Aussie born kids getting British Passport

This forum is for all the aspects of UK law that may affect expats - tax, social security, health, pensions, citizenship etc.

Aussie born kids getting British Passport

Postby terriology » Tue 18 Sep 2007 23:11

I am sure someone can help me here.

I am English born and married an Aussie man. I have been living here for 14 years. We have 2 kids aged 9 and 6.

To get a British passort for the kids, is there any special considerations that the Embassy has for holding dual passports?

Is there a age limit by when the kids have to apply?

Is it alright that only their mother is from the UK?

Do they have to apply for dual citizenship?

I seem to recall hearing something about it needs to be done before they turn 10. My son is 120 in 2 weeks so I hope that is not the case.

Any help somone can provide is appreaciated.
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue 18 Sep 2007 23:02

Postby Dave » Wed 19 Sep 2007 05:58

Hi, and welcome.

The British laws governing nationality are pretty complex, but I'll do my best! Be aware, though, that the law changes from time to time, so even if what I've written below is valid now, it may not remain so. And in any case, I'm not a lawyer - so I give no guarantees as to the accuracy of what I've written.

First and foremost, when it comes to dual nationality you need to consider the laws of both countries concerned. So you'll need to check out the nationality law of your children's other country - in your case, Australia. (You may also find it helpful to post on the relevant country forum here; other members may be able to give advice.)

The UK and dual citizenship

The UK has no bar on the holding of dual citizenship that I'm aware of - certainly not if you're entitled to your second citizenship by descent. (I'm a British/Irish dual citizen - both my father's parents were born in Co. Monaghan in Ireland.)

As far as the UK is concerned, if you hold British citizenship you never lose it unless you specifically renounce it by a declaration made to the UK Home Secretary - or unless it's withdrawn because you've committed an act seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK. The UK doesn't deem valid any renunciations made to other governments, eg the US.

British Citizens "by descent" or "other than by descent"

If either parent of a child born overseas is a British Citizen other than by descent, then that child is a British Citizen "by descent". British Citizens "other than by descent" generally means people who were born in the UK to British Citizens.

This is more than just a technicality. British Citizens by descent cannot pass on their British citizenship to their children, unless those children are born in the UK or "qualifying territories" (British Overseas Territories except for the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus).

Registering the birth of a British Citizen

You can register your child's birth (and thus citizenship) on the basis of either a parent's residence in the UK, or the family's (both parents plus child).

If you're applying to register on the basis of the parent's residence, it should normally be done within 12 months of the child's birth, though exceptionally the Home Secretary can grant an application up to the child's sixth birthday. However, this type of registration does not give the child the status of British citizen other than by descent. (You don't actually have to register your child to give them British citizenship - if they qualify, it's automatic - but it makes it easier for them to get a British passport if you do.)

If you want your child to become a British citizen other than by descent, then both parents and the child have to spend at least 3 years together in the UK first. Registration can take place at any time up to the child's 18th birthday.


I hope this helps. As I say, this is my understanding of the UK law, but there's more information in the Home Office's guidance here:

BN4 - British Citizenship - children born outside the United Kingdom

You should check any areas of doubt with the Home Office direct or with the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate - and also with the authorities responsible for citizenship questions for your child's other nationality.

[Edited 20 Sep 07 - corrections to registration procedure: two types of registration, plus deadlines]
Last edited by Dave on Thu 20 Sep 2007 02:59, edited 3 times in total.
British Newspapers Online - your handy guide to the UK's national, regional and local press!
ErgoGuides - Great travel and business eBooks from British Expat!
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 7267
Joined: Tue 21 Jan 2003 15:04
Location: Currently UK

Postby SSue » Thu 20 Sep 2007 01:33

My sister-in-law, in the same situation as yourself, was granted UK passports for her two girls, but I can't remember how many years ago now.

I've answered your post on the Aus forum.

SSue 8)
Sydney Sue - Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
Read all about it!
Posts: 4465
Joined: Fri 31 Oct 2003 23:21
Location: From Grimsby, Lincolnshire, to Sydney, then Port Macquarie NSW Australia

Postby gayelston » Tue 29 Jul 2008 11:04

I would like to extend my thanks to SSue for her replies to my question about the £10 plan.
I am answering from here because I believe this thread was where she pointed me.
Unfortunaley, it didn't give me the help I need.
I will post a new thread here I think.
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu 24 Jul 2008 12:27
Location: Wales

Return to UK Legislation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests