I´m British, my PACS partner Rossi is Bulgarian, we have our first child in France

Hi all, just read that little Harrison is not automatically a French citizen being born to foreign parents living in France, i.e. us. This was a shock as we thought that he was a French citizen being born here. Seems he will have to apply for citizenship (should he decide to) if he is a resident in France at the age of 18. Does anyone know about how to get him British citizenship as I am Scottish with British passport? Thanks Ralph

Seem to think along with passport and certificate it was almost in the region of 300€. Can't remember exactly, just remember thinking what a lot it was,

Hi Ralph, I'm from North lanarkshire Motherwell/Bellshill area, Lived in Edinburgh for 2 years with my partner before eventually moving to France so how are you finding living in France?

Thanks Marie. Very helpful. Where abouts you from in Scotland? I’m from Edinburgh. Cheers Ralph

Hi Bruce, my Father was from Mauritius. Thanks for your comment. Ralph

Hiya Ralph, I'm Scottish too with children born in France, my children have automatic right to French citizenship as the father is French. I have British passports for my children but they can have both passports if we wish, anyway here is a link to applying for Harrison's passport, https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports when we applied it was quick (only about 3 weeks turnaround) I think it cost around 160 Euros all in .

The UK birth certificate is not actually necessary, but handy since you have done it, bar adding a princely sum of money of course.

PACS father now has the status of full parenthood of father as long as he is the biological parent or the registering father sharing full parental rights and as long as the two parents register the baby's birth jointly. The clause allowing this alters the previous law - part of the 1989 Children Act - and gives full parental rights to unmarried fathers who co-sign the birth register with the mother 'without further formality'.

The citizenship by descent principle only applies if a child reaches majority or above then applies for UK nationality, a passport in other words for which only the UK nationality of one parent is required or of at least one grandparent.

It is all very different now Roger but recent and the actual Act of Parliament is barely dry on the paper. However, the UK has caught up with other countries at last, thank providence.

I suppose it's different for each country. Both our girls were born in the UK but, because their mother is from Mauritius, they are entitled to take Mauritian nationality if they wish, too.

And also, he can chose to take French nationality at 13 rather than 18 as long as he’s lived 5 of his years in France and has both parents permission.

I’ve just done the whole hog with my boy, he was born at the end of sept in Toulouse so registered in France within the 3 day limit for his French birth cert(s) then I sent one of them to the Paris embassy with copies of our passports as per the instructions on the uk government website with the fee and reply paid envelope (we are both British but same applies as long as 2nd nationality is still European). I chose to get him a Brit birth cert too but you can do just the registration if you want, all options are expensive of course, prices are on the site too with monthly exchange rates. I also then downloaded the overseas passport application form and applied for that too, more money :wink: as I used the Brit birth cert I didn’t need an official translation of the French one but either can be used (note that they won’t accept the pink pre translated ones that the local etat civil will print for free as it does not show parents occupations in English) and the passports must go via the passport office in Hull since last summer, no embassy in France can do them any more but Paris can do the registration and birth certs. The gov website really is simple to use and takes you through whole thing step by step, it uses a flow if simple questions to make sure you get to exactly the right solution for your situation. Start at www.gov.uk/register-a-birth.

Thanks Tracy, just out of interest, what did it cost for registering them as Brit citizens? Seems Brit Embassy is same as all the rest and likes the colour of your money in my experience.

Umm, I answered quickly from the simple point of view - I'm British, dad is British, we are married and babies both born here. We sent the French birth certificate to the Embassy adn have been issued with a UK birth certificate showing our kids are British children born in France. It's actually quite expensive but we decided to do it to ensure that in later years, if necessary, the kids can prove their nationality easily enough. Having said that they both want French nationality when they are 13.

Thanks Tim. Well as far as I’m concerned, I was born and raised in the UK and left in 2005 to live abroad. My Mum is English and family goes back 100s of years and Dad was from Mauritius but became UK citizen in 60s as well as qualifying as a psychiatrist.

I guess it shouldn’t be too hard to register Harri as a UK citizen. Will start with Embassy and take it from there. Thanks for all the advice everyone:).

Watch out with the British citizenship rules, some words don't mean what you might think. For instance, "parent". Until 2006, this did NOT include unmarried father (which I was). Now it's a bit better, it's defined as "the biological mother of a child, the biological father if he was married to the mother when the child was born or if he can prove paternity, or the adoptive mother or father of a child who has been legally adopted. For children born before 1 July 2006 citizenship could not be passed on from a father if he was not married to the child’s mother."

Then there's all the "citizen by descent" stuff. They cooked this up in the early 1980s when they were afraid that lots of Hong Kong British might want to come to UK. It's basically "better", for citizenship, to have parents/grandparents who were NOT "citizens by descent", i.e it's better if they were citizens by being born in the UK themselves pre-1983. The rules say that "If you were born outside the United Kingdom or qualifying territory and your parents were British citizens by descent, you are not a British citizen. However, you may be able to apply to register as a British citizen."

Thanks Carol. Will be in touch with BE. And take it from there. Cheers Ralph

This may help (or confuse):

Thanks Veronique, helpful.

Thanks Brian, very helpful information. Yeah, will contact the old Brit Embassy first and see what they can do…then the passport office. Cheers and have a good evening. Ralph

Ralph, there are actually very few nations at all who give a child born in their country two non-national parents that country's nationality. In the interim, before time for French nationality as Véronique has described it, you will need to obtain a national passport for your child from your embassy or issuing authority in your country. You have a choice of two. When he is old enough to have French nationality he can also keep his original one. You could theoretically register him for dual nationality Bulgarian/British (Scots after September with lots of luck on our side) and then French later; dual nationality is quite common, triple less so but possible. It can be a bit of a hassle getting it with the birth certificate going here and there at risk of being held or lost and a reissue required. As for the UK, I assume you will have your birth certificate, if so ask the embassy how to go about it. I think they may well have ceased to have anything to do with it, so it is probably the passport service in the UK who will.

Our children have UK birth certificates, both born there, but are also Swiss with Swiss passports because their mother is, but have no birth certification since the UK one is all that can be issued as a record of birth. So, where he was born is where it is registered and a certificate issued, coupled with your birth certificate his passport will be issued. Et voila, he is a British citizen. Ask more if you want/need, I have studied children's citizenship as an academic and should have a few answers if and when required.