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Registering Children as British Citizens in the Philippines

Discussion in 'UK Visa and Immigration Help' started by Markham, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Markham
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    Markham Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    Children born into a British-Filipino family are automatically granted British citizenship and whilst it is not necessary to record a child's birth with the British Embassy to prove citizenship, I would strongly advise you do so before the child's first birthday as it will make applying for his/her first British Passport far less complicated. In fact, you really need to do so within the first six months of his/her life.

    You will require the following (and not all of these requirements are necessarily detailed on the Embassy's website!) original documents plus one clear photocopy of each:
    • Marriage Certificate - NSO version
    • Ob/Gynae's medical notes clearly showing the date of conception and estimated date of delivery
    • Copies of all scans and medical notes made during the pregnancy
    • Copies of all hospital notes made during the confinement and birth. Any theatre notes should also be included if, for example, the birth was by Caesarian Section.
    • Passport's details page plus Immigration stamps to prove the British father was in the Philippines immediately prior to and on the date of conception. This should ideally show he was in-country at least 2 weeks prior
    • Proof (eg photos) that husband and wife cohabit
    • Photos of the mother taken during the pregnancy
    • Photos taken immediately after the birth of the baby - full face should be visible
    • Photos showing you as a family with the newborn taken over a period of days
    • The completed application form - downloadable as a PDF file from the British Embassy website
    • LBC pre-paid envelope for the return of all documents

    Unless you really want to go to the Embassy, I'd recommend you file the application with Moya Jackson, the Hon Con in Cebu and all applications must be made in person. Your wife can apply on your behalf but she will need a notarised Special Power of Attorney in order to be able to do so. You will, after about 4 - 6 weeks, receive your child's extract from the Register of Births Abroad kept by the Embassy (aka "Birth Certificate").

    We found Moya to be very helpful - far more so than the career diplomats at the Embassy. Her husband, however, reminds me of the army sergeant, played by Windsor Davies, in "It ain't half hot mum" both in manner and dress! Both are charming people whom we met on social occasions in Cebu.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  2. oss
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    oss Tech Guy Staff Member

    While all of the above are requirements, it is possible to shortcut all this as the law has been specifically changed to allow the child to obtain British Citizenship by decent via the father, however the shortcut is not cheap.

    All you really need is a legally recognised DNA test done three ways on the father the mother and the child, since the 1st of July 2006 any child of a British father is entitled to British citizenship by decent, prior to this date a child could only automatically get this status by virtue of having a British mother.

    This applies whether you are married or not, so while all the other documents help they are not essential, they will need the fathers passport though, in our case we supplied most of the documents on the list but obviously we were not married and we never bothered to supply photos or hospital papers apart from Janna's passport photo.

    Cost of the DNA test 60,000 PHP at University of the Philippines Diliman in 2008, they are recognised by the Philippine legal system and more importantly by the British Embassy, I know because I used them for this exact purpose.

    The British Embassy in Manila tried to pretend that our claim for my daughter was invalid because of Ana's foreign divorce status (not recognised in the Phils at that point in time) however this was deliberate mischievousness on the part of the consul who interviewed me.

    Within a month they had to accept our applications for birth registration and passport however by that time neither Ana nor I were in the Philippines and the Embassy had lost all our contact details, they never thought to write a letter to our Manila address. As it was we found out 8 months later that Janna's passport and British birth certificate had been granted and were awaiting collection.

    If you try to do it without a DNA test, you will need everything Mark has detailed and they will scrutinize it all in detail. If you go the DNA test route it will cost you and you have to be sure that the testing institution is accredited as far as the UK embassy is concerned, the UP Diliman lab is a forensic lab and the only one I can be sure is acceptable to our Embassy.
  3. Markham
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    Markham Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    I did discuss all the requirements with Moya, the Hon Con, and she did mention that the Embassy will require DNA tests if they're not convinced by the other supporting documentation. Apparently, the longer you leave making the application from the date of birth, the more likely it is that DNA tests will be required.

    Actually not entirely true: being born in the UK also accords British citizenship (as does - I believe - being born on a British-registered merchant ship). I'm British by birth but neither of my parents were; my father was Australian and my mother Polish).
  4. oss
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    oss Tech Guy Staff Member

    I think that specific route may have changed over the years, there have been many revisions of these laws, I don't think it still applies for birth in the UK see here specifically the last paragraph on that page.

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