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Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Old Feb 11th 2009, 4:04 pm
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Default Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

I've read the UKinUSA website and searched here not found the exact answer so maybe I can ask for some help.

First a pre-question. I believe my status is UK National by decent as I was born in Portugal to British parents. I've only lived in the UK for ~2 years when I was 8-10 YO. Where can I verify this is my status? i.e. is it on my passport somewhere?

Assuming I am a national by decent can I get UK citizenship for my soon to be born son? From what I've read online so far it seems that I can not. Background info if it's helpful. Wife is Canadian, I have duel US/UK, lived in the US since 10 YO, born in Portugal.

I think the best I could do is get him into the UK when he's older on British ancetry but that would only allow him to work 5 years and he'd then have to pursure citizenship on his own after 6 years IIRC. My goal would be to get him UK citizenship up front so he could work anywhere in the EU. Also, if it helps we plan to get him both US and Canadian citizenship too. Any thoughs or comments welcome.

Thanks,
Tony
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Old Feb 11th 2009, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by Bigfork View Post
I was born in Portugal
Just thinking outside the box a little, but does that make you Portugese? Could you pass Portugese citizenship to your child and still ensure the right to work in the EU?

Those are questions I don't know the answer to, but might be worth looking up.

As far as your ability to pass on UK citizenship, I think the info you've gathered so far is pretty accurate.
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Old Feb 11th 2009, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

From what I know a parent who is citizen of the UK by decent can pass on citizenship to a child if the parent can prove that they have lived in the UK for 3 or more years.

You do have the option of not registering your son while in the US and waiting to move to the UK to live for a while and then registering him there.
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Old Feb 11th 2009, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by hobbes79 View Post
Just thinking outside the box a little, but does that make you Portugese? Could you pass Portugese citizenship to your child and still ensure the right to work in the EU?
Good thinking! Hadn't considered that. While I haven't checked into it I suppose I could claim Portuguese nationality. The only issue is that if I do I wonder how they'll like the fact that I skipped out on their mandatory miltary service when I was 18. That and the fact I can't speak Portuguese I'll check into it with the help of a friend in Portugal (since I'm guessing their info isn't conveniently translated into English for me).

Originally Posted by bromleygirl View Post
From what I know a parent who is citizen of the UK by decent can pass on citizenship to a child if the parent can prove that they have lived in the UK for 3 or more years.
I saw that too but I wonder what they require as proof? If it's school records I only have two years of schooling to show for in the UK. If I can use my parent's ownership of a house that might work as they rented it out after we left for a couple years so the house title should show my parents as owning it for more than three years.

Tony
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 3:37 am
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

From: http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/bri...utcitizenship/

"...But any children born outside the United Kingdom will be British citizens by descent, and cannot normally pass their citizenship to their own children born abroad. However, they can register their children as British citizens in certain circumstances."
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by cranners99 View Post
But any children born outside the United Kingdom will be British citizens by descent, and cannot normally pass their citizenship to their own children born abroad. However, they can register their children as British citizens in certain circumstances."
That was my understanding of it too.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by Bigfork View Post
Good thinking! Hadn't considered that. While I haven't checked into it I suppose I could claim Portuguese nationality. The only issue is that if I do I wonder how they'll like the fact that I skipped out on their mandatory miltary service when I was 18. That and the fact I can't speak Portuguese I'll check into it with the help of a friend in Portugal (since I'm guessing their info isn't conveniently translated into English for me).



I saw that too but I wonder what they require as proof? If it's school records I only have two years of schooling to show for in the UK. If I can use my parent's ownership of a house that might work as they rented it out after we left for a couple years so the house title should show my parents as owning it for more than three years.

Tony
Hi:

There are two grand theories of citizenship -- jus soli which is based upon where you are born and jus sanquinis which is based upon descent [blood relation].

The "majority rule" in the world is jus sanqunis with the "minority" being jus soli. However, among that minority are both the US and the UK. However, both countries have exceptions which are based on jus sanquinis. In the United States, jus soli was firmly ensconced in the US Constitution by post Civil War 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The "uniform law of naturalization" clause in the Constitution allows Congress to expand beyond that.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Thanks for all the replies, it is very much appreciated.

