United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Birth (US Father)
Listen to our RECENT WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in the United States and its implications for claims to British nationality in the modern day.
In normal circumstances, a birth in the UK before 1 January 1983 means the automatic acquisition of Citizen of the UK & Colonies (CUKC) status at birth and the automatic reclassification as a British citizen on 1 January 1983. However, the position is complicated if the birth took place at a time that the father was stationed in the UK on account of their active service for the US Military.
The Visiting Forces Act 1952 (commencement date 12 June 1954) details to what extent servicemen from overseas are subject to UK Jurisdiction. It is clear from this Act that the UK reserved rights of jurisdiction in at least some cases and so US Servicemen in the UK were not afforded the same rights as foreign diplomats in the period between 12 June 1954 and 1 January 1983.
In broad terms, if you were born in the UK to a father who stationed there on account of their position in the US military, then:
- if you were born before 12 June 1954, it is unlikely that you acquired CUKC status and it is unlikely that you were reclassified as a British citizen on 1 January 1983;
- if you were born after 11 June 1954 and before 1 January 1983, it is likely that you acquired CUKC status and you can now claim British nationality in the modern day.