might be a better route to explore given the recent changes in legislation.
Thank you. Perhaps this is a question for my lawyer, but is there any way to compel him to be fully co-operative?

As for the Ancestry visa, my maternal grandmother was born in Kent in 1947 and left for South Africa in the early 50s. My mum was born in South Africa in 1969. I suppose she's eligible for British citizenship, but as far as I know, she has never claimed it. Do I have a claim?
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Old Sep 27th 2022, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: How to determine if biological father is a British citizen

Originally Posted by PossibleBrit View Post
Thank you. Perhaps this is a question for my lawyer, but is there any way to compel him to be fully co-operative?
I think it unlikely to compel him to assist you without a court order and I don’t see a basis for one to be granted.

As for the Ancestry visa, my maternal grandmother was born in Kent in 1947 and left for South Africa in the early 50s. My mum was born in South Africa in 1969. I suppose she's eligible for British citizenship, but as far as I know, she has never claimed it. Do I have a claim?
Did your mother spend any period of time in the UK prior to your birth?
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