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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7673
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I and my ex-wife are both fully fledged British citizens. Our

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I and my ex-wife are both fully fledged British citizens. Our daughter was born in the USA (24/12/1983) while I was on work assignment and she has joint USA and British nationality. We all moved back to the UK in 1990. My daughter moved from the UK to Mexico in 2005 and has lived there since. She has a Mexican partner and is now pregnant. If the child is born in Mexico will he/she have British nationality?


Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

Your daughter is obviously a “UK citizen by descent”. This means that she has all the rights as other UK citizens except that she cannot automatically pass on her UK citizenship to any children she has that are born outside the UK.

So, if the child is born outside the UK in Mexico then she cannot automatically apply for a passport. This means that we have to consider whether or not she can apply for registration as a UK citizen, which is different to applying for a passport.

Under the s3(2) of British Nationality Act 1981, a child will be entitled to be registered as a UK citizen if :-
- their parent was a UK citizen by descent at the time of the child’s birth (which she would be), and
- the parent of the child (ie. your daughter) also had a parent who was a UK citizen otherwise than by descent at the time of the parent of the child’s birth (if you were born in the UK before 1981 you are a UK citizen otherwise than by descent and therefore meet this) , and
- If the parent spent a period of three years living in the UK at some point before the child’s birth (if your daughter lived in the UK between 1990 to 2005 then she meets this) AND during the given three year period did not spend more than 270 days outside the UK

So, provided that your daughter did not spend more than 270 days outside the UK during a continuous three year period when she lived in the UK then her child would appear to meet the requirements to register under this section.

The Act is here for you to confirm:-

As is the governments guidance notes on these applications (please refer to pages 10 & 11):-

You will see that the following link contains information on how to apply:-

Once registered, the child’s passport can be applied for.

In summary, the child won’t automatically obtain UK citizen but you will probably be able to register the child as a UK citizen under the above section of the British Nationality Act 1981

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,

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