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Immigration & forces brats born abroad

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Immigration & forces brats born abroad

Old 2nd May 2018, 13:59
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Immigration & forces brats born abroad

Speaking as a forces brat who was born abroad due to my father's posting some decades ago, I've been following the recent immigration omnishambles with an increasing sense of disquiet.

Though both my parents were/are British and though I have no connection with the country of my birth, beyond being born there, I hear the stories of those who have lived in this country for decades and who have had British passports, paid taxes to the UK government, and in at least one case served in the British Army, only to be told in the last few months that they are no longer considered to be British.

I don't want to turn this into a Brexit/not Brexit thing, but the government plays to the mood music and that that has been decidedly hostile to immigration of all forms over recent months and years, and my concern from all the cases that I am hearing is that just because you believe yourself to be British it is no guarantee that the authorities will see it that way (and it appears that having previously held a passport or paid taxes is no indicator as to what your status might really be).

I imagine there are a fair few PPRuNErs out there who were similarly born abroad to forces parents, and I was wondering if you are experiencing similar concerns. Indeed, have you run into any issues in terms of having to prove your 'Britishness' to officialdom? We are, after all, already classed as 'foreign' when it comes to the Census (there is no 'born aboard to forces parents' box to tick), and in the current climate it isn't such a big leap to see us having to prove our right to be here when the new post-Brexit rules and regulations come into being.

Also, if you have not experienced problems or have no concerns for yourselves, have you run into any issues when it comes to your kids not having a UK-born parent, and is that a concern?

Like I said, not looking for another Brexit dust-up here. Am genuinely interested to hear the thoughts who might be similarly concerned/affected.

Thanks

Last edited by melmothtw; 2nd May 2018 at 15:03.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 15:21
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Immigration

My son was born in BMH Hong Kong when we were at Kai Tak. He has a Kowloon City registrars birth certificate (in English and Cantonese) and a British birth certificate issued by the appropriate military authority (I can't remember which). At census times we just ticked the box as being born in the UK, there being no other appropriate box. You also should have a British birth certificate issued by the appropriate military authority at wherever your parents were serving . My son is now a SNCO in the RAF and I don't think that the government would like him being deported and discussing his current service with representatives of the Peoples Liberation Army. I think that the Windrush thing is a bit of a red herring in this respect.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 15:27
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Not a UK problem, but my son - born in TPMH Akrotiri (British Birth Certificate, passport etc) was refused entry in to the US - and forcibly deported - one of the reasons given was because his passport states he was born in Sovereign Base Area Cyprus. US Immigration did not understand.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 15:35
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My two daughters were born at RAFH Wegberg near JHQ Rheindahlen. Although the service authority issued British birth certificates we were advised to have the births registered at the British Consulate. This was especially important in the case of a male child who, despite having a British birth certificate, could be liable for conscription in the German Armed Forces because they were born in Germany and this made them liable for this in German eyes. We registered the births at Dusseldorf and there have been no subsequent questioning of their nationality or British citizenship. So if the birth has been registered at the Consulate, Embassy or High Commission, there would not appear to be an issue. During the registration process my wife who was born in Guernsey during the German Occupation had her passport that had been issued in Guernsey endorsed that she was a British citizen with right of abode in the UK. Hope this clarifies matters and allays any fears.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 15:42
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I do have a British birth certificate, but as far as I know I only have one crinckled copy and the concern is what might happen if that were lost - are we (foreign born forces kids) in the wider system as we think/assume we are?

As to your son being an NCO, as I said there is at least one of the Windrush-related cases that served several years in the army. Seems that in itself is no protection.

The US immigration issue is true - I have always had to say where I was born and not where I was from. As both have been EU nations subject to the same rules it has never been an issue, but who knows if that will remain so.

