I have a dual citizenship, South African and Polish, but I live in the UK now.

I know that my children will be automatically citizens of Britain, as my friends already had children, but will my children also be entitled to either of the other nationalities, giving them instant triple nationalities?

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    I am pretty sure babies born in the UK to parents that are not British citizens are not automatically British Citizens: contact-ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/eligibility/… – StrongBad Mar 13 '14 at 13:36
  • I am pretty sure they are. My friends are not UK citizens but gave birth to their son Bruno, who has a British Passport before his Polish one. That links, right at the bottom says even though they don't meet section 1(3) the child can still be registered as British under discretion. I suppose because they own a home, are fully employed for x years and no criminal convictions, they let the baby become British citizen in with good intention. – Piotr Kula Mar 13 '14 at 13:42
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    There are differences between entitled, automatic, and can apply for. The British requirement is not citizenship, but settlement. – StrongBad Mar 13 '14 at 13:54

You children will automatically be citizens of Poland:

A minor acquires Polish citizenship by birth if

  • at least one of his/her parents is a Polish citizen;
  • he/she was born in the territory of the Republic of Poland, and his/her parents are unknown, hold no citizenship or their citizenship is undefined.

Your children will need to apply to become citizens of South Arfica:

if you were born outside of South Africa to a South African citizen(s) or were adopted by a South African citizen in terms of the Children’s Act, 2005 and your birth was registered in accordance with the births and Deaths Registration Act,1992, you can apply for citizenship

You sound confident that your children will be citizens of Britain, but this is generally not the case. Being born in the UK is not sufficient to be guaranteed citizenship. Details can be found at: https://contact-ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/eligibility/children/britishcitizen/borninuk/.

So in summary it seems like you children will be automatically citizens of 1 country (Poland) and eligible for citizenship for a end country (South Africa). Depending on the other parents status or at some future date or the child may be eligible for triple citizenship.

  • Yea- I am confident that my children will become British because all my other friends children are, and have British Passports. But we all own houses, full time work, non-benefit users and no criminal convictions. UK Likes people like that :) And would like our children to grow up in the UK based on those principals, so by discretions, Section 1(3) can be overruled. – Piotr Kula Mar 13 '14 at 13:51
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    Your children are automatically UK citizens only if you had an indefinite leave to remain in the UK at the time of their birth. Because you are EU citizen, this translates to having spent here >5 years. – Grzenio Sep 23 '14 at 7:59

The third link provided by StrongBad is not directly relevant here. That page does not explain the criteria that determine whether a child is a UK citizen at birth. Rather, it explains how a child who is not a UK citizen at birth can register for citizenship at a later date.

Here's the short version: if you have lived in the UK for five years, your child will be a UK citizen at birth.

Here's the long version:

A child born in the United Kingdom will hold UK citizenship at birth if at least one parent is a British citizen or is "settled" in the UK - that is, holds Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residence.

As an EEA national (Poland), you have the advantage of avoiding the lengthy and expensive process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Instead, you gain permanent resident status when you have "exercised your treaty rights" (lived and worked) in the UK for five years. This happens automatically. You do not have to apply or take any other action.

When you have gained permanent residence you may choose to obtain a permanent residence card. This is not obligatory. Getting the card or not getting the card does not affect your status. The card provides proof of your permanent residence status. If you have a permanent residence card dated before your child's birth, the Passport Office will accept the permanent residence card (together with your child's birth certificate) as proof of your child's citizenship.

You haven't said anything about the other parent, but obviously if they're also an EEA national this all applies to them too. If either of you qualify as settled in the UK, your child will be a UK citizen at birth. If neither of you qualify as settled, your child will not be a citizen at birth.

If your child is not a UK citizen at birth but you or the other parent later becomes "settled" (or acquires citizenship) in the UK, the child can then register for UK citizenship under section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

(I am not an immigration lawyer. I am, however, a UK dual-national parent of a UK triple-national child.)

  • While this is potentially a helpful clarification about the UK process, it really misses the point of the question which focuses on the Polish and South African citizenship. – StrongBad Mar 20 '14 at 12:01
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    The question is: "Which nationality are my children entitled to?" I would say that clarifying whether or not they are entitled to UK nationality is entirely relevant. – flirb Mar 20 '14 at 12:06
  • What nationlaites do you have and your child? This is quite interesting. – Piotr Kula Mar 20 '14 at 22:24

According to Wikipedia, there shouldn't be a problem with Poland, however they would need a special permission to maintain their South African citizenship while holding another.

In any case you would most probably still need to register your children at the respective embassy.

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