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Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Old Apr 2nd 2014, 4:38 pm
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Default Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Hi, a rather convoluted query but I would appreciate advice.

Wife is a USC, I am a UKC with LPR status.
In applying for a UK passport for our new US-born child, there is some confusion.

Essentially I need to prove that I am a British citizen not by descent, correct?
I was born in London to a British citizen father and non-British mother in 1988.

The requirements specify a need for my dad's birth certificate (Table D in the overseas passport app guidance notes), in order that they can prove he is British, passed it on to me, and thus that I am entitled to pass it on to my child (who will become British by descent). They also require the marriage certificate between my parents. (I understand this is because the father had to be married to the mother to transmit citizenship).

However, my dad is a naturalized UK citizen (naturalized in 1984). Rather than provide his birth certificate, as they suggest (difficult to do because he came from a rather undeveloped country), wouldn't it be more useful to provide his naturalization certificate (certified copy) as well as marriage certificate to my mother (1985)? This way, we actually prove where British citizenship originated, and how it was transmitted to me. His overseas birth certificate wouldn't demonstrate anything.

If we can't find the marriage certificate (the marriage was also overseas and it may be hard to track records in this undeveloped country), will my birth certificate demonstrating that both parents have the same surname suffice? Or am I stuck without my parents marriage certificate?

Perhaps I'm freaking out unnecessarily- after all, I have a UK passport and was born in London, so clearly I'm British otherwise by descent and should be able to transmit citizenship to my child, and all this proof is unnecessary.
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Old Apr 2nd 2014, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

As an aside, given your concerns about providing documentary proof for a passport application, I recommend registering the birth with the consulate.

https://www.gov.uk/register-a-birth

https://www.gov.uk/register-a-birth/...s/same_country

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...on-application
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Old Apr 2nd 2014, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Father's naturalization certificate should be acceptable, but if the claim is through the father then evidence of marriage is normally required as well.

All this should have been checked when you got your first British passport - but perhaps it wasn't. That's why passports are not good stand-alone evidence of citizenship.

Did your mother have Indefinite Leave to Remain when you were born? If so, you wouldn't need any evidence concerning your father's status.
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Old Apr 2nd 2014, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Did your mother have Indefinite Leave to Remain when you were born? If so, you wouldn't need any evidence concerning your father's status.
I was born 4 months after she moved, so I'm guessing she came on the equivalent then of a spouse visa but did not yet have ILR.

So, looks like I need that marriage certificate... even though I am a British citizen and have a passport. Grrr. Again, the surnames being the same on the birth certificate are not enough?

Thanks for the advice regarding consular birth registration.
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Old Apr 2nd 2014, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by monfed View Post
I was born 4 months after she moved, so I'm guessing she came on the equivalent then of a spouse visa but did not yet have ILR.

So, looks like I need that marriage certificate... even though I am a British citizen and have a passport. Grrr. Again, the surnames being the same on the birth certificate are not enough?

Thanks for the advice regarding consular birth registration.
But, my mother did naturalize in 1991. So I have 2 British parents now. Does this make any difference?
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Old Apr 2nd 2014, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

In 2010 I went through the application for my US born son. Like you I'm a UKC LPR, with a US Cit wife. My parents were both born in the UK and cits 'other then by descent' - my issue was I was born in a military hospital in Malta in the 1970s. As was determined during my son's application process, I am UKC 'other then by descent', as my dad was stationed in Malta (RAF) at the time of my birth.

My situation fell outside the 'normal check boxes' of the application. While my circumstances are fairly different to yours, my experience dealing with the embassy may be helpful to you.

I submitted my application for my son to the British embassy with a detailed letter explaining my circumstances, requesting their assistance in clarifying my son's status, and applying for both his British passport and birth certificate. I was then directly contacted by an individual at the embassy. That individual worked with me over the course of 10 months to ensure the standards were satisfied, and at that point we were granted a passport and British registered birth certificate for my son. It's worth pointing out that the reason for the 10 month time period was, because of my circumstances, my dads original birth certificate and military records were required. I was in no hurry to get my son his British passport, as he already had a US one, and I was uncomfortable with my dad sending such important original docs in international mail, so I had them bring them to me on his next vacation here, and submitted them via FedEx domestically.

I guess the point is though - the British Embassy stuck with me, and helped me though the process. Unlike my experience working with the old US INS in the late 90s when I immigrated to the US and I fell foul of having circumstances that put me outside of the norm, and was heavily penalized for it - I really felt that the British Embassy treated my unusual circumstances as something they would spend more time and energy on (not less), and I was very appreciative of the help I got from them.

Also, my reason for the registered birth certificate - as I think someone else mentioned - I figured it was worth it, given all the hoops I was jumping through. It could be very difficult for my son to have to reproduce his grandfather's original documents 30yrs down the road, should he lose his passport etc., and I hope the registered birth will help eliminate that.

