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Citizenship for Baby

Citizenship for Baby

Old Feb 7th 2012, 12:58 am
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Default Citizenship for Baby

Hi - I'm looking for some guidance on dual-citizenship (American/British) for my 2 week-old son who was born in the USA to me (British father) and my wife (American mother).

As I understand it, he is automatically both a US citizen and a British citizen (by descent). In terms of documentation, we are currently awaiting his US birth certificate.

What paperwork will we need to apply for in order to get a British passport (in addition to a US passport) and can we do this all locally in the US? Would we need a British equivalent of the US birth certificate, or can we just get a British passport without it?

Finally - are there any disadvantages to such a dual-citizenship for him?

Thankyou!
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=747377


http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=745606
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 1:32 am
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Originally Posted by Ferrino View Post
Finally - are there any disadvantages to such a dual-citizenship for him?
Interesting question.

For the US citizenship, any answer is moot because only he can renounce it, and he'll need to be 18 to so do. You may find some ideas in http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pros_a...US_Citizenship , though this is for those voluntarily taking US citizenship.

Similarly, British citizenship also requires the applicant to be 18. However, if you fail to register his birth or apply for a passport, the UK government has no idea he is citizen.
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 3:43 am
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Congrats!

FB pointed out a couple of the numerous threads on the subject.

You don't need to do anything as far as Brit stuff is concerned, plenty of threads on the pro/cons to registering birth with UK consulate, but I think that's worth going and hold off on getting actual copy of the certificate and the UK passport unless you plan on moving back to the UK soon.

Mainly because the certificate is expensive as is getting a UK passport from within the US, much cheaper to get it done while in the UK when over on a holiday, especially as the baby would need a US passport to travel anyway.
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

To get a UK passport for your son, you'll need his "long form" US birth cert and your UK birth cert.

The long form US birth cert will have details of the parents. My daughter was born in Maryland and they sent her short form Maryland birth cert by default. This was useless in terms of getting her a UK passport because it did not have details of the parents. We then had to apply for the long form Maryland birth cert for the UK passport application.

You can also do consular birth registration for your son through the UK Embassy in Washington DC.

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...tering-a-birth

This is not required (your son is a UK citizen regardless and can obtain a UK passport without it) but many people feel that it is advantageous because he can more easily document his UK citizenship in later life by simply obtaining a copy of his own consular birth cert. As part of consular birth registration you can get a consular birth cert through the UK Embassy (expensive) or through the General Register Office (GRO) in the UK (less expensive; although this 2nd option is only available from the September following the year of registration). This birth cert can be used to obtain a UK passport for your son on its own (i.e. your birth cert is not required).

There are more advantages than disadvantages to dual citizenship e.g. your son will have the right to live and work in the EU. One disadvantage of dual US/UK citizenship is if your son pursues a career with either government in a position where absolute loyalty to that country is required (e.g. the security services). In that case his dual citizenship (and perceived split loyalty) might hurt him. Overall though I think the advantages of dual citizenship far outweigh the disadvantages.

As Bob said, your son will need to have a US passport because US citizens are required to leave/enter the US on a US passport. The UK has no such restrictions for its citizens so it's possible for your son to travel only on a US passport for now (including to/from the UK). So you could hold off on a UK passport for now because it's expensive to obtain from the US and he'd only be eligible for a 5-year passport until he reaches 16. His UK citizenship is not affected by him not carrying a UK passport.

Last edited by MarylandNed; Feb 7th 2012 at 2:25 pm.
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

I am a dual US/UK citizen (born in the US to British Parents).
The only other downside (unavoidable) is that as a US citizen he is required to file US taxes and report any non-US bank accounts each year (FBAR). This isn't so much a disadvantage of being a dual citizen, just a result of being a US citizen...
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
I am a dual US/UK citizen (born in the US to British Parents).
The only other downside (unavoidable) is that as a US citizen he is required to file US taxes and report any non-US bank accounts each year (FBAR). This isn't so much a disadvantage of being a dual citizen, just a result of being a US citizen...
Right - that and a few other things (e.g. registering for selective service) are disadvantages for someone considering US citizenship to think about. It's not something the OP's son can do much about as he's a US citizen by birth (unless he feels strongly enough about it to renounce US citizenship in later life).
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Right - that and a few other things (e.g. registering for selective service) are disadvantages for someone considering US citizenship to think about. It's not something the OP's son can do much about as he's a US citizen by birth (unless he feels strongly enough about it to renounce US citizenship in later life).
Right. It's unavoidable. Worth knowing though, as my parents didn't know any of this and nor did I. I lived in the UK until I was 27 and didn't have a US passport until that time (never even considered myself American). In my case it bit me in the butt in the form of a fairly hefty fine from the IRS for failure to file FBARs...
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
Right. It's unavoidable. Worth knowing though, as my parents didn't know any of this and nor did I. I lived in the UK until I was 27 and didn't have a US passport until that time (never even considered myself American). In my case it bit me in the butt in the form of a fairly hefty fine from the IRS for failure to file FBARs...
Ouch!
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Ouch!
Yep!
The most painful thing was that it was only a paperwork exercise. I wasn't avoiding paying tax, I didn't owe any money for that period, I was simply being fined because I didn't know I was meant to file a form each year saying; Hey, I have money in the UK.

