Having a child abroad.....be aware..they may be stateless..

saucytrini

can u handle me?
As an extension of the Caribbean PP and visa info thread, I'm passing this on to folks...

even if you do hold Passports or citizenship in other countries, this is the reality of what's happening...


Having children abroad? Your country may not want them
Thursday, November 25 10:20 pm
Reuters Laura MacInnis


Baby Rachel's dad is Canadian, her mother is Chinese and 14 months after her birth in Beijing she's finally a citizen too...of Ireland.

However, Chloe -- who was born a month later in Brussels to Canadian and Algerian parents -- is still stateless.

The two girls and their professional parents are confronting the increasingly common problem of securing nationality for children of the more than 200 million people who choose to live, work and study outside of their home countries.

Most of the world's estimated 12 million stateless people -- who cannot cross national borders -- are poor, marginalized and live mainly in Kuwait, Nepal, Iraq, Myanmar, Thailand and the former Soviet republics.

But Mark Manly, head of the statelessness unit at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said that gaps between national citizenship laws have put high-flying professionals around the globe in the same boat as migrants and refugees when it comes to getting passports for their kids.

"Far more people live outside their country of nationality than before, and there are more children born to parents of different countries," he said. "We have a lot of situations where the children are not acquiring any nationality at all."

Certain countries, including Switzerland, Japan and much of the European Union, do not confer citizenship automatically to babies born on their soil. In such places, expats whose own nationality cannot be transmitted abroad can find themselves with more than the usual dose of new-parent stress.

'FLABBERGASTED'


Ian Goldring and his wife Yamina Guidoum, both 43-year-old consultants based in Brussels, were not aware their daughter Chloe would be stateless until after her birth last year in Belgium, where the family of three has been marooned since.

Goldring, who was raised in Canada after being born in Bermuda where his Canadian father was working as an accountant, cannot pass on his citizenship because Ottawa changed its laws in 2009 to limit nationality to one generation born abroad.

And Guidoum was told that because she is a woman married to a foreign man, she cannot transmit her Algerian citizenship to a child born overseas. That leaves 16-month-old Chloe without a passport and her family confined to Belgium.

"I was flabbergasted," Goldring said. "There are things that you could imagine happening in your life, like getting cancer, things that happen to people more or less like you. Having a stateless child is something that never occurred to me."

Many countries limit citizenship to a certain number of generations born abroad, though in most cases an exemption is given when a citizen born abroad later resides in the country.

Women from Malaysia and Lebanon are also unable to pass on their citizenship abroad, a situation that until recently also applied to mothers from Kenya, Egypt, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Goldring said his family's struggle to get a passport for Chloe has shocked their friends in Brussels and caused extra, undue anxiety in his and Guidoum's initiation to parenthood.

"When people think of refugees and stateless people they don't think of Western, educated professionals with an office job," he said.

DIFFERENT PASSPORTS

Rachel's parents -- Canadian teacher Patrick Chandler and Chinese mother Fiona Zou -- were aghast to discover that because Chandler was born in Libya to Canadian parents and Zou was not married to him at the time of Rachel's birth, neither of their home countries were willing to offer citizenship to their tiny tot.

Rachel was stateless for 14 months until she acquired Irish nationality through her paternal grandfather, who was born in Ireland and emigrated to Canada four decades ago.

"It really did not take long to get Irish citizenship for her, once we realized that it was an option," said the 22-year-old Chandler, who teaches English in Beijing.

"I also applied for Irish citizenship for myself, because I figured that it might look strange to some customs officials at an airport when my family travels. They would see a Canadian, a Chinese, and an Irish baby traveling together," he said.

Nationality is often the last thing on the mind of couples who fall in love, especially in places with large expatriate communities where international partnerships are common.

"When I married my husband I wasn't thinking about the nationality of our children," said a 46-year-old Briton working for an international organization in Geneva, who is trying to secure British nationality for her sons.

The official, who requested anonymity, said the fact that she was born in Kenya never crossed her mind as a complication when she and her Belgian spouse started a family in Switzerland. She considers it a cultural and emotional rift not to share her nationality with the boys.

"This is something you don't actually stop and think about when you are working as a professional in a highly mobile world. You move to different countries for your career and you don't necessarily look at the practicalities of what that is going to mean," she said.

'DIFFICULT TO PREDICT'

The United Nations estimates there are 214 million people currently living outside of their home countries, a large number of whom are workers of child-bearing age.

While it is hard to quantify how many professionals abroad are facing nationality trouble, International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said citizenship laws were not designed for the international life that many professionals today are pursuing.

"All kinds of people can fall through the cracks," he said.

