US citizen w/ U.K. children living in UK

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US citizen w/ U.K. children living in UK


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Old 20th May 2019, 07:10 PM
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Default US citizen w/ U.K. children living in UK

Hello! Hoping you all could shed some advice. I’m an American citizen living legally in the U.K. to my British partner and our two British born children. We are planning on making our first trip to the US soon and I have successfully applied for the U.K. passports for their British passports. I have 2 questions:

1. My American coworker in the same situation said her children has both US and UK passports because it’s safer to travel into the US on a US passport and back on their U.K. one. She said they could be denied entry if not travelling on these? I was under the impression I didn’t need to apply for their US passports if I didn’t want to immediately?

2. She said I must also apply for their social security numbers as there is new legislation being passed that says every American citizen must register their children or be fined up to $6k?

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Old 20th May 2019, 08:12 PM
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It didn't used to be so, but lately I have heard only too many tales of dual citizens being detained and "questioned" for up to an hour or more if they try to enter the US on a non-US passport. Assuming that the children are US citizens (there are some requirements for you to be able to pass on your US nationality), they probably won't be denied entry, but you could be in for a long delay at Immigration on arrival.

To get them US passports, you'll need to report their births to the US Consulate in London (which may require you and the kids making a personal appearance in London) in order to apply for their US SSN and passports.

In your case, because the kids have non-US birthplaces, you may be able to get by on their UK passports if it isn't obvious that you are travelling with them and that you are their parent (i.e. that they are travelling with their British parent only).

I don't know about the monetary penalty for not registering your kids for a SSN. That's a new one on me. The one caveat is that, for a US citizen to apply for their SSN from overseas can be a real hassle as an adult.

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Old 21st May 2019, 07:23 AM
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I was born and lived in the US for 30 years, married my husband, moved to the U.K. and we had our twins here, they will be 11 months when we travel.

Are they automatically dual citizens? Is there any other pros to getting their US passports?

At this point in time we won’t have time to apply for US passports anyway, but my husband is traveling with us as well with his British passport (he’s British born and has resided her his entire life apart from 2 years that we lived in the US).

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Old 21st May 2019, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightermech View Post
No, they're not dual citizens. If I'm not mistaken they're UK. Maybe they can choose, but they're not dual citizens, that's quite clear to understand.
Afraid that simply isn't the case. Technically speaking, the kids are US citizens - because they have a US citizen parent who spent more than the requisite time resident in the US. What they don't have is US passports and that could prove "awkward" at least if traveling with Mom and Dad to the US. There is more information here: https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen...faqs/children/

A couple possible scenarios:
1. It is possible that the airline could refuse to board the family for the flight over, since the kids are US citizens (certainly in the eyes of the US government) and have no US passports.

2. It's fairly unlikely that on arrival in the US the Immigration officials would deny the kids entry into the US. However, they can make the entry process long and difficult (i.e. taking the family, just the US citizen parent and/or just the kids) aside for long and somewhat grueling questioning.

3. If, to avoid the problems, you have the kids pass through Immigration with their father, and let Mom go on her own through the "US Citizens Only" line, it might work. But, there are two caveats: First one is that for one parent to travel solo with minor children, they could ask for proof that the travelling parent has authorization from the other parent to remove the children from the country. The second one is that you (as the USC parent) could claim that you left the US too early to have the requisite time in residence to pass on US citizenship to the kids. The problem in either case is that I don't know what sort of "proof" they might require for either option and there is always the risk of getting caught in a "lie" to the Immigration authorities.

4. Or, it's entirely possible that no notice will be taken at all of the kids' potential US citizenship for whatever reason and you'll be admitted no problem.

With children as young as yours, I suspect the most likely scenario is #2, with a somewhat toned down "interrogation" - though with the stuff that is going on these days back there, I would be prepared for just about anything.

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Old 21st May 2019, 02:12 PM
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"Have successfully applied" indicates that OP has applied for and received the kids US passports.
US citizens are required to enter and leave the US using their US passports.

If the kids are eligible for UK citizenship they need UK passports to enter and exit the UK.

Mother has file US income tax on an annual basis ans needs the kids social security number for child credit.

At point of entry I personally would use the citizens line for the whole family. Nobody expects a parent to manage two small kids when a second parent is available.

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Old 21st May 2019, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
We are planning on making our first trip to the US soon and I have successfully applied for the U.K. passports for their British passports.
If the kids do not have US passports, just be prepared for a "lecture" from the Immigrations people at your port of entry.

https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen...faqs/children/

and the very first drop down is "Can my child travel to the US on a foreign passport?"
Quote:
If your child has a claim to U.S. citizenship, s/he is required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. S/he should not enter the United States on a foreign passport with a visa, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

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Old 21st May 2019, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
If the kids do not have US passports, just be prepared for a "lecture" from the Immigrations people at your port of entry.

https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen...faqs/children/

and the very first drop down is "Can my child travel to the US on a foreign passport?"
Thank you Bev. Small print is not always my friend.

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Old 21st May 2019, 08:42 PM
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Thanks for the help! I would have been totally unprepared, looks like when we get back I will need to look into getting their passports.

On that note, will I get money for claiming the kids on my tax returns even though I don’t pay US taxes? I’m late in filing the past 2 years because I only earned about $10k but I do need to get around to it. I will have to read the link you posted Bev. Always appreciate the knowledge here 😁

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Old 21st May 2019, 08:50 PM
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When you get back from your trip, take a look at the Expat Tax section here on the forum. If you only make $10,000 or so, you aren't going to owe any US taxes anyhow (due to the standard deduction, now combined with the personal exemption) - but starting in 2018, there's no further exemptions for "dependents."

There is something called the "Additional Child Tax Credit" which may be refundable in part for 2019 - but I'll leave it to someone in the Expat Tax section to explain the details to you.

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