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Is my son a Brit?!

Is my son a Brit?!

Old Dec 14th 2010, 10:53 pm
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Default Is my son a Brit?!

Is my son a Brit?

I’ve done lots of internet searching, and found a wealth of information on this forum, but I’m still struggling with understanding if my son is British now automatically, or if I have to apply. Well, there seem to be some very knowledgeable folks on this forum, so I thought I’d see if anyone can help me make sense of it all!

My struggle, I suppose, is understanding my status – if I’m British by decent or just British.

Here’s my scenario:
I’m British (one way or another), born 1976 in Malta GC, in a British military hospital. My parents, both British, and were both born and raised in Britain. My father was an active serving pilot in the RAF when I was born, he was stationed in Malta, hence my birth there. The rest of my life – I spent approx 5yrs in a couple of RAF camps in Germany, the balance, approx. 15yrs living in England, I emigrated to the USA aged 21, where I currently still live. My wife is an American, I am a green card holder. I identify as being British (well, English!), always have done, and would never had had a question mark of my status as a Brit were it not for this process now. I have a British passport and doubt I’d even be eligible for Maltese citizenship even if I wanted it.

My son was born here in the States in October 2010. I desperately what him to have status as a British citizenship, but I’m terribly confused as the grounds to eligibility. If I’m British (regular), then he automatically is, and I just need a passport for him. If I’m British by decent, it looks like there’s a different, more complicated application process. Frankly, I’d think it unfair if the families of military personnel serving overseas had some form of diminished status, but I won’t hop on my soap-box just yet.

I’ve emailed the British Embassy, basically laying the above information out, but got a generic email referring me to the UK Border Agency. I ran through dozens of documents on the UK Border Agency’s site, and then emailed them, and they simply referred me back to their site.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. What should my next step be?
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 12:10 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Hello

So I'm definitely not one of the knowledgable folks on here and I'm sure one of them will pop on here shortly to answer your question.

I posted on here about 2 weeks ago with a not dissimilar question regarding my nieces+nephews and if they could get British citizenship via their parents who are British by descent. The responses that I got told me (roughly) that a British by descent parent could get citizenship for a child if they (they parent) had lived in the UK for a period of time, which I think was 3 years.

It seems from your scenario that since you lived in the UK for 15 years, even if you are British by descent then your son should be able to also get a passport.

Again, I'd wait for an 'official' answer from someone who knows the real ins-and-outs of the system but I'd hazard a guess that chances are your son can get a passport at least.

Here is the link to my question a couple of weeks ago:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=695246

Last edited by jackattack; Dec 15th 2010 at 12:12 am. Reason: to add link
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
If I’m British (regular), then he automatically is, and I just need a passport for him.
Why not just apply for a UK passport for him? If he gets it, great... if not, you'll know the answer to your question. Worst case scenario... all you're out is the filing fee and a few weeks!

Ian
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 12:32 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
Is my son a Brit?

I’ve done lots of internet searching, and found a wealth of information on this forum, but I’m still struggling with understanding if my son is British now automatically, or if I have to apply. Well, there seem to be some very knowledgeable folks on this forum, so I thought I’d see if anyone can help me make sense of it all!

My struggle, I suppose, is understanding my status – if I’m British by decent or just British.

Here’s my scenario:
I’m British (one way or another), born 1976 in Malta GC, in a British military hospital. My parents, both British, and were both born and raised in Britain. My father was an active serving pilot in the RAF when I was born, he was stationed in Malta, hence my birth there. The rest of my life – I spent approx 5yrs in a couple of RAF camps in Germany, the balance, approx. 15yrs living in England, I emigrated to the USA aged 21, where I currently still live. My wife is an American, I am a green card holder. I identify as being British (well, English!), always have done, and would never had had a question mark of my status as a Brit were it not for this process now. I have a British passport and doubt I’d even be eligible for Maltese citizenship even if I wanted it.

My son was born here in the States in October 2010. I desperately what him to have status as a British citizenship, but I’m terribly confused as the grounds to eligibility. If I’m British (regular), then he automatically is, and I just need a passport for him. If I’m British by decent, it looks like there’s a different, more complicated application process. Frankly, I’d think it unfair if the families of military personnel serving overseas had some form of diminished status, but I won’t hop on my soap-box just yet.

I’ve emailed the British Embassy, basically laying the above information out, but got a generic email referring me to the UK Border Agency. I ran through dozens of documents on the UK Border Agency’s site, and then emailed them, and they simply referred me back to their site.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. What should my next step be?
You are a british citizen if both of your parents where born in Britain. I too was born on an RAF base in Cyprus, to British parents. I am as British as they come, both of my parents where born in and around London, and I have a British birth certificate.
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 1:35 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Why not just apply for a UK passport for him? If he gets it, great... if not, you'll know the answer to your question. Worst case scenario... all you're out is the filing fee and a few weeks!

Ian
I can't remember what it's called, but applying for right of abode I think, or something similar would allow an appeal if denied whilst you wouldn't get that opportunity going for a passport if denied but yet still possibly eligible.

