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Birthright Citizenship

  • (i)

    the parent in question was in the United Kingdom at the beginning of that period; and

  • (ii)

    the number of days on which the parent in question was absent from the United Kingdom in that period does not exceed 270.

The Secretary of State has the possibility to allow a later registration than within the twelve months immediately after the child’s birth by providing that ‘if in the special circumstances of any particular case the Secretary of State thinks fit, he may treat subsection (2) as if the reference to twelve months were a reference to six years’ (UK 3(4)). If a person is born abroad as a child of a British parent without acquiring British citizenship, he may nevertheless acquire a right to registration if the following conditions are fulfilled (UK 3(5)):

(5) A person born outside the United Kingdom shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen made while he is a minor, to be registered as such a citizen if the following requirements are satisfied, namely (a) that at the time of that person's birth his father or mother was a British citizen by descent; and (b) subject to subsection (6), that that person and his father and mother were in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the period of three years ending with the date of the application and that, in the case of each of them, the number of days on which the person in question was absent from the United Kingdom in that period does not exceed 270; and (c) subject to subsection (6), that the consent of his father and mother to the registration has been signified in the prescribed manner.

In Ireland, citizenship is not acquired ex lege in case of birth outside of Ireland if the father or mother through whom the child can derive Irish citizenship was also born outside of Ireland, unless the relevant parent was at the time of the child’s birth in Irish public service. The child acquires Irish citizenship by registration as an Irish citizen on application of the parent or of the person himself (IRE 7(3) juncto 27). A comparable approach can be found in Malta (MAL 5(2)(b)) and in Cyprus (CYP 109 (1) and (2), registration within two years).

Another country with a limitation on the transmission of citizenship iure sanguinis in case of birth abroad is Portugal. Children of a Portuguese father or a Portuguese mother born abroad acquire Portuguese citizenship by birth if they declare that they want to be Portuguese, or if they register the birth in a Portuguese civil register. If the parents reside abroad in the service of Portugal, their children acquire Portuguese citizenship ex lege (POR 1(1)).

A different approach exists in Slovenia. According to Slovenian citizenship law, a child born abroad acquires Slovenian citizenship, if both parents possess Slovenian citizenship (SLN 4(1)). If only one parent is Slovenian this citizenship is in principle only transmitted if the child is born in Slovenia (SLN 4(2)). In the case of birth abroad of one Slovenian parent, the child acquires Slovenian citizenship by registration as such before the age of 18 or by settling in Slovenia together with the Slovenian parent. If the child already reached the age of 14 his consent is required (SLN 8). If the child would be stateless if he does not acquire Slovenian citizenship registration is not necessary: in that case, the citizenship is acquired ex lege (SLN 5). Between the age of 18 and 36 (until 2002: 23) a child of one Slovenian parent who did not acquire Slovenian citizenship can acquire this citizenship by lodging a declaration of option (SLN 6). A similar approach can be found in the Croatian and Latvian citizenship laws (CRO 4(10) and 5; LAT 2(5) and 3).

The Danish situation, finally, is remarkable: in case of birth abroad outside of Denmark, Danish citizenship is not acquired by the child born out of wedlock of a Danish

RSCAS/EUDO-CIT-Comp. 2010/8 - © 2010 Authors


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