Several of Manly's colleagues at the UNHCR in Geneva have knocked on his door seeking help with the jigsaw of nationality laws that affect them, including the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

That convention, which has only 37 signatories, states that when a child is ineligible at birth for another nationality, the country where he or she is born must grant them citizenship. The process to seek such recourse, where it applies, can be tricky and parents often need legal help to do so.

Philip Turpin, an Oxford-based solicitor, said he and his legal colleagues were receiving increasing numbers of requests for help with citizenship issues from overseas professionals.

"Individuals will often sort out their visas and the visas for their families but, when it comes to the birth of a child, different considerations arise," he said.

"It is difficult to predict these because every country has its own provisions allowing the passing on of citizenship to children born overseas -- what we call citizenship by descent -- and every country has its own provisions for the acquisition of citizenship by birth."

Statelessness rarely arises as a problem in the Americas region, where babies are broadly eligible for citizenship of their country of birth under the legal principle of "jus soli."

Calls in the United States to deny nationality to "anchor babies," whose U.S. citizenship at birth can keep their foreign parents in the country, would not necessarily lead to more statelessness overall, Manly said.

Requirements that citizenship be passed by descent or blood -- in legal terms, "jus sanguinis" -- are fine when there are policies in place to prevent people from falling through the cracks, he said, pointing to successful programs in Spain.

"The U.N. does not say that jus soli or jus sanguinis is better. There needs to be a combination of the two and adequate safeguards in place so that statelessness does not occur on the territory or to the nationals of the country abroad," he said.

(Laura MacInnis was born in the United States to Canadian parents and has worked for Reuters in Switzerland since 2006.)

(Editing by Jonathan Lynn and Paul Casciato)
 
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M

Mad Scorpion

Guest
Hmmm, yuh good fuh sumting more dan ah lil slaughta den?! Ha to tell Bacchus bout dis, ah comin back! :mda:
 

Nica

SAINTSational
This was a very interesting read. I think a lot of those laws needs to be revised and for Canada to take such a stance is 2009 is ridiculous. This is a highly mobile world as stated in the article. Countries need to look out for the concerns of their nationals. It makes absolutely no sense that say.. a canadian having a child abroad cannot pass on their nationality to their child automatically.

So would the parent have to acquire a visa for their baby when returning home?
 

TC

Steuuuupssss!
Yep! More people need to come to terms with the FACT that not because somebody is born in a place they will be a citizen there, or be "one of the people".

You can be born in Germany all yuh want...you will never be a German if you not white and have German blood...there are ways of acquiring citizenship however.

You could be in Japan from now until everary, if you are not direct Japanese as the people of Japan recognize a Japanese, you will never be a Japanese.

And the story goes on and on.
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
welll it says that you cannot pass it for more than one generation.. the father who was canadian was born in bermuda.. so he acquired Canadian citizenship.. not that he was a born Canadian who couldnt pass it on.. so if you born in Germany and then marry a Russian and y'all have a child born in ethiopia.. that child later becomes a german citizen.. but as an adult cannot pass on that german citizenship to his own child because it was jus sanguinis not jus soli that he came to acquire it....
 

saucytrini

can u handle me?
Yep! More people need to come to terms with the FACT that not because somebody is born in a place they will be a citizen there, or be "one of the people".

You can be born in Germany all yuh want...you will never be a German if you not white and have German blood...there are ways of acquiring citizenship however.

You could be in Japan from now until everary, if you are not direct Japanese as the people of Japan recognize a Japanese, you will never be a Japanese.

And the story goes on and on.
while this may be true...that is not the issue here.....the issue is that not eve the natural country of the birth parents want to give the child citizenship.............is not like the newborn or he parents in these situations looking for better or citizenship through child situation....they went/or been sent somewhere to wok, they had a child and now to realise the child cannot be identified as a citizen of none of the places....
 

Nica

SAINTSational
welll it says that you cannot pass it for more than one generation.. the father who was canadian was born in bermuda.. so he acquired Canadian citizenship.. not that he was a born Canadian who couldnt pass it on.. so if you born in Germany and then marry a Russian and y'all have a child born in ethiopia.. that child later becomes a german citizen.. but as an adult cannot pass on that german citizenship to his own child because it was jus sanguinis not jus soli that he came to acquire it....
The father was born in bermuda while his dad who is Canadian was out there working. This certainly needs to be reviewed. Is not like the man was born in Bermuda with no ties to Canada and acquired Canadian citizenship through some other method other than immediate familial ties.
 