Seems like my son will get US and Canadian but the best I'll be able to do EU-wise is a 5 year work visa in the UK through "British by ancestry".

I looked into Portugal and found this on Wikipedia (I know, not the best resource but at least written in English):
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
In general a child born in Portugal to foreign parents is not entitled to Portuguese citizenship unless the parents have lived in Portugal for 10 years with valid residence permits.
My parents were there for a total of 10 years and I was born on their second year there. So not sure if they count 10 years living there before the child is born or just total time in Portugal. Could be useable if the latter since that would give me and my son automatic Portuguese citizenship and therefore EU.

My only other recourse is to claim I lived in the UK for 3 years as a child based on my parent's ownership of a house but again I don't know what they require as proof of residency. In that case I could pass British by decent on to my son.

This is a lot of work. I think I should just instill him with a desire to work abroad somewhere and let him figure it out

Tony
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by Bigfork View Post

This is a lot of work. I think I should just instill him with a desire to work abroad somewhere and let him figure it out

Tony
The only problem with that is that by the time people figure out that they have that desire, they've aged past the time they can do anything about it. If you can, it's much easier to sort out now.

I'm reminded of a story in yesterday's paper about people trying to meet the new US passport requirement (Coming June 1!) for the land border crossings where they have always used a birth certificate and DL. People who were born in the US but delivered by certain midwives are having their US citizenship challenged and in cases where the applicant is 40+ years old, the witnesses and other records have expired.
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Old Feb 13th 2009, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by Bigfork View Post
My only other recourse is to claim I lived in the UK for 3 years as a child based on my parent's ownership of a house but again I don't know what they require as proof of residency. In that case I could pass British by decent on to my son.
But you didn't live in the U.K. for 3 years! - so you say earlier.

You need a period of 3 years and absences in that period of no more than 270 days. Evidence : school records, letters from British citizens who knew you, etc.

For Portuguese nationality issues : you probably need a Portuguese lawyer.

Any plans to move to the U.K. - if so, your son could be registered as a British citizen that way.

You should console yourself that if your son grows up in the United States, he will more than likely identify first and foremost as an American, anyway.
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Old Feb 13th 2009, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
But you didn't live in the U.K. for 3 years! - so you say earlier.

You need a period of 3 years and absences in that period of no more than 270 days. Evidence : school records, letters from British citizens who knew you, etc.
Correct, 2 years and one month. Frustratingly only 60 days off when you consider the 270 absence clause I had no idea how the UK would determine residency so my question was if they'd take ownership of a house in the UK as proof since our family owned it for a couple years after moving to the US (since we thought the US assignment would be a short one). This is of course not on the level since I wasn't actually living there at the time. Depends on the UK bureaucracy. I've dealt we a few gov't bureaucracies that were very lax and as long as you could provide enough proof that it wouldn't get that specific clerk in trouble with his/her supervisor it was just fine. On the other hand, if the UK is going to strap my 5th year teacher to a chair and shine a bright light into her eyes to question my schooling this approach it's going to work nor will I try it.

For Portuguese nationality issues : you probably need a Portuguese lawyer.
Yes, I agree. I'd never be able to navigate this process without someone in the know and more importantly knowing the language.

Any plans to move to the U.K. - if so, your son could be registered as a British citizen that way.
As in move there to deliver him there? No but we might've considered it if there weren't serious medical complications with him (long story, not for this forum).

You should console yourself that if your son grows up in the United States, he will more than likely identify first and foremost as an American, anyway.
True. As I mentioned earlier this is all probably way overkill. My wife and I plan to take some assignments abroad over the coming years when our children are growing up. That should expose them enough to life outside the US and hopefully enough that they aren't apprehensive trying it themselves when they get out in the world. Not to generalize Americans but I see quite often people who haven't travelled outside of their 3-4 state area nor wanting to

Thanks for all the help everyone,
Tony
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Old Feb 13th 2009, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Any plans to move to the U.K. - if so, your son could be registered as a British citizen that way.

