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UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Old Dec 6th 2007, 6:11 am
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Default UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

I know already by virtue of my son being born here (in the USA) that he will be a US Citizen and UK Citizen.

However it seems that with regards to UK Citizenship there are different classes of citizenship (By Descent and Other than by Descent).

I was reading somewhere that there are exceptions. Look here take from
http://www.britishhighcommission.gov...=1109171564665

Birth, Registration or Naturalisation in the United Kingdom (UK).


For citizenship purposes the UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

A person born in the UK before 1 January 1983 will be a British citizen automatically, with the exception of persons whose father was a foreign diplomat or an enemy alien at the time of the birth.

Birth in the UK after 31 December 1982 does not automatically confer citizenship. A person born there after this date will be a British citizen provided one of their parents is a British citizen or settled in the UK at the time of the birth. The meaning of settled in the UK under the Immigration Act is that the parent is free from Immigration control and has been granted the right to enter or remain in the UK for an indefinite period.

If the British citizen parent is the father, there is a requirement that he was legally married to the mother at the time of the birth.

A person who holds a certificate of registration/naturalisation issued by the Home Office in the UK will be a citizen from the effective date shown on the certificate.
I am confused by this section

a person born overseas to a parent born in the UK is a citizen by descent. However, if they have lived in the UK for a continuous period of three years they can apply to the Home Office to register their children born overseas as British citizens while the child is under one year old.
They are not talking about the kid since the kid is 1 and they are talking about living in the UK for a continuous period of three years. Does this mean if I have ever live continuously in the UK or currently in the UK.

It also does not seem right that i can only register them as a Citizen before 1 year old. If I miss that deadline is that too bad for him then.


We may move back to the UK. USA is fine and all but it makes me sad already that my child will unlikely have my accent and never mind all the other things he will miss out on.

I have read that once you register as a UK citizen you are either categorised as being British by descent or other than by descent and once this category is determined it is unchangeable.

It would seem unfair if I registered him as a UK citizen now and so he is a UK Citizen by descent and then say we moved to the UK in three years and lived there for the next 15 years. So when he reaches 18 years he is still only British by descent despite the fact that Britain would be all he knows and that he is restricted on who he can pass his citizenship too. He could therefore not do what I did. Met an American and then have a kid abroad who is British like the father.
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Old Dec 6th 2007, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by k1journey View Post
They are not talking about the kid since the kid is 1 and they are talking about living in the UK for a continuous period of three years. Does this mean if I have ever live continuously in the UK or currently in the UK.

It also does not seem right that i can only register them as a Citizen before 1 year old. If I miss that deadline is that too bad for him then.

They are talking about your son's future children (ie your future grandchildren).

That is a facility under section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 for certain British citizens by descent to pass on their citizenship to a further generation.

I have read that once you register as a UK citizen you are either categorised as being British by descent or other than by descent and once this category is determined it is unchangeable.

It would seem unfair if I registered him as a UK citizen now and so he is a UK Citizen by descent and then say we moved to the UK in three years and lived there for the next 15 years. So when he reaches 18 years he is still only British by descent despite the fact that Britain would be all he knows and that he is restricted on who he can pass his citizenship too. He could therefore not do what I did. Met an American and then have a kid abroad who is British like the father.
If you are U.K. born then your American-born son is already a British citizen by descent (since birth).

Nothing you can do about that. Just get a British consular birth certificate and British passport to document it.

If he lives in the U.K. for 3 years he would usually become eligible to pass on his citizenship to non-U.K. born children if all the requirements of section 3(2) are met.
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Old Dec 7th 2007, 9:59 am
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by k1journey View Post
We may move back to the UK. USA is fine and all but it makes me sad already that my child will unlikely have my accent and never mind all the other things he will miss out on.

I have read that once you register as a UK citizen you are either categorised as being British by descent or other than by descent and once this category is determined it is unchangeable.

It would seem unfair if I registered him as a UK citizen now and so he is a UK Citizen by descent and then say we moved to the UK in three years and lived there for the next 15 years. So when he reaches 18 years he is still only British by descent despite the fact that Britain would be all he knows and that he is restricted on who he can pass his citizenship too. He could therefore not do what I did. Met an American and then have a kid abroad who is British like the father.
You can register him with the Embassy even several years later, so don't sweat that bit, just as long as you do it.

As for him growing up in England as a "by descent" national, so what? Say for sake of argument he never leaves the village and marries a nice English girl and they have 5 kids of their own, whats the difference?
Any child your son will have, if born either in the UK or to a UK Mother will have the same citizenship as you do now.

As far as I understand it, this "once removed" type of citizenship has the same permanence and rights associated with it as does mine & yours. You only cannot naturally pass it on by yourself - which does make sense.

From being in the same boat -

If one of mine marries an American and has American kids and lives in America, then thats just whats written in their stars. Chances are, they will choose the wife/husband which matches their own personality and habits. It'll be a bit of a pity that the Grandkids aren't English, but so what as long as they don't have the "ex-pat curse"?
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Old Dec 7th 2007, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
You can register him with the Embassy even several years later, so don't sweat that bit, just as long as you do it.

As for him growing up in England as a "by descent" national, so what? Say for sake of argument he never leaves the village and marries a nice English girl and they have 5 kids of their own, whats the difference?
Any child your son will have, if born either in the UK or to a UK Mother will have the same citizenship as you do now.
Or the child could be brought to live in the U.K. as a minor and registered as British that way.


