art
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What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:58 am

Supposing you say hello to the world on a Lufthansa flight from LA to SYD. What effect would this have on your nationality? You normally have an automatic claim to the nationality of the land in which you are born. Can you claim German nationality because you were born on a German owned/registered aircraft? If in US or Oz airspace, can you claim one of those nationalities?

Just wondered. When I was a small child I thought I had been born on a plane over the North Sea since I was told I was half English and half Norwegian.
 
GulfstreamGuy
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:03 pm

From what I've heard, wherever the plane lands is where the official birthplace is. So if the plane lands in SYD then the baby's birthplace is Sydney.

GulfstreamGuy  airplane 
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PA110
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:04 pm

This is total speculation on my part, but I think that in ambiguous situations like this, the nationality of the parents is the determining factor. I don't know how much national airspace or aircraft registry plays a role, or if they can even be used for the purposes of applying for citizenship other than that of the parents, but I think its an interesting question. Hopefully someone can enlighten us with fact.
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Boeing7E7
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:05 pm

The Birthplace is that of the air carrier's flag. The citizenship is that of the parents. As an example, if you are born of British parents on an American Airlines Flight to London, your place of Birth is Dallas (The airlines business address of record), Texas and your citizenship is British.

[Edited 2005-03-30 04:07:00]
 
planespotting
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:05 pm

well, say an American women-citizen has a child on a plane going from the US to Britain. From my understanding he/she is given dual citizenship in both countries until he/she turns 18. then the adult chooses which nationality they want to be.
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art
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:06 pm

Short and sweet. Thanks for that info, Gulfstreamguy.

Edit: Sorry, lots of posts before I could answer. Thanks for all the info. Not so simple after all, it seems...

[Edited 2005-03-30 04:11:41]
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:13 pm

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 4):
From my understanding he/she is given dual citizenship in both countries until he/she turns 18. then the adult chooses which nationality they want to be.

This is incorrect.
 
planespotting
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:17 pm

well gosh darnit. i remember asking my civics teacher in 8th grade and thats the exact explanation he used.

stupid mr. radtke
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Boeing7E7
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:18 pm

Had a couple of these incidents about 15 years ago working for DL.
 
ltbewr
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:25 pm

The link below should explain where a child is born to an American citizen outside the USA, which could apply to on a foreign aircraft or ship. Basicly, the American Citizen birth parent is to register that birth with the nearest US Counsular office or Embassy office, and the line of American Citizenship is by the Amerian citizenship of one of the parent. In some cases, proof of paternity may have to be presented for a declaration of citizenship for the born child. Of course, you still have a lot of fun comming into a country without a passport...that must make customs and immigration fun ('do have anything to declare that you got during your visit...')
http://travel.state.gov/family/family_issues/birth/birth_593.html
 
ACDC8
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:28 pm

I would think Boeing7E7 is on the right track. I don't see why you would get dual citizenship just because you were born on a foreign carrier or in foreign airspace. You'd most likely get the citizenship of your parents I would think.

On a positive note, you might get free tickets for life though!  Smile
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BAxMAN
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:29 pm

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 3):
The Birthplace is that of the air carrier's flag. The citizenship is that of the parents. As an example, if you are born of British parents on an American Airlines Flight to London, your place of Birth is Dallas (The airlines business address of record), Texas and your citizenship is British

Really? So a Japanese chick flying SIN - MEL on BA has her child early and thus its place of birth is London??? Someone with the misfortune to fly FR from HHN to BGY not only has to buy a new ticket for their infant, but the aforementioned infant's place of birth is Dublin??? Although every country in the world has a corrupt and illogical legal system, this would seem too illogical - even by a lawyer's standards.

I think Gulfstream Guy's response (reply 1) sounds accurate and then the nationality of the baby is then determined by each individual country's own laws, so in the UK we would look at the domicile of the parents (father takes precedence, if I remember correctly from my Conflicts of laws studies) and the intentions of the parents as to where they were going to permanently reside, to decide whether the newly delivered is entitled to British citizenship.
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ACDC8
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:34 pm

Quoting BAxMAN (Reply 11):
Someone with the misfortune to fly FR from HHN to BGY not only has to buy a new ticket for their infant

Now, thats funny! Thanks... bigthumbsup 
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Planesmart
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:38 pm

Too many expectant mothers came to NZ to give birth, child had NZ citizenship, parents then sought to settle in NZ with their child.

That loophole closed last year - child now has citizenship of parent/s.