-Matt
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Old Apr 2nd 2014, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
In 2010 I went through the application for my US born son. Like you I'm a UKC LPR, with a US Cit wife. My parents were both born in the UK and cits 'other then by descent' - my issue was I was born in a military hospital in Malta in the 1970s. As was determined during my son's application process, I am UKC 'other then by descent', as my dad was stationed in Malta (RAF) at the time of my birth.

My situation fell outside the 'normal check boxes' of the application. While my circumstances are fairly different to yours, my experience dealing with the embassy may be helpful to you.

I submitted my application for my son to the British embassy with a detailed letter explaining my circumstances, requesting their assistance in clarifying my son's status, and applying for both his British passport and birth certificate. I was then directly contacted by an individual at the embassy. That individual worked with me over the course of 10 months to ensure the standards were satisfied, and at that point we were granted a passport and British registered birth certificate for my son. It's worth pointing out that the reason for the 10 month time period was, because of my circumstances, my dads original birth certificate and military records were required. I was in no hurry to get my son his British passport, as he already had a US one, and I was uncomfortable with my dad sending such important original docs in international mail, so I had them bring them to me on his next vacation here, and submitted them via FedEx domestically.

I guess the point is though - the British Embassy stuck with me, and helped me though the process. Unlike my experience working with the old US INS in the late 90s when I immigrated to the US and I fell foul of having circumstances that put me outside of the norm, and was heavily penalized for it - I really felt that the British Embassy treated my unusual circumstances as something they would spend more time and energy on (not less), and I was very appreciative of the help I got from them.

Also, my reason for the registered birth certificate - as I think someone else mentioned - I figured it was worth it, given all the hoops I was jumping through. It could be very difficult for my son to have to reproduce his grandfather's original documents 30yrs down the road, should he lose his passport etc., and I hope the registered birth will help eliminate that.

-Matt
Thank you, Matt. It appears the British embassy will assist me if needs be. Cheers!
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Old Apr 2nd 2014, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Father's naturalization certificate should be acceptable, but if the claim is through the father then evidence of marriage is normally required as well.

All this should have been checked when you got your first British passport - but perhaps it wasn't. That's why passports are not good stand-alone evidence of citizenship.

Did your mother have Indefinite Leave to Remain when you were born? If so, you wouldn't need any evidence concerning your father's status.
Aha! I just found my own British birth certificate. My mother and father are clearly labeled as having the same surname. My mother's maiden name (different from her surname) is also mentioned. Surely, this implies that my parents were married when they gave birth to me, and thus I get British citizenship directly from my father? (And thus don't have to worry about a marriage certificate)
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Old Apr 3rd 2014, 1:10 am
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by monfed View Post
But, my mother did naturalize in 1991. So I have 2 British parents now. Does this make any difference?
In order for you to prove that you automatically got British citizenship through your mother, you'd have to prove she was a British citizen or permanent resident when you were born. Her naturalisation certificate won't help, at least not directly. Evidence showing that she had a settlement visa when you were born would. It's possible that back in 1988 spouses got immediate permanent residence, although at the time it was also possible to show up in the U.K. as a tourist and switch status in-country.

Does she have any of her immigration paperwork or old passports available?

I just found my own British birth certificate. My mother and father are clearly labeled as having the same surname. My mother's maiden name (different from her surname) is also mentioned. Surely, this implies that my parents were married when they gave birth to me, and thus I get British citizenship directly from my father? (And thus don't have to worry about a marriage certificate)
Except that the Passport Office could easily say that it still doesn't prove your parents were married. They could have been unmarried persons with the same family name, by coincidence.

Can your parents really not find their marriage certificate? That could be a problem for them too, if they cannot evidence their marriage. Is it impossible for them to either find it or get a replacement?

If they cannot find their marriage certificate (or replace it), and/or they're deceased or otherwise not able/willing to assist, then you may want to fill in form NS for yourself and send it to the Home Office with as much information as you know. The Home Office should have all your parent's details in its own files, since they both immigrated to the U.K. and subsequently became British by naturalisation.

It's entirely possible that the combination of British passport and U.K. birth certificate (which you already have) would be accepted as proof that you are British otherwise than by descent. If so, than whatever else you do depends on how important it is to you to have additional evidence. It is recommended to obtain such evidence, because, for example, if you lose your British passport, you might not be able to replace it quickly, or at all, if you cannot prove your citizenship with other documents.

Last edited by JAJ; Apr 3rd 2014 at 1:21 am.
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Old Apr 3rd 2014, 6:46 am
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
In order for you to prove that you automatically got British citizenship through your mother, you'd have to prove she was a British citizen or permanent resident when you were born. Her naturalisation certificate won't help, at least not directly. Evidence showing that she had a settlement visa when you were born would. It's possible that back in 1988 spouses got immediate permanent residence, although at the time it was also possible to show up in the U.K. as a tourist and switch status in-country.

Does she have any of her immigration paperwork or old passports available?



Except that the Passport Office could easily say that it still doesn't prove your parents were married. They could have been unmarried persons with the same family name, by coincidence.

Can your parents really not find their marriage certificate? That could be a problem for them too, if they cannot evidence their marriage. Is it impossible for them to either find it or get a replacement?

