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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Dear Sirs, I am a 41 year old British citizen by descent.

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Dear Sirs,

I am a 41 year old British citizen by descent. I presently live in Bahrain however I lived in the UK for most of my life (32 years).

My wife who has a British passport and citizenship (although having been born in Ghana to a Welsh Father and a Ghanian Mother) also lived in the UK for most of her life, approximately 35 years.

We are about to have a daughter and we are thinking of giving birth in Bahrain. I want to ensure that my daughter will be able to be registered as a British citizen straight away. Please confirm.

Many thanks,


After birth,would you and the child reside in the UK for any period?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Thank you for your message. To give you a fuller picture, please let me give you the following information:


1. my entire family is of British lineage. My Mother and her family going back time immemorial are English. My Father is from Hastings, and his family are also all of English heritage and he was born in Hastings.


2. I was born in London, grew up in London, went to University in Bristol, worked in London after University for a number of years and moved to the Middle East for work about nine years ago.


3. My wife was born in Ghana however her Father (deceased) was Welsh and her mother is Ghanaian. Both her Mother and Father are British citizens with British passports.


4. My wife grew up in the UK, schooled in the UK, went to University in the UK and worked in the City of London for a number of years. My wife then moved to the Middle East about two years ago. My wife is both a British citizen and has a British passport.


5. I intend to carry on working in the Middle East for a number of years yet and so I do not intend to spend any time in the UK for the foreseeable future.


I do wish to register my child as soon as possible, and if needs be my wife shall return to the UK to give birth, this is why I need to make the decision now. My understanding is that as I had been born in the UK then my child would automomatically have citizenship. If this is not correct then my wife and I will need to think about what we do.


Please let me know if you have any further questions and thanks for your help.


Best wishes,






May I answer at9am tomorrow please?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom,


Of course you may. I look forward to receiving your response, and in the meantime please let me know if you have any further questions.


Best wishes,






Thanks for your patience.

I think you can relax.

British Citizenship By Descent is the type of citizenship one acquires if they are born outside the UK but to British parents who have “British Citizenship Otherwise than by descent”.

If you were born in the UK before 1983 to British Parents then you yourself have British Citizenship otherwise than by descent.

UK citizenship for parents that have “British Citizenship By Descent” is allowed to descent one generation only to children born outside the UK. It cannot descend further.

Therefore if your child is born outside the UK and you hold “British Citizenship otherwise than by descent” then she will acquire “British citizenship by descent”. This means that they will have all the same rights that a UK citizen has (eg passport) except that if they themselves have children and those children are born outside the UK then those children will not acquire UK citizenship automatically.

Although, she may be able to register the children born outside the uk providing that the conditions on the following page are met:-

The acquisition citizenship by your child’s children in this way is not automatic – they would have to register.

To answer your basic question though :-

Your child will acquire UK citizenship by descent if born outside the UK and you were born before 1983 to British parents.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Many thanks for your thourough advice. There is something that has dawned on me from the advice you gave which I should like to clarify.


My wife is a British Citizen by descent. I am a British Citizen Otherwise than by descent. On this basis I believe from your advice that my daughter would still qualify for citizenship as being British citizenship by descent.


Please could you confirm that my understanding is correct.


Best wishes,





Dear N.

Your understanding is absolutely correct. 100%.

Remember to advise your child of the consequence of their children being born outside the UK. A while in the future (!), but even so.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards.

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Tom,

Further to our earlier correspondence I have another question to ask you. We took my daughter (now 4.5 months old) to the UK (from Bahrain) on the basis of a travel document issued by the British Embassy in Bahrain.


We submitted a passport application whilst in the UK for my daughter. The Passport Agency is refusing to grant her a passport on the basis that the Birth Certificate issued by the Bahrain Authorities does not meet their requirements (the birth certificate names myself and my wife as parents however it does not state where my wife and I were born).


We are stuck. We have asked them what else we may provide as the Birth Certificate is in a set form which the Bahrain Authorities will not change. Do you know what we may be able to do from here?


Best wishes,





Hi Nicholas,

I am very surprised to hear that. Frankly I do not know what to say. It is very unusual for the passport authority to object to a form of birth certificate.

I would imagine that you would probably have to execute some form a statutory declaration us to your date of birth. Presumably you can prove this with your own birth certificates. If they still do not accept this that ultimately you will probably have to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf. It's very frustrating.

Kind regards


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