You should console yourself that if your son grows up in the United States, he will more than likely identify first and foremost as an American, anyway.
I called the Home Office - UK border agency the other day and they said even though my children had been living back in the UK for over 4 years they would never be considered British otherwise by descent - they would always be by descent because they had been born abroad. For them to pass citizenship to their children if born abroad they will need to make application and prove that they had lived at some point in their lives in the UK for at least 3 years.
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Old Feb 15th 2009, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by Bigfork View Post
Correct, 2 years and one month. Frustratingly only 60 days off when you consider the 270 absence clause I had no idea how the UK would determine residency so my question was if they'd take ownership of a house in the UK as proof since our family owned it for a couple years after moving to the US (since we thought the US assignment would be a short one). This is of course not on the level since I wasn't actually living there at the time. Depends on the UK bureaucracy. I've dealt we a few gov't bureaucracies that were very lax and as long as you could provide enough proof that it wouldn't get that specific clerk in trouble with his/her supervisor it was just fine. On the other hand, if the UK is going to strap my 5th year teacher to a chair and shine a bright light into her eyes to question my schooling this approach it's going to work nor will I try it.

Chapter 10 of the Nationality Instructions explains:
http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/pol...ctions/nivol1/



As in move there to deliver him there? No but we might've considered it if there weren't serious medical complications with him (long story, not for this forum).
No ... if you bring him to live in the U.K. for 3 years then he can be registered British (otherwise than by descent).

But if you move to the U.K. and don't return to the U.S. then there might be issues with him not being able to pass on his American citizenship.

He's also a Canadian citizen by descent, and under new Canadian rules from April, that won't pass on any further to non-Canadian born children (again, unless they are brought to Canada to live).

One further thing to remember, is that the restriction on passing on British citizenship only applies to the next generation if born outside the U.K. In other words, if you son has a child born in Britain => that child will be British.

True. As I mentioned earlier this is all probably way overkill. My wife and I plan to take some assignments abroad over the coming years when our children are growing up. That should expose them enough to life outside the US and hopefully enough that they aren't apprehensive trying it themselves when they get out in the world. Not to generalize Americans but I see quite often people who haven't travelled outside of their 3-4 state area nor wanting to

Thanks for all the help everyone,
Tony
It's tough to get three nationalities ... tougher still to ensure they can all be passed on.
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Old Feb 15th 2009, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by bromleygirl View Post
I called the Home Office - UK border agency the other day and they said even though my children had been living back in the UK for over 4 years they would never be considered British otherwise by descent - they would always be by descent because they had been born abroad.
Correct. Note that if parent is in "Crown Service" or similar, child is deemed to have been born in Britain (for nationality purposes).

For them to pass citizenship to their children if born abroad they will need to make application and prove that they had lived at some point in their lives in the UK for at least 3 years.
True, and there are two additional requirements for section 3(2) registration:
- application made within 12 months of birth; and
- the British parent in turn has a British (otherwise than by descent) parent, ie this only works for the second generation born overseas.

If the child did not have another nationality at birth, the 3 year residence period is waived.

There is the alternative of section 3(5) registration where child lives in Britain with family for 3 years and applies for registration before age 18, this gives British citizenship otherwise than by descent.
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Old Apr 23rd 2009, 5:45 am
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Default Re: Citizen By Decent and Children's Eligibility

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Correct. Note that if parent is in "Crown Service" or similar, child is deemed to have been born in Britain (for nationality purposes).



True, and there are two additional requirements for section 3(2) registration:
- application made within 12 months of birth; and
- the British parent in turn has a British (otherwise than by descent) parent, ie this only works for the second generation born overseas.

If the child did not have another nationality at birth, the 3 year residence period is waived.

There is the alternative of section 3(5) registration where child lives in Britain with family for 3 years and applies for registration before age 18, this gives British citizenship otherwise than by descent.
I'm wondering as both my children are dual UK/US, born in the US, have been living back in the UK for the last 4 years and are still under 18. Can I apply for registration for them both to change their status from by decent to otherwise by decent??
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