I am an Italian citizen and my wife is Vietnamese with an UK residence card. We live in London and we have a daughter who was born a few months ago.

We're requesting for her both the Italian and the Vietnamese passports. It looks like the Vietnamese will be ready shortly while for the Italian it seems we're going to need to wait for longer.

I was looking for information about what documents are needed for my daughter to be able to enter back in the UK if we were to leave. If we get both the passports we won't have any problem, but I'm interested in knowing what would be needed assuming we manage to get only the Vietnamese passport before our trip.

  • If you have any other documents showing that she is an Italian citizen (perhaps your passport plus her birth certificate), that will certainly help.
    – phoog
    Mar 16, 2017 at 23:20
  • Was your daughter born in the UK? Were either of you considered settled at the time? If so then your daughter is also a British citizen even if you're not - gov.uk/register-british-citizen/born-in-uk-after-1983 (unfortunately the easiest way of proving this at the border is likely to be yet another passport, but it might be a quicker option than the Italian one)
    – EdC
    Mar 17, 2017 at 9:17
  • @phoog are you referring to the EU ruling mentioned in this page? eumovement.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/…
    – user58761
    Mar 18, 2017 at 19:22
  • @user58761 not to that ruling specifically, no, but to the principles articulated in the directive.
    – phoog
    Mar 18, 2017 at 20:52

1 Answer 1



Babies who are born in the UK but do not have a claim on British citizenship get a special status called "tolerated". It means they do not necessarily need a British visa because the government recognises that there are circumstantial practicalities surrounding newborn babies where immigration rules are concerned.

If the child stays in the UK (without leaving, and strenuous proof is required) until they reach the age of 10, they can obtain British citizenship, but few children go this route for obvious reasons.

More commonly the child leaves the UK with their parents and subsequently returns. Once the baby leaves the UK their "tolerated" status is permanently revoked and they become "undocumented". This changes the situation because the child will arrive at a border control and that kicks off at least three procedures...

And they can be right-up-in-your-face aggressive about these things. In theory the question of documentation is not an issue at the border because the government requires carriers to prevent the arrival of undocumented passengers (or they get fined when they are in breach).

Because of these things the government expects the parents to sort out reentry issues before they leave or to sort things out before they return.

Specific Case

In your case the child has an EU passport in the pipeline, but it may not be ready by the time you travel. And so the child will travel on a non-EU passport. It means you need to take the non-EU passport and get a family permit (or other sticker) for it before you return to the UK. You may be able to pursue an inland option before leaving and to explore this possibility any Citizens Advice Bureau with Level 3 Competence (see the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, Sections 84 and 85) will provide you with a brochure and reliable advice for free (it's important to verify their competence level before making an appointment, you need Level 3 or higher).

If at least one of the parents has a settled status in the UK (i.e., either permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain) then the child is already British and you can use the Passport Office to obtain a British passport. But since the applicant is a newborn, extra rules kick in and it will probably take longer than getting the EU passport (newborns cannot use the express service).

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