While clearly nothing to do with Brexit and Windrush, this does lends itself to the wider point about confusion that officials can sometimes have in discerning the difference as to place of birth and nationality. Its the US today in this particualr instance, but why wouldnt it be the UK tomorrow?
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Old 2nd May 2018, 15:50
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Place of Residence = Jersey.
Oh, we have relatives in Trenton.
<face-palm>

Born in UK, and having a Jersey passport which says I am a British Citizen is fine. Having “European Union” on the cover is false. So far it has never been an issue, but I have strong sympathy for those whose distinctions are less clear.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 15:50
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My middle and youngest daughters were born in Akrotiri and Kuala Lumpur respectively. The one born in Cyprus is now an American citizen. The youngest one has travelled the world. Neither have had any problems with border controls.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:05
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Originally Posted by goudie View Post
My middle and youngest daughters were born in Akrotiri and Kuala Lumpur respectively. The one born in Cyprus is now an American citizen. The youngest one has travelled the world. Neither have had any problems with border controls.
Yes, I've never had any problems to date either. Neither though did many of those cases we have been hearing about lately where people have lived perfectly normal lives for decades under the assumption that they are British only for the system to one day decide that they are not. That's the concern and the cause of my question.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:22
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Similar for children of Civilian Component: two born BMH Dhekelia, one born BMH Rinteln. All processed through the Consulate/ High Commission at the time, all have UK passports so fingers crossed no worries. We actually managed one in Yorkshire as well.
Rather a lot of service to UK PLC between them: RAFVR {Regiment], Police, NHS.

As an grumpy aside I am never entirely happy to be labelled "British" when I am most definitely English, with no trace of anything Scots Irish Welsh or even Cornish [and certainly no Johny Foreigner] going back to at least 1700. I also grump a bit at "Forename" but have accepted defeat on that one.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:22
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Originally Posted by Shackman View Post
Not a UK problem, but my son - born in TPMH Akrotiri (British Birth Certificate, passport etc) was refused entry in to the US - and forcibly deported - one of the reasons given was because his passport states he was born in Sovereign Base Area Cyprus. US Immigration did not understand.
I believe that in such cases, visa free entry, that is the norm for UK born British Citizens, is refused.
I know its a pain, but you son will have to get a visa if he wants entry into the USA.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:31
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Originally Posted by ACW342 View Post
You also should have a British birth certificate issued by the appropriate military authority at wherever your parents were serving .
Not always possible.

1957-8 I served with the Royal Air Force Liaison Party at Istres and later Orange in France.
I was single at the time so not directly involved, but I know that when a wife gave birth, a dash was made to Marseille and the British Consul Generals office, to process the appropriate paper work. This had to be completed within 48 hours of the birth.
I dunno if these children have had any problems in later life.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:34
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Back to the OP.

Brexit has nothing to do with it, in fact it membership of the EU - for two reasons.

Firstly, a lot of the present problems are caused due to the Immigration Act of 1971, which was done at the behest of the then members of the EU prior to U.K. entry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Act_1971

Secondly, the pressure to reduce immigration in the last decade has been driven by the arrival of large numbers of EU citizens over which the Home Office has no control - so the resulting clamp down has been on those arriving from elsewhere.

As far as the status of forces children is concerned that has been an ongoing problem since the 1948 Immmingration Act, particularly those born in India. Spike Milligan, being an example. His parents were born in Ireland, then part of the UK, as it still was when he was born in India in 1918 when his father was in the army. When, after serving in the army in WWII he applied for a passport post 1948 he was told he was Indian and was refused. Thankfully the Irish offered him one immediately.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:41
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Slightly different...

Back in the day, a crew's worth of Brits was trained on the NATO AWACS at Geilenkirchen in preparation for the UK Sentry arrival in service. The German national support unit agreed to look after the Brits because we didn't have a national support unit. The first two Brits arrived to be processed by the Germans. Place of birth: Kenya. A few raised eyebrows at that. Second chap place of birth: Basra, Iraq (father was a British Army doctor - more raised eyebrows). Third chap place of birth...Yorkshire (that's more like it). Date of birth: Christmas Day. Fourth chap: place of birth; Yorkshire. Date of birth: Christmas Day. For some reason, the Germans thought that we were testing their sense of humour, and yet it was all true.