As far as I understand it, this "once removed" type of citizenship has the same permanence and rights associated with it as does mine & yours. You only cannot naturally pass it on by yourself - which does make sense.

From being in the same boat -

If one of mine marries an American and has American kids and lives in America, then thats just whats written in their stars. Chances are, they will choose the wife/husband which matches their own personality and habits. It'll be a bit of a pity that the Grandkids aren't English, but so what as long as they don't have the "ex-pat curse"?
Some history here. British nationality has generally be restricted to the first generation born overseas, since 1 January 1915 (yes, that change in the law came in almost 100 years ago).

The reason for this is the view of successive British governments that migrants from the U.K. should "throw in their lot" with their new country, and that the second generation born overseas will almost certainly identify more with their country of birth than with the United Kingdom.
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Old Dec 8th 2007, 11:53 am
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Or the child could be brought to live in the U.K. as a minor and registered as British that way.)..
Interesting, sort of "upping their status" by living in the UK? After being registered abroad? Did not know that was possible.

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Some history here. British nationality has generally be restricted to the first generation born overseas, since 1 January 1915 (yes, that change in the law came in almost 100 years ago).
The reason for this is the view of successive British governments that migrants from the U.K. should "throw in their lot" with their new country, and that the second generation born overseas will almost certainly identify more with their country of birth than with the United Kingdom.
Back then, people emigrated and didn't return as often as now though. Thanks for that tho, had some common sense in it, it seems.
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Old Dec 8th 2007, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
Interesting, sort of "upping their status" by living in the UK? After being registered abroad? Did not know that was possible.
It's not.

What I meant was section 3(5) registration where a (non-British) child born overseas to a British citizen by descent is brought to live in the U.K. as a child (with a settlement visa) and then registered as a British citizen after 3 years residence in the U.K.

Section 3(5) registration gives British citizenship otherwise than by descent.

A person who is a British citizen by descent cannot be re-registered as a British citizen otherwise than by descent. However there is a limited facility to pass on British citizenship to non-U.K. born children given in section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act:

- parent is a British citizen by descent when child is born; and
- there is a British born or naturalised grandparent (in other words, s3(2) is only for the second generation born overseas); and
- the British parent has lived in the U.K. or a qualifying territory for a continuous period of 3 years anytime before the child is born; and
- application is normally made within 12 months of child's birth

There is also a facility under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 for the Secretary of State to register any child as a British citizen. There are policies underlying this but it can be used to resolve special "hard cases".
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Old Dec 9th 2007, 1:39 am
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by k1journey View Post
I was reading somewhere that there are exceptions. Look here take from
http://www.britishhighcommission.gov...=1109171564665

Just a quick one, why as you are in the USA, would you look at the British High Commission in Canada for your information. You need to look to the British Embassy in DC for your info. (http://www.britainusa.com/sections/a...=41016&a=25315)
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Old Dec 9th 2007, 2:53 am
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
You can register him with the Embassy even several years later,
In some cases there are time limits of 12 months from birth, or age 18, so be careful and don't waste time - otherwise your child can miss out.
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Old Dec 12th 2007, 5:57 am
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by cranners99 View Post
Just a quick one, why as you are in the USA, would you look at the British High Commission in Canada for your information. You need to look to the British Embassy in DC for your info. (http://www.britainusa.com/sections/a...=41016&a=25315)
I actually did not realise that this was a Canadian site. I thought it was similar to the FCO site. In certain situations though I have found that www.britainusa.com lacks depth in certain areas.
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Old Dec 12th 2007, 6:09 am
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post

A person who is a British citizen by descent cannot be re-registered as a British citizen otherwise than by descent. However there is a limited facility to pass on British citizenship to non-U.K. born children given in section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act:
Can I just ask you about this part. If I were to register my child with the British Embassy in Washington DC they would then be registered as by descent. Then they can never be re-registered as a British citizen otherwise than by descent. This means therefore I should never register here in the off chance we return to Scotland and then we would need a settlement visa and then to wait three years such that he can then be registered as otherwise by descent.


JAJ you said that I may miss out. I am assuming I can register him at any time before his 18th birthday as a British Citizen since he is my son. Even after his 18th birthday nothing changes the fact that he is my son. What can I miss out on.


Does registering mean he is being recorded as a citizen. But that at that time a Passport is not being applied for.

Thanks everyone. Sorry for all these questions.
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Old Dec 12th 2007, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: UK Father/US Mother - British other than by descent

Originally Posted by k1journey View Post
Can I just ask you about this part. If I were to register my child with the British Embassy in Washington DC they would then be registered as by descent. Then they can never be re-registered as a British citizen otherwise than by descent. This means therefore I should never register here in the off chance we return to Scotland and then we would need a settlement visa and then to wait three years such that he can then be registered as otherwise by descent.


JAJ you said that I may miss out. I am assuming I can register him at any time before his 18th birthday as a British Citizen since he is my son. Even after his 18th birthday nothing changes the fact that he is my son. What can I miss out on.


Does registering mean he is being recorded as a citizen. But that at that time a Passport is not being applied for.

Thanks everyone. Sorry for all these questions.
JAJ's post earlier on says that your child is ALREADY a brit cit by descent...your child just hasn't formally been registered as that yet.
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