It'll pop up in one of the numerous posts by JAJ though.
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Originally Posted by ldyinlv View Post
You are a british citizen if both of your parents where born in Britain. I too was born on an RAF base in Cyprus, to British parents. I am as British as they come, both of my parents where born in and around London, and I have a British birth certificate.
That's not what he asked, he asked if he is British by descent or other wise, one allows transferring of citizenship automatically to kids not born in the UK, the other does not.
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
That's not what he asked, he asked if he is British by descent or other wise, one allows transferring of citizenship automatically to kids not born in the UK, the other does not.
OH..I thought he was asking if his son is British, and because he is that answer would be yes..at least thats what I am lead to believe by reading the uk Border site. If I am mistaken I apologize.
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 1:50 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Originally Posted by ldyinlv View Post
You are a british citizen if both of your parents where born in Britain. I too was born on an RAF base in Cyprus, to British parents. I am as British as they come, both of my parents where born in and around London, and I have a British birth certificate.
Yes, but would your children, if born outside of the UK, be British citizens as well? <sorry, just saw Bob already beat me to it!>

That's the question the OP would like answered. My husband is in the same boat - he was born in South Africa to parents that were born & raised in Scotland. He has his British birth abroad birth certificate and a SA b/c. From speaking to both JAJ (a resident citizenship expert) and Dean (he's a British consul that comes on here and provides info on occasion), there is a way to pass on British citizenship to children of 'British by descent' citizens. I do believe it's by showing proof the 'British by descent' citizen has lived in the UK for a certain number of years - I think it is 3. I think you can use a combo of school records, health records, tax records, etc for the proof.
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

thanks to all - yes to clarify, i think the real core of my question is if I'm British (reg.) or British by decent. From what I've read searching around, the big difference is:

If I'm Brit (reg): he's automatically Brit at birth

If I'm Brit by decent, and done the 3yr stint: he's entitled to be Brit, but I have to apply

It sounds like my best bet might be to apply for the British birth registration for children born abroad,:
http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/en/help-fo...-registration/
which, I think assuming I qualify as a Brit (Reg), he should then get, affirming his Brit status. If I'm by decent, I guess he gets denied and I'm out of pocket a couple of hundred bucks, but I then do the process for "by decent"....

Does it seem like I'm over-complicating this?!!?
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 2:58 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

First of all, you are probably British citizen otherwise than by descent since when you were born, your father was in designated service for the UK. So your son is a british citizen by descent automatically. (and not decent, this is not about decency)

But even if you were British by descent, you could register your child as a british citizen under section 3(2) of the british nationality act.

You can read here for details:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/br.../bornoverseas/

Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
Is my son a Brit?

I’ve done lots of internet searching, and found a wealth of information on this forum, but I’m still struggling with understanding if my son is British now automatically, or if I have to apply. Well, there seem to be some very knowledgeable folks on this forum, so I thought I’d see if anyone can help me make sense of it all!

My struggle, I suppose, is understanding my status – if I’m British by decent or just British.

Here’s my scenario:
I’m British (one way or another), born 1976 in Malta GC, in a British military hospital. My parents, both British, and were both born and raised in Britain. My father was an active serving pilot in the RAF when I was born, he was stationed in Malta, hence my birth there. The rest of my life – I spent approx 5yrs in a couple of RAF camps in Germany, the balance, approx. 15yrs living in England, I emigrated to the USA aged 21, where I currently still live. My wife is an American, I am a green card holder. I identify as being British (well, English!), always have done, and would never had had a question mark of my status as a Brit were it not for this process now. I have a British passport and doubt I’d even be eligible for Maltese citizenship even if I wanted it.

My son was born here in the States in October 2010. I desperately what him to have status as a British citizenship, but I’m terribly confused as the grounds to eligibility. If I’m British (regular), then he automatically is, and I just need a passport for him. If I’m British by decent, it looks like there’s a different, more complicated application process. Frankly, I’d think it unfair if the families of military personnel serving overseas had some form of diminished status, but I won’t hop on my soap-box just yet.

I’ve emailed the British Embassy, basically laying the above information out, but got a generic email referring me to the UK Border Agency. I ran through dozens of documents on the UK Border Agency’s site, and then emailed them, and they simply referred me back to their site.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. What should my next step be?

Last edited by dreamercon; Dec 15th 2010 at 3:01 am.
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 3:02 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

mm. Our resident expert JAJ will be along at some stage.

My gut feeling (but he will quote the relevant laws etc) is that you are British in the same way that you would have been had you been born in Britain due to being born on a military base. Which would mean that your kid would be British by descent.

If my gut feeling is incorrect, then there are other ways of your kidlet acquiring British citizenship. ie All is not lost.
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

Not directly on point but related is the growing problems of expats having kids overseas (or their foreign-born kids have kids overseas) and the resulting 'stateless'-ness that is befalling these kids. There was an interesting article about this a few weeks ago.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/11...less-children/
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 3:29 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

thanks to all for the posts.

Just to clarify, I am confident that my son does qualify for Brit cit, at best I’m a Brit (regular) and at worst a Brit by descent with the minimum 3yr qualifying met. It’s just the difference does seem to impact the path I take, documents I need to provide, and fees I should pay, so I’m trying to understand which way to go.

On the face it does seem that I would unlikely to be penalized for my dads overseas service, however, having been raised in a British military family, it saddens me to say that I feel rules/laws have often written to exclude us rather then include, or at best make things difficult. As I’ve been unable to find anything that particularly applies to me, I think my first inclination is to assume the worse…..
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 3:44 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

OK - the title of your post "Is my son a Brit?!" was a little misleading if what you really wanted to know was - "what documents do I have to provide in order to demonstrate that my son is British?"

I agree with Ian - you should just go ahead and register his birth with the British consulate and apply for a passport for him on the assumption that he is "British by descent".
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Old Dec 15th 2010, 4:17 am
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Default Re: Is my son a Brit?!

the title was driving at is he a Brit now, which I'm told is the case if I were a Brit (reg) - my offspring would automatically be a Brit, vs. just being eligible to be a Brit, if I'm a Brit by descent. But I see what you're saying, point taken!!
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