As an afters, the Geilenkirchen procedure was that all newly arrived personnel had to take an English language test with the Americans and Canadians as the only ones exempt - the upshot was a strong suggestion that the Brits had to take the language test as we weren't exempt. (We refused by stating that it was a waste of time and won).
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:42
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Originally Posted by ian16th View Post
I believe that in such cases, visa free entry, that is the norm for UK born British Citizens, is refused.
I know its a pain, but you son will have to get a visa if he wants entry into the USA.
UK passport holder born overseas. Been to the US countless times, including one trip this year. Place of birth as printed on my passport is very obviously an Arab city. No issues, ever.​​​
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Old 2nd May 2018, 16:49
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Setting Brexit aside Orac, I was born in an EU country so my concern is that, while previously the crackdown has come on non-EU immigrants, at some point in the future you have to suppose that once the current furore has died down and been forgotten about, any future clampdown must be directed at EU immigrants if future targets are to be met.

Now, in the climate of that future (hypothetical) hostile environment, will the system recognise me as British or will it not? On current evidence, it is not entirely certain that it will.

Further to that, and more importantly, will it recognise that my child who has a British-born-overseas father and an EU mother is British?

Last edited by melmothtw; 2nd May 2018 at 17:00.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 17:34
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Melmothtw,

Assuming you are resident abroad - That depends on what your parents status was when you were born abroad. See sections 4 and 5 of the leaflet below.

If your are British otherwise than by descent you can pass on British nationality to your child; if British by descent you cannot.

https://assets.publishing.service.go..._sept_2015.pdf
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Old 2nd May 2018, 18:21
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Was a chap having trouble getting a British Passport as he had been born in India of British parents, who had themselves been born in India of British parents (quite common in former days, as Britons served the Raj from generation to generation)

"So", they said, "you've never been abroad since you came home from India, then?" ... "Well", he said, "I did go to France once - but there was no Passport Control when I led my men ashore on Sword Beach".

Collapse of Stout Party! Hope he got his Passport !
 
Old 2nd May 2018, 18:39
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Originally Posted by Danny42C View Post
Was a chap having trouble getting a British Passport as he had been born in India of British parents, who had themselves been born in India of British parents (quite common in former days, as Britons served the Raj from generation to generation)

"So", they said, "you've never been abroad since you came home from India, then?" ... "Well", he said, "I did go to France once - but there was no Passport Control when I led my men ashore on Sword Beach".

Collapse of Stout Party! Hope he got his Passport !
I'm not sure I can get away with that one Danny, though I will try ;-)

Orac, if I have read your post correctly it says that I cannot pass on British citizenship that has been passed down through my ancestors, but I can pass on citizenship that I may have gained through naturalization etc? That can't be right. Even if it is though, it appears that the rules today will change after Brexit (EU citizens are being told not to apply for leave to remain now as the process will shortly be very different).

I guess I will just have to wait and see, and keep my fingers crossed. And Windrush is on the news again. How did we get here?
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Old 2nd May 2018, 19:09
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Melmothtw, as I say read the linked leaflet.

”(e) A “British citizen otherwise than by descent” is someone who can pass their citizenship onto a child born overseas. Generally speaking a British citizen otherwise than by descent is a British citizen who was born, adopted, naturalised or, in most cases, registered in the United Kingdom or a qualifying territory.

(f) A “British citizen by descent” cannot normally pass on citizenship to a child born overseas. A British citizen by descent could have become such a citizen in a number of ways – for example: by birth outside the United Kingdom to a parent who was a British citizen otherwise than by descent........

4. CHILDREN WHO ARE BORN OUTSIDE THE UNITED KINGDOM TO BRITISH CITIZENS BY DESCENT

A child born outside the United Kingdom will not be a British citizen if neither parent is a British citizen otherwise than by descent. A parent who is a British citizen by descent cannot normally pass that status on. The exception to this is where the parent was in one of the 3 types of service listed in section 5 at the time of the birth.......
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Old 2nd May 2018, 19:16
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Yes, will look into it in more detail. Thanks for the link, Orac.
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