Birthplace would be destination airport, but no longer = to citizenship in most countries.
 
flflyguy
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:43 pm

My understanding is that an aircraft is considered territory of the country in which it is registered. I remember years ago when I used to work at IAD a couple of instances where with Aeroflot, the Soviets would rush someone onto one of their planes and the U.S. police could not retrieve them (i.e., in the case of a defector, etc.) since the aircraft was considered Soviet soil.

In the case of a birth in-flight, the child can obviously claim citizenship of the parents in the normal way. Whether they can claim citizenship of the country of the air carrier depends on that nation's laws: is a child born in that country automatically eligible for citizenship? In the US, that is the case. A child born in the US can claim US citizenship regardless of the citizenship of the parents. That is one reason why at AA we try to be very careful about transporting pregnant women who are close to delivery - in some of the countries we fly to, a woman would give just about anything for her child to have US citizenship and we have fairly frequent occurrences where she will try to hop a flight literally while she is in labor. Of course, we usually notice that fact and refuse to transport her on medical grounds (since it is obviously best for a child to be born in a more appropriate and supportive environment than an aircraft!).

Now, as to what exactly the birth certificate would read I have no idea!
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skyhawk
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:02 pm

Boeing7e7 has it mostly right. If his imaginary child is on American between Dallas and London, the child does have rights to claim American citizenship, but the child is not deemed to have been born in Dallas. The child's birth certificate lists the birthplace as the longitude and latitude at the time of birth. This happened years ago on a Pan Am flight between the African continent and New York. The birth was in the middle of the Atlantic and as I said the birthplace was latitude and longitude.
 
Trolley Dolley
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:03 pm

I was on a flight where a lady gave birth across the aisle from me. It was a British Airways 747 Harare to Lonodn in 1990. The little boy was born over Chad. The birth place was listed as International Airspace. This avoids claims to citizenship against the airspace of the country, the home country of the airline and the country of arrival- in case the flight has to divert for medical reasons- and allows the citizenship to be sorted out in a calm way. Given the event is rare, the rules are applied as if the parent gave birth at the arrival destiantion. As already mentioned, this does not entitle automatic citizenship of the arrival destination.

In my case, the little boy was granted UK citizenship as he would have been entitled to it anyway.
 
NWADC9
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:12 pm

Question: What would someone that late in pregnancy be doing on an airplane in the first place!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?

Quoting Skyhawk (Reply 15):
The birth was in the middle of the Atlantic and as I said the birthplace was latitude and longitude.

Cool, a baby fish! Silly
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ltbewr
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:14 pm

Outside the territorial borders, the national registration of the airline, like that of a ship, will determine the issuer of the birth certificate. As to the USA, the citizenship is per that of the parent(s), as noted in my previous post.
 
Thucydides
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:49 pm

Quoting FLflyguy (Reply 14):
Whether they can claim citizenship of the country of the air carrier depends on that nation's laws: is a child born in that country automatically eligible for citizenship? In the US, that is the case. A child born in the US can claim US citizenship regardless of the citizenship of the parents.

FLflyguy has it correct. It all depends on the laws of the country where the child's parents have citizenship and the laws of the country in which the child is born.

So the determination would be based on what ever laws govern who has jurisdiction over the plane, and I would imagine that there are conflicts in the law on this matter between jurisdictions. Some might also argue that until you clear immigration, you are not in a country, whereas in other countries, you may only have to have touched land to reap the citizenship benefit.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:06 pm

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 17):
Question: What would someone that late in pregnancy be doing on an airplane in the first place!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?

That was exactly what I was thinking!
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rootsair
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:14 pm

I thought that after a certain weeks of gestation women were not allowed on board depending on the airline.Correct me if I'm wrong

Quoting Art (Thread starter):
Just wondered. When I was a small child I thought I had been born on a plane over the North Sea since I was told I was half English and half Norwegian.

so that means that if you were half english half scottish you'd be brn an Hadrian's wall  Wink
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berlinflyer
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:31 pm

According to german citizenship, this requires at least one parent of german nationality. It doesn´t matter at all where you are born. So being born on Lufthansa is no way of getting german nationality if not one of your parents isn´t anyway.
 
DeltaWings
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:41 pm

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 21):
so that means that if you were half english half scottish you'd be brn an Hadrian's wall

Hadrians Wall is not the border to England from Scotland  Smile


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B747-437B
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:00 pm

The definitive answer is as follows.