Nica

SAINTSational
while this may be true...that is not the issue here.....the issue is that not eve the natural country of the birth parents want to give the child citizenship.............is not like the newborn or he parents in these situations looking for better or citizenship through child situation....they went/or been sent somewhere to wok, they had a child and now to realise the child cannot be identified as a citizen of none of the places....
exactly
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
Yep! More people need to come to terms with the FACT that not because somebody is born in a place they will be a citizen there, or be "one of the people".

You can be born in Germany all yuh want...you will never be a German if you not white and have German blood...there are ways of acquiring citizenship however.

You could be in Japan from now until everary, if you are not direct Japanese as the people of Japan recognize a Japanese, you will never be a Japanese.

And the story goes on and on.
i not sure about that not white and have german blood.. cos i know some black germans.. born there...

the japanese i know because they have some ritual or writing/recording births in your family book.. so if you have no book to write in, you are not japanese lol.
 

TC

Steuuuupssss!
while this may be true...that is not the issue here.....the issue is that not eve the natural country of the birth parents want to give the child citizenship.............is not like the newborn or he parents in these situations looking for better or citizenship through child situation....they went/or been sent somewhere to wok, they had a child and now to realise the child cannot be identified as a citizen of none of the places....
Be careful how you define natural...the guy got Canadian citizenship thru his father as he was born in Bermuda.
The laws can be tricky.
In your absense from Imix, there have been many arguments about the point I just made that you quoted...up until about a fotnight ago, Spoogie dem was arguing about it...so perhaps I should have whipped out an Off topic sign.
 

TC

Steuuuupssss!
i not sure about that not white and have german blood.. cos i know some black germans.. born there...

the japanese i know because they have some ritual or writing/recording births in your family book.. so if you have no book to write in, you are not japanese lol.
I live in Germany,and typing this post from Germany, so i am sure.

You can have citizenship or born here all you like...that doesn´t make you a German...one such person will be regarded until the day he or she dies here as foreigner.
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
The father was born in bermuda while his dad who is Canadian was out there working. This certainly needs to be reviewed. Is not like the man was born in Bermuda with no ties to Canada and acquired Canadian citizenship through some other method other than immediate familial ties.
right.. but what they saying i guess is.. you got it cos your father was canadian by birth.. but you weren't and your child isnt.. so you can't pass on a second-hand citizenship..
 

Nica

SAINTSational
Ok but in regards to the same Canadian guy. His wife is Algerian and she neither can pass on her citizenship to the child ...because she's a woman married to a foreign man....steups yes
 

TC

Steuuuupssss!
while this may be true...that is not the issue here.....the issue is that not eve the natural country of the birth parents want to give the child citizenship.............is not like the newborn or he parents in these situations looking for better or citizenship through child situation....they went/or been sent somewhere to wok, they had a child and now to realise the child cannot be identified as a citizen of none of the places....
Back to your point...the parents should have reviewed these things before they gave birth there...in my view they were lax about that. I see it every day here on the continent...people (mainly from the African continent)coming to give birth here so their children can have this citizenship! No sah! It doh wuk so...Do Research I say...the info is there for all who want to see.

So it is very good that you made this thread.
 

Nica

SAINTSational
right.. but what they saying i guess is.. you got it cos your father was canadian by birth.. but you weren't and your child isnt.. so you can't pass on a second-hand citizenship..
Oh don't get me wrong...I get what they're saying. I'm saying it doesn't make sense.... especially for Canada, a country where they always recruiting people to come in.
 

TC

Steuuuupssss!
right.. but what they saying i guess is.. you got it cos your father was canadian by birth.. but you weren't and your child isnt.. so you can't pass on a second-hand citizenship..
i heard recently that this is also the case for Trinidad and Tobago.
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
I live in Germany,and typing this post from Germany, so i am sure.

You can have citizenship or born here all you like...that doesn´t make you a German...one such person will be regarded until the day he or she dies here as foreigner.
and that's understandable to some degree, because that's the same for most countries as you are different from the regular, largely homogenous native population..
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
i heard recently that this is also the case for Trinidad and Tobago.
and most other countries.. you cant pass on second hand citizenship.. you can do so in Jamaica however.. you can get citizenship through a grandparent in Jamaica.. but Trinidad, no.
 

Nica

SAINTSational
Back to your point...the parents should have reviewed these things before they gave birth there...in my view they were lax about that. I see it every day here on the continent...people (mainly from the African continent)coming to give birth here so their children can have this citizenship! No sah! It doh wuk so...Do Research I say...the info is there for all who want to see.

So it is very good that you made this thread.
But TC...these people didn't go to those countries to have babies. They were there for work....end up falling in love...get married or have babies...which ever came first and then find out that they cannot pass on THEIR nationality to their kids.

That's like me having a child here in the US and Dominica telling me that my child cannot have Dominican citizenship.
 
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