If they cannot find their marriage certificate (or replace it), and/or they're deceased or otherwise not able/willing to assist, then you may want to fill in form NS for yourself and send it to the Home Office with as much information as you know. The Home Office should have all your parent's details in its own files, since they both immigrated to the U.K. and subsequently became British by naturalisation.

It's entirely possible that the combination of British passport and U.K. birth certificate (which you already have) would be accepted as proof that you are British otherwise than by descent. If so, than whatever else you do depends on how important it is to you to have additional evidence. It is recommended to obtain such evidence, because, for example, if you lose your British passport, you might not be able to replace it quickly, or at all, if you cannot prove your citizenship with other documents.
Thanks JAJ for the insights. I will push further for the marriage certificate. When I lost my passport 2 years ago, I remember not requiring the marriage certificate nor the naturalization cert. Perhaps it was all in their records already. We shall see.
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Old Apr 3rd 2014, 11:07 pm
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Smile Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Hello,
I am a UK citizen living in the US till i move back home next spring, i married a American, my daughter was born in the US, she moved to the UK almost 2 yrs ago , she was born in 1987, for her to become a UK citizen she had to have both my parents birth certificates my dad was born in Ireland my mother England, their marriage certificate, and both my birth and marriage certificates, also her US passport, hope this helps. lots of luck.
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Old Apr 4th 2014, 12:14 am
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by erin0259 View Post
I am a UK citizen living in the US till i move back home next spring, i married a American, my daughter was born in the US, she moved to the UK almost 2 yrs ago , she was born in 1987, for her to become a UK citizen she had to have both my parents birth certificates my dad was born in Ireland my mother England, their marriage certificate, and both my birth and marriage certificates, also her US passport, hope this helps. lots of luck.
Assuming you were born in Britain before 1983, there was absolutely no need for your daughter to supply birth certificates of your own parents (her grandparents). Nor was there any need for her to submit her U.S. passport, it is well established that this is not really needed for a passport application, despite what the instructions say. A copy is acceptable.

Even superficially similar cases can in reality be very different.

Also, she didn't "become" a British citizen. Based on the facts given, she was a British citizen (by descent) from birth and was simply applying for a passport.

However, if your father (her grandfather) was born in Ireland, then she has the option to apply for registration as an Irish citizen if she wishes to.
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Old Apr 4th 2014, 12:30 am
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

JAJ, first of all you are wrong, yes my daughter was automatically a UK citizen, but for her to apply for her UK passport and being US born, we were also surprised of all the documents they asked, my daughter was also moving to the UK, every time she would send a document over there they wanted more,and said she would not be permitted a British passport unless she provided all the documents i mentioned, it was a very long and frustrating process for her, she had to have proof of both my parents birth and mine, and already know about being a Irish citizen through my father, we have Irish passports too, and know what is involved.
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Old Apr 4th 2014, 12:57 am
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by erin0259 View Post
JAJ, first of all you are wrong, yes my daughter was automatically a UK citizen, but for her to apply for her UK passport and being US born, we were also surprised of all the documents they asked, my daughter was also moving to the UK, every time she would send a document over there they wanted more,and said she would not be permitted a British passport unless she provided all the documents i mentioned, it was a very long and frustrating process for her, she had to have proof of both my parents birth and mine,
The British Nationality Act is quite clear in its requirements for automatic acquisition of British citizenship by descent. With a pre-1983 United Kingdom born parent ("parent" as defined by the Act), the place and dates of grandparent's birth is irrelevant as to whether someone is or is not a British citizen.

Unreasonable demands from the Passport Service do not alter the law. Perhaps they got confused between the situation pre-1983, when a U.K. birth certificate evidences British citizenship, and a post-1.1.1983 birth certificate, which does not.

Usually it's a better approach to get a separate proof of citizenship document, and use that to apply for a passport. Either a consular birth certificate and/or a Home Office certificate confirming British nationality status. With one of these documents, you can apply directly for a British passport and do not need to send any additional evidence of British citizenship to the Passport Service.


and already know about being a Irish citizen through my father, we have Irish passports too, and know what is involved.
Presumably then your daughter is aware that if she has any children of her own in the U.K., these children can also be registered as Irish citizens through the Foreign Birth Registration process. OR if by some chance they are born in Northern Ireland, the children will be Irish citizens automatically.

Last edited by JAJ; Apr 4th 2014 at 1:20 am.
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Old Apr 4th 2014, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Documents needed to prove UK citizenship for US born child

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
All this should have been checked when you got your first British passport - but perhaps it wasn't. That's why passports are not good stand-alone evidence of citizenship.
Practically speaking, the OP's passport is stand-alone evidence of his British citizenship. It's not designed to be stand-alone evidence of how he obtained British citizenship - which is the issue in question here.

Of course, passports can be forged and have also been issued in error. But if you use that argument against passports being stand-alone evidence of citizenship, then you'd have to use it against every document. In which case there is no definitive stand-alone evidence of anything.
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