The baby initially assumes the nationality of the MOTHER for immediate arrival formalities. Remember, the baby has to be classified as a national of some country to complete the paperwork when the plane lands! The nationality of the father is irrelevant until a birth certificate naming him as father is prepared, which cannot be done inflight. In the event of the mother becoming deceased at delivery, the child is treated as a ward of the state whose flag operation is being conducted, and NOT that of the state whose registration is carried on the aircraft (if it is different). If the mother carries dual nationality, then the nationality of the documentation used to make the current flight is considered to be the primary citizenship. The airspace being flown over at the time of delivery is totally irrelevant. The aircraft and all enclosed within it is considered to be the soil of the country whose flag it is flying and the child *may* be entitled to that nationality depending upon individual country laws on the issue. The birth certificate will read "International Airspace" as place of birth.
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HAWK21M
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:04 pm

Quoting GulfstreamGuy (Reply 1):
From what I've heard, wherever the plane lands is where the official birthplace is. So if the plane lands in SYD then the baby's birthplace is Sydney

Pray that there Isn't an uncalled for Divertion.
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DIJKKIJK
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:18 pm

Sometime in the 1960s, a friend of mine was born on a Pan Am 707 flying between LHR and JFK.
As she was born on an American Airliner, she was given American citizenship by birth, and she was given a voucher that could enable her to fly Pan Am at a discount for the rest of her life.

She did cry a lot when Pan Am went under !
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TransIsland
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:45 am

Quoting Art (Thread starter):
You normally have an automatic claim to the nationality of the land in which you are born.

That is incorrect. It applies to some countries, but there are many countries that will not give you citizenship just because you're born there, unless your parents happen to be citizens of that country. Examples: Germany, Bahamas - but there's got to be others, too.
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art
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:07 am

Quoting TransIsland (Reply 27):
Quoting Art (Thread starter):
You normally have an automatic claim to the nationality of the land in which you are born.

That is incorrect. It applies to some countries, but there are many countries that will not give you citizenship just because you're born there

My understanding of what you have written is that normally you do not have an automatic claim to the nationality of the land in which you are born. News to me, but I've never checked to find out.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:14 am

What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

You're all wrong - it depends on the airplane...so if you're on a Boeing product, you automatically become an American, if you're on an Airbus product, you automatically become your choice any European nationality, and so on.  Wink
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art
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:33 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 29):
You're all wrong - it depends on the airplane...so if you're on a Boeing product, you automatically become an American, if you're on an Airbus product, you automatically become your choice any European nationality, and so on.

Forewarned is forearmed. I'll try hard to avoid being born on North Korean, Burmese, Zimbabwean etc airliners.
 
COAMiG29
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:42 am

you belong to the airline for the resst of your life
If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
 
TransIsland
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:04 am

Quoting Art (Reply 28):
My understanding of what you have written is that normally you do not have an automatic claim to the nationality of the land in which you are born. News to me, but I've never checked to find out.

I don't know the laws of that many countries and cannot say "normally" or anything. I just know that there are countries where you do not automatically get citizenship if you're born there if your parents are foreign nationals (see examples), just like there are countries where you do (sometimes with the exception that your parents have to be in the country legally).

There are also countries, where parents cannot pass on their citizenship to their children if they're born abroad. In the case of the Bahamas, a Bahamian mother can pass citizenship on only if the child is born in the Bahamas. A father can pass it on if the child is born abroad PROVIDED that he was born in the Bahamas. In dis wee country we thus have three different classes of citizens...  Sad

To get back to the topic:

I don't think there is a generic answer to the original question. It probably depends on the country of departure, the country of arrival, the country of the aircraft's registration as well as the nationalities of the parents and their marital status.

Of course there are scenarios where a child might be born in international airspace even though it's a domestic flight (continental U.S. - Hawaii) or in the airspace of a foreign country although it's a domestic flight (Alaska, lower 48 - could be Canadian airspace) - and probably an awful lot of other complicated scenarios...
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BCAL
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:12 am

B747-437B has given the correct answer in Reply 24. I have confirmed this with a solicitor friend who specialises in immigration issues.
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Pope
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:19 am

B747-437B what is your source for this?
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FLY2LIM
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:23 am

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 21):
I thought that after a certain weeks of gestation women were not allowed on board depending on the airline.Correct me if I'm wrong

Generally speaking, after the seventh month you are now allowed to fly if.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 9):
The link below should explain where a child is born to an American citizen outside the USA, which could apply to on a foreign aircraft or ship. Basicly, the American Citizen birth parent is to register that birth with the nearest US Counsular office or Embassy office, and the line of American Citizenship is by the Amerian citizenship of one of the parent. In some cases, proof of paternity may have to be presented for a declaration of citizenship for the born child.

My daughter was born in Peru and my wife, who was a US citizen, registered her at the consulate in LIM. We also registered her birth with Peruvian authorities, and my daughter has two passports. I do believe that at the age of 18 she will have to notify US authorities that she plans on continuing being a US citizen. However, she has Peruvian citizenship for life, regardless of dual citizenship.