British Cannot Automatically Pass On British Citizenship To A Child Born Outside The UK?


Every British citizen is either a British citizen otherwise than by descent or a British citizen by descent.

This difference is important because the type of citizenship people have decides the way in which they can pass British citizenship on to their children who were born outside the United Kingdom.

A British citizen otherwise than by descent, can automatically pass on British citizenship to a child born outside the UK. You can be a British Citizen otherwise than by descent by:

  1. Birth;
  2. Registration;
  3. Naturalisation;
  4. Adoption.

For example, Tom Jones who is a British citizen by naturalisation. He and his wife Maria Santiago went to Tacloban. Maria gave birth to Baby Ruth Jones.

Maria would be British citizen otherwise than by descent because she acquired citizenship in her own rights and therefore can pass on citizenship to her children.

Baby Ruth would be British citizen by descent and cannot automatically pass on citizenship to her children. This is explained by the British Nationality Act 1981 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61/section/3  and in Section 3(1) BNA


Don Magsino MBA is an Immigration Lawyer in the United Kingdom. Stanford Law is accredited by the Law Society in England and Wales. Registered with the OISC on Level 3. Mobile 07446 888377 / 0207 316 3027. Office: 239 Kensington HIgh Street London, W8 6SN

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