Passing on British citizenship - the the UK forum

Old May 12th 2017, 3:19 pm
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Default Passing on British citizenship - the the UK forum

Hi there,

I read an interesting thread on British nationality from this forum which is what brought me here to ask if anyone might be able advise on my particular case.

My partner (a Portuguese national, previously working in the UK), and I (a British citizen) will be becoming parents with the birth of our first child in Portugal in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, I've been told today that our daughter will not be able to have British nationality as I am apparently only British by descent. This is because I was born in the US to a British father. The fact that I came to the UK when I was a baby, was raised in the UK, and have lived (and worked) 99% of my life in the UK as a British citizen is irrelevant apparently because I wasn't born there.
British nationality can only be transmitted by descent once and not twice, and therefore I apparently can't transmit it to my daughter.

I'm trying to see if there is any way around this, to effectively give my daughter dual nationality. It's too late for us to think about having the birth in the UK.
Perhaps I can take a British citizenship test? Could this make me British other than by descent? Or maybe I can show my birth certificate which was registered by the British consulate in the US. I remember my parents telling me I had effectively two birth certificates - one US, one UK...
I am a British citizen afterall and it would be a shame if I can't share my nationality with my daughter.

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old May 12th 2017, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Hi and welcome to British Expats.

To be quite honest with you, I'm not sure where to direct you to have this question answered but I know it has come up from time to time since this is an expat forum

May I suggest that after you have a read of the site rules for posting, that you venture into the USA general forum and ask this question and perhaps post it in the Moving BAck to the UK forum's citizenship and immigration forum.

We have a wonderful poster here, BritInParis, who is our resident expert on all things regarding conferring citizenships. I'm sure he will see your post and offer assistance.

Good luck to you and congratulations to you and your partner on the upcoming birth.

Just a postscript: I don't believe you are eligible to pass on your US citizenship to your daughter either. This is another avenue that you need to find answers for as well.

Last edited by Rete; May 12th 2017 at 3:26 pm.
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Old May 12th 2017, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Yes.... post in Moving Back to UK section and Brit in Paris will give you all the info you need as to how to get your child British Citizenship.

There are various ways of registering/certifying your child based on your stay in the UK.
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Old May 12th 2017, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

If you spent more than three years continuously living in the UK (upto 90 days per year absence is permitted) before the birth of your child then then you can pass on British citizenship to your child.

So far as I understand the rules, this is a one-generation concession, so your child will not be able to pull off the same trick by returning to the UK for three years before the birth of any children they have.

As mentioned above, BritinParis will be able to fill in the details, or correct me if I am wrong.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 12th 2017 at 9:39 pm.
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Old May 14th 2017, 9:22 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Which year were you born and what was your parents' employment at the time of your birth?
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Old May 18th 2017, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Which year were you born and what was your parents' employment at the time of your birth?
1985.
Dad was a university teaching assistant.
Mum wasn't working.
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Old May 19th 2017, 7:51 am
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Originally Posted by ludo85 View Post
1985.
Dad was a university teaching assistant.
Mum wasn't working.
Okay, so you are British by descent. Unless one of your parents was in Crown, EEC or designated service at the time of your birth then this status is fixed. You cannot retrospectively change it. As such you have a couple of options:

1. Have your partner give birth in the UK or a qualifying territory - the former you have already understandably ruled out given the distance but for the latter you could consider Gibraltar. This would mean that your daughter would be automatically British by birth and able to pass on her citizenship to her own children regardless of where they were born (British otherwise than by descent).

2. Your partner gives birth in Portugal as planned. Your daughter won't be entitled to British citizenship automatically but you have two registration options available to you before she turns 18:

a) Section 3(2) registration, for which the British parent needs to have spent at least three consecutive years in the UK before the child's birth. This would give your daughter British citizenship by descent. This status would be fixed and she would not be able to repeat the same procedure for any of her own children who were born outside the UK.

b) Section 3(5) registration, for which the child and the British parent need to reside together in the UK for three consecutive years. This would give daughter British citizenship otherwise than by descent and her own children would be automatically British citizens regardless of where they were born.

The current cost of registration is £973.
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Old May 21st 2017, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship - the the UK forum

Many thanks BritinParis and Pulaski! A relief that I still have these two options. Daughter was born last week so that rules out the possibility of Gibraltar (nonetheless that could be useful to bear in mind for another day ;-))

So in summary I have up to 18 years to register her for British citizenship. My inclination is to it during our next visits to the UK within the coming months. This would mean she is like me British by descent.
On second thoughts, allowing for the possibility that we all spend three or more years living in the UK in the next 18 years, registering later could give her better British citizenship (ironic that she could get British citizenship otherwise than by descent and I can't. Makes me wonder about my own citizenship. I only got my first UK passport when I was in my young teens after having lived in UK for more than 12 years) ...
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Old May 22nd 2017, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship - the the UK forum

Originally Posted by ludo85 View Post
Many thanks BritinParis and Pulaski! A relief that I still have these two options. Daughter was born last week so that rules out the possibility of Gibraltar (nonetheless that could be useful to bear in mind for another day ;-))

So in summary I have up to 18 years to register her for British citizenship. My inclination is to it during our next visits to the UK within the coming months. This would mean she is like me British by descent.
You can apply for her registration from Portugal. It is likely to take several months to process so it's not something you could arrange whilst on a holiday.

