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Passport for Newborns
iantojjackh wrote in little_details
The story is set in modern times.
Main character is a British citizen; born and raised. Also he was born after Jan. 1 1983.   He has lived his whole life in the UK except for the last three, almost four years. Spent one year travelling the world travelling and the rest of the time was spent in the US. In that time character got married and had twins.
In a tragic turn of events the wife (US citizen) dies shortly after giving birth from injuries sustained in a car crash.
My question is what kind of passport would the newborns be eligible for?
Can they get a British passport without a US one?
Their father never began the process to become a US Citizen and plans on moving back to the UK with his children who are 3 months old. Yes, they were born in the US.
Would it make a difference if the father, because of his old job, has connections to powerful people in the government and probably with the Royal Family?
I checked sites for British passport and citizenship eligibility and was not sure what would fit for this situation.

Thanks im in advance for your help.

If their father is a British citizen (by birth or naturalisation) and his parents were married, his children are entitled to a UK passport. The information you need is here.

My question is what kind of passport would the newborns be eligible for?

As children of a U.S. citizen born in the U.S., the twins would automatically qualify for U.S. citizenship.

This wikipedia entry seems to suggest children born abroad to a British father "are considered automatically British and can apply for a passport directly through the Identity and Passport Services (IPS)".

The babies are US citizens due to being born in the country, so they need US passports in order to travel internationally. This page describes the application process. Here's a page about travel to the UK from the US with current information about documents etc., you might want to read the part about "Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements." Probably the father would immediately want to make his twins British citizens; I'm not sure how that process works, but he could probably get started on it before even leaving the US.

Yes they should be able to get British passports fairly easily - it requires form C2 which you can get online and photographs that would have to be countersigned by a British or commonwealth citizen (not related to the father) - and documentation of their birth and the father's birth (and father's British passport) and since the kids were born in the US, the nearest consular office might require an in person interview to verify the identity and parentage of the kids (alternatively they might just pass it straight through the system and issue the passports automatically). I don't think whether they have US passports or not will have any bearing on their situation. Hope that helps...

Thank you. In the research I didn't come across the countersigned documentation, so that helps a lot.

FWIW, my sister, born on Canadian soil to British citizens, did not have to go to a consular office to get her UK passport.*
*Granted, that was... 1992 I think? She was five when she got her first passport.

Edited at 2014-04-05 07:12 pm (UTC)

The children are both British and American citizens by birth and blood, and there shouldn't be any difficulty at all in the father getting them a British passport. He just needs to register the births with the British Consul to get them British birth certificates and then apply for passports just like for any other British citizen. Since the mother is dead, there will be no issue with him taking them out of the US (it would be harder to take them out of the US if their mother was alive and objected to him taking them, and as she is a US citizen and the father is not, a US court would normally rule in her favour). There's no need for any fancy diplomatic/royal connections: I'm an ordinary person, my dad is English and I was born in the US and I've held both passports since birth. I'm not sure it would be possible for him to avoid the children also having US citizenship, since they will presumably also have had their births registered in the usual way in the US. Holding both citizenships is perfectly possible, if occasionally inconvenient. I'm not sure whether the children will need both passports to travel to the UK - American citizens are not allowed to enter the US on anything other than a US passport, but I don't know about exiting.

I don't know about the UK, but I'm a French/US dual citizen, and I always leave and enter France on my French passport (and leave and enter the US on my US passport). I don't know if it's required, but it certainly makes things smoother.

Seconding what the others have said - the father can get either type of passport. Both my sons got UK passports soon after birth, but bear in mind that consulates are few and far between. He may also wish to officially register a birth abroad with the consulate, but a standard US birth certificate should be good enough for most things. Passports by post usually take 3-6 weeks in my experience, but can take longer in busy periods. My oldest was ten days old when we did his passport photo, and we received the actual passport before he was a month old. The usual rules for photos are softened for infants - a neutral expression is not required, and they don't even have to have their eyes open iirc. The one possible sticking point will be the witness for the documentation - it'll need to be countersigned by someone who's known the father for several years. Birth and marriage certificates of the parents are also needed to register the birth abroad, I believe, but you can look all that up.

Could the kids have a dual- citizenship passport?

America is starting to drastically change her general outlook and getting a DC passport through ancestral ties is currently seen as a sound business/travel/employment move.

there is no such thing as a "dual citizen passport". (I have two passports - UK and US - and my baby son will shortly be in the same position)

I am also both and enter the UK on my British passport and enter the US with my American one. There are no dual citizen passports.

This used to be part of my job - can only answer UK side:

1. UK Passport eligible yes - by descent through Father. Father's nationality would have to be proved.

2. Passports are independent of each other. Some countries do not allow dual citizenships but the UK and US are fine. If the twins were to enter Government service in the US they would have to renounce their British citizenship.

3. Would not make a difference what the father's connections were.

You might find this page useful which is the page for registering the birth of a child born abroad to a British parent. This would get you a British birth certificate which would make the passport process very much easier. Expect passports to take a few months as the Foreign Office was in the process of having all passport processing done back in the UK.

It used to be descent through father but now it's either parent.

I am aware of that - I was answering the specific question of an American mother and British father.

Sorry, I misinterpreted your comment! My cousins and I went through various issues getting UK citizenship - I was okay because it was through my father, but their heritage was through their mother.

The only difference that the father's connections might make is that the consulate will probably expedite things for him - bring papers to him rather than making him queue, etc. It won't change the actual requirements, but there shouldn't be any problems getting the children British passports.


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