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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 8017
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I have 4 children who are British by Descent and have

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I have 4 children who are British by Descent and have UK passports, born in Spain to myself (British) & my Spanish ex. I have custody of my eldest, aged 13. I have been offered a directorship of a UK company. If I become a UK citizen again, will my children all gain full British Citizenship after 3 years if they are minors by virtue of my being resident again? Or would this only apply to my eldest of whom I have custody?
I appreciate your time.
Yours faithfully
Thanks for your patience.
I am afraid there is no facility to convert children from citizenship “by descent” to citizenship “otherwise than by descent”.
It is important to note that there is little distinction between the two. Both are regarded as full UK citizenship.
Your children have all the same rights as children who have citizenship “otherwise than by descent” (eg because of birth in the UK). The single difference between the two is that your children cannot automatically pass on their citizenship to your grandchildren if those grandchildren are born outside the UK.
However, if they give birth to your grandchildren outside the UK then they can apply to register them as UK citizens provided that your children have at some point during their lives spent 3 years in the UK before the grandchild’s birth and not left the UK for more than 270 days during that 3 year period.
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,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Thomas - my point exactly: if I am resident in the UK for 3 years while they are still minors, this should count as them living in the UK, at least for my eldest of whom I have sole custody. Please clarify. I had a similar situation with Jersey, where my father lived, my mother had died and I was at bording school in the UK, but it meant that for the UK I was Jersey domociled. Please clarify, this is a point in law. Thank you.
I'm afraid that it does not change the situation.
The right to apply to register as a UK citizen the circumstances I have referred to above is s3(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. This only ever results in UK citizenship by descent.
The only circumstances in which a person can get full citizenship is either by being born in the UK or natuaralising as a UK citizen. Obviously you cannot change the fact that they were born outside the UK and you cannot naturalise as a UK citizen if you are already a UK citizen (which your children are).
I am sorry but they cannot become citizens "otherwise than by descent" regardless of the pending period's of residence in the UK you have planed of both you and them.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok, thanks. The main issue is securing citizenship passes to my grand children. If they are resident with UK but schooled abroad, can this not count? I appreciate you have explained the other ways this can be done.
If your children are in the United Kingdom living here for 3 years and do not leave for 270 days from the UK during the three years then your grandchildren will be able to become UK citizens by registration.
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