I like to highlight it as I wouldn't want anyone else to fall into that trap. It's not much fun, cost me a lot of money (fine and CPA fees) and a lot of time. They used it as an excuse to audit me on 7 years worth of accounts... (Nothing came of the audit, I hadn't avoided paying anything - just wanted to clarify that )
I wouldn't wish it on anyone, and I got off fairly lightly in the grand scheme of things...
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Old Feb 8th 2012, 3:05 am
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
To get a UK passport for your son, you'll need his "long form" US birth cert and your UK birth cert.

The long form US birth cert will have details of the parents. My daughter was born in Maryland and they sent her short form Maryland birth cert by default. This was useless in terms of getting her a UK passport because it did not have details of the parents. We then had to apply for the long form Maryland birth cert for the UK passport application.

You can also do consular birth registration for your son through the UK Embassy in Washington DC.

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...tering-a-birth

This is not required (your son is a UK citizen regardless and can obtain a UK passport without it) but many people feel that it is advantageous because he can more easily document his UK citizenship in later life by simply obtaining a copy of his own consular birth cert. As part of consular birth registration you can get a consular birth cert through the UK Embassy (expensive) or through the General Register Office (GRO) in the UK (less expensive; although this 2nd option is only available from the September following the year of registration). This birth cert can be used to obtain a UK passport for your son on its own (i.e. your birth cert is not required).

There are more advantages than disadvantages to dual citizenship e.g. your son will have the right to live and work in the EU. One disadvantage of dual US/UK citizenship is if your son pursues a career with either government in a position where absolute loyalty to that country is required (e.g. the security services). In that case his dual citizenship (and perceived split loyalty) might hurt him. Overall though I think the advantages of dual citizenship far outweigh the disadvantages.

As Bob said, your son will need to have a US passport because US citizens are required to leave/enter the US on a US passport. The UK has no such restrictions for its citizens so it's possible for your son to travel only on a US passport for now (including to/from the UK). So you could hold off on a UK passport for now because it's expensive to obtain from the US and he'd only be eligible for a 5-year passport until he reaches 16. His UK citizenship is not affected by him not carrying a UK passport.
Hi, this is correct because I already got the consular birth registration certificate for my little daughter who is British subject by descent. Its registration number is included. Application process is quite easy and straightforward by providing detail of one of parents who must be British citizen. I would recommend that to anyone because it will make less complicated for future UK passport.

Pro & Con about dual citizenship, I can't think of what except I know some countries like Thailand I live in will not accept the dual citizenship. In order to tackle that situation, it is simple when to enter UK using UK passport & when to enter Thailand using Thai passport. It means dual citizenship will not be noticed at all. I am afraid I don't know anything about US issues but above comment may be worthwhile.

One question I would like to know which application form for UK passport aged under 18. Is that Form C2 UK passport? Any advice always appreciated.
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Old Feb 8th 2012, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Citizenship for Baby

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
The most painful thing was that it was only a paperwork exercise. I wasn't avoiding paying tax, I didn't owe any money for that period, I was simply being fined because I didn't know I was meant to file a form each year saying; Hey, I have money in the UK.

I like to highlight it as I wouldn't want anyone else to fall into that trap. It's not much fun, cost me a lot of money (fine and CPA fees) and a lot of time. They used it as an excuse to audit me on 7 years worth of accounts... (Nothing came of the audit, I hadn't avoided paying anything - just wanted to clarify that )
You ended up with a fine because you went into the Voluntary Disclosure Program when you didn't need to. Most others in same situation (behind on forms, but no significant tax due) have simply filed outstanding tax returns and FBARs under normal process and not had any problems.
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