On second thoughts, allowing for the possibility that we all spend three or more years living in the UK in the next 18 years, registering later could give her better British citizenship (ironic that she could get British citizenship otherwise than by descent and I can't. Makes me wonder about my own citizenship. I only got my first UK passport when I was in my young teens after having lived in UK for more than 12 years) ...
She has options as she is not currently a British citizen whereas you are. You cannot 'upgrade' your status through registration.
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Old Oct 16th 2017, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Good day,

I have a similar but different situation. My biological father (who is now deceased) was born in Canada to British parents but they moved back to the UK when he was a baby. He grew up in Scotland and moved to South Africa (where I was born in 1991).

He was not born in Scotland but lived there most of his life. Do I not qualify for British citizenship by descent due to a technicality of his birth place?

Even though he was a Scott through and through?
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Old Oct 16th 2017, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Originally Posted by gracie91 View Post
Good day,

I have a similar but different situation. My biological father (who is now deceased) was born in Canada to British parents but they moved back to the UK when he was a baby. He grew up in Scotland and moved to South Africa (where I was born in 1991).

He was not born in Scotland but lived there most of his life. Do I not qualify for British citizenship by descent due to a technicality of his birth place?

Even though he was a Scott through and through?
You were eligible to register as a British citizen whilst you were under 18 but you have now missed that window of opportunity. You would still be eligible for an ancestry visa however so providing you are willing and able to work in the UK for at least five years then you could then naturalise as a British citizen in your own right.
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Old Oct 16th 2017, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Originally Posted by gracie91 View Post
Good day,

I have a similar but different situation. My biological father (who is now deceased) was born in Canada to British parents but they moved back to the UK when he was a baby. He grew up in Scotland and moved to South Africa (where I was born in 1991).

He was not born in Scotland but lived there most of his life. Do I not qualify for British citizenship by descent due to a technicality of his birth place?

Even though he was a Scott through and through?
As the above has mentioned the Ancestry visa is the best way to go. It's also worth pointing out in case you didn't realise, but your also a Canadian citizen.
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Old Oct 17th 2017, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship - the the UK forum

Thank you for your response BritinParis,

We would have gone that route before I was 18 but as my parents never married and my father was the British citizen, I couldn't receive British citizenship even if we had gone the section 3(2) route as I was born before 2006.

I see that provisions are made since the law change in 2015 for those who would have become British citizens if their parents were married, under section 3(2). I am not sure if this is true or makes sense? I see it is called section 4(F) under the Immigration Act of 2014 chapter 22.

Last edited by gracie91; Oct 17th 2017 at 6:55 am.
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Old Oct 17th 2017, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship - the the UK forum

Originally Posted by gracie91 View Post
Thank you for your response BritinParis,

We would have gone that route before I was 18 but as my parents never married and my father was the British citizen, I couldn't receive British citizenship even if we had gone the section 3(2) route as I was born before 2006.

I see that provisions are made since the law change in 2015 for those who would have become British citizens if their parents were married, under section 3(2). I am not sure if this is true or makes sense? I see it is called section 4(F) under the Immigration Act of 2014 chapter 22.
That's correct but my understanding is that you would still need to be under 18 at the time of application to qualify for registration under Section 4F.

An UK Ancestry visa on either your South African or (preferably) Canadian passport would be the way to go if you wanted to live and work in the UK.
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Old Mar 27th 2018, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Passing on British citizenship

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Okay, so you are British by descent. Unless one of your parents was in Crown, EEC or designated service at the time of your birth then this status is fixed. You cannot retrospectively change it. As such you have a couple of options:

1. Have your partner give birth in the UK or a qualifying territory - the former you have already understandably ruled out given the distance but for the latter you could consider Gibraltar. This would mean that your daughter would be automatically British by birth and able to pass on her citizenship to her own children regardless of where they were born (British otherwise than by descent).

2. Your partner gives birth in Portugal as planned. Your daughter won't be entitled to British citizenship automatically but you have two registration options available to you before she turns 18:

a) Section 3(2) registration, for which the British parent needs to have spent at least three consecutive years in the UK before the child's birth. This would give your daughter British citizenship by descent. This status would be fixed and she would not be able to repeat the same procedure for any of her own children who were born outside the UK.

b) Section 3(5) registration, for which the child and the British parent need to reside together in the UK for three consecutive years. This would give daughter British citizenship otherwise than by descent and her own children would be automatically British citizens regardless of where they were born.

The current cost of registration is £973.
Apologies for bringing up a really old thread but you seem to know your stuff so I wanted to ask the question if that's ok!

In regards to point (a) in your above post, is 'registration' as a British citizen the same as receiving a passport? I.E. if I register my baby as a British citizen (born outside the UK to a Brit-by-descent) will they receive the British passport or is 'registration' a certificate of some kind?

Thank you
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