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Registering US born son in the UK?

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I recently gave birth to my beautiful son, just last month in fact. He's a US citizen by birth but I'm British which also makes him a British citizen. We have flights booked to go back to the UK in February of next year so that he can meet extended family but know that he needs to enter the UK on his British Passport which we need to acquire. How do we go about registering him and acquiring his passport?


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Google is your friend

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-born-outside-the-uk-british-citizenship

 

i don't think there is a law stating a dual national needs to enter the U.K. on their British passport for a brief visit. My kids visit using their American passports. 

 

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Agree. He can travel as an American and he will need his US passport to reenter. Getting his dual citizenship established is a good thing to pursue, but doesn't have to be completed before February.

Congratulations. 

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Congratulations!

 

Full disclosure: We don't have a child but I can read a website, and have been looking into renewing my UK passport from the USA anyway so thought I'd help out as I'm sure you're extra busy introducing your child to the world!

 

I thought I'd give answer based on the process, irrespective of whether he needs to enter on a UK passport or not (I can't advise on that, but I do see other benefits to applying for a UK passport for a child). 

 

Here is a link on how to apply for a UK passport for a child.

https://www.gov.uk/get-a-child-passport

 

There is a link early on within the page for children born overseas - for ease, that link leads to here: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports (you'd fill in the scenario-based questionnaire which will eventually give you advice for your particular circumstances. I believe you fill in the questionnaire from the perspective of your child rather than as yourself.

 

As an aside, only certain people are eligible to apply for a passport on behalf of their child (details here, https://www.gov.uk/get-a-child-passport/who-can-apply). As a parent, you'd be eligible though :) You may want to be aware of the advice on who is best to be a countersignatory on your child's passport when you're applying from outside the UK (https://www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications).

 

You might also find this webpage useful if you want to speak to somebody as HM Passport Office for advice on the process https://www.gov.uk/passport-advice-line.

 

If you apply soon, I think you'd likely get the UK passport before February. I think it is quite a simple process all-in-all. I'd certainly apply if I had a kid, even though the benefits of having a UK passport for your child right now aren't really that tangible (your child has British Citizenships irrespective of whether they have a British passport or not). I think the main benefit in the medium-term is that your child's UK passport will be easier to renew in the future (and in the longer-term future, your child will be able to use the UK queue at airports when travelling by themselves*, and will be able to very easily prove their UK citizenship should they ever need to do so such as when accepting a UK job application or if wanting to move back to the UK. In the short-term, not huge benefits but I think you're doing your child a favour!). Equally, you could phone the UK Embassy to the UK I suppose but I think the Passport Advice Line link I gave you is probably the best option (perhaps, you could call your nearest UK Consulate too though I don't think they deal much with passport queries).

 

* I mention this in the context of them travelling by themselves because you're generally allowed to bring US Citizen spouse and family through the UK/EU passport queue at a UK airport. I do that with my US Citizen wife and I lands at LHR. You just have to avoid the e-passport machines (she tends to always travel to the UK with me so we've not bothered with the UK Registered Traveller Scheme for her).

Edited by simonschus

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On 9/21/2017 at 8:19 PM, 3rd said:

I recently gave birth to my beautiful son, just last month in fact. He's a US citizen by birth but I'm British which also makes him a British citizen. We have flights booked to go back to the UK in February of next year so that he can meet extended family but know that he needs to enter the UK on his British Passport which we need to acquire. How do we go about registering him and acquiring his passport?

 

You can register the child's birth in the UK, but it's not free. There is a fee of £150 plus additional £50 if you want a certificate. And you pay £25 postage if you want the documentation you submitted returned. Application form https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-register-an-overseas-birth

 

From the gov.uk website:

 

You don’t need to register with the UK authorities but it means:

  • the birth will be recorded with the General Register Offices or at the National Records Office of Scotland
  • you can order a consular birth registration certificate

You can still apply for a UK passport for your child even if you don’t register the birth in the UK.

 

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You don't have to use a UK passport to enter the UK. I travelled with my US-born daughter using my UK passport and her US passport for several years before we finally got her UK one sorted out. 

 

It's worth getting and you have time before February - but if you get a US one at the same time you don't have to worry if the UK one doesn't make it in time. 

 

We didn't bother registering her birth - I couldn't see the point once we had the passport. 

 

One thing to bear in mind - we applied for the UK passport when we were on an extended trip to the UK and the form required us to send in her American passport with the other supporting documents - which was a little stressful as it meant we would not have been able to fly home if they had taken too long to send it back. But I am not sure if that is required when you do the application from abroad. 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Wuozopo said:

 

You can register the child's birth in the UK, but it's not free. There is a fee of £150 plus additional £50 if you want a certificate. And you pay £25 postage if you want the documentation you submitted returned. Application form https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-register-an-overseas-birth

 

From the gov.uk website:

 

You don’t need to register with the UK authorities but it means:

  • the birth will be recorded with the General Register Offices or at the National Records Office of Scotland
  • you can order a consular birth registration certificate

You can still apply for a UK passport for your child even if you don’t register the birth in the UK.

 

 

This is good advice to know! I had assumed there was a process for registering. Like your post suggests, it is non-essential :) I'd probably do it but I love official documents like that even if it serves zero practical purpose! I think it'd make a nice first birthday present from a UK grandparent though! (given the non-essential nature of the registration, it is almost like a souvenir certificate!). Others might disagree though and have slightly better taste in presents than me!

 

18 minutes ago, Trellick said:

It's worth getting and you have time before February - but if you get a US one at the same time you don't have to worry if the UK one doesn't make it in time. 

 

We didn't bother registering her birth - I couldn't see the point once we had the passport. 

 

I agree with both of these points :)

 

18 minutes ago, Trellick said:

You don't have to use a UK passport to enter the UK. I travelled with my US-born daughter using my UK passport and her US passport for several years before we finally got her UK one sorted out. 

 

It's worth getting and you have time before February - but if you get a US one at the same time you don't have to worry if the UK one doesn't make it in time. 

 

We didn't bother registering her birth - I couldn't see the point once we had the passport. 

 

One thing to bear in mind - we applied for the UK passport when we were on an extended trip to the UK and the form required us to send in her American passport with the other supporting documents - which was a little stressful as it meant we would not have been able to fly home if they had taken too long to send it back. But I am not sure if that is required when you do the application from abroad. 

 

 

Very good point here. I hadn't considered this! I checked this out just now. It seems you only need a full (i.e. every page) colour photocopy of the non-British passport when applying from overseas - you don't have to provide the US passport. If this is correct, I presume that this was an active (somewhat smart) choice of policy to mitigate against issues preventing emergency travel back to the UK. I get this guidance from here.(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564959/OS_Guidance_G3_10.16.pdf). Saying that, there is some ambiguity across various documentation here so you might need some advice by calling up HM Passport Office if you already have the US passport for your child in your possession and if you're worried about not having the passport back by February or having to make emergency trips in the interim (note, it is unlikely that it'd take that long to get the passport).

Edited by simonschus

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8 minutes ago, simonschus said:

I think it'd make a nice first birthday present from a UK grandparent though! (given the non-essential nature of the registration, it is almost like a souvenir certificate!).

 

:D Yeah! Spend Gran's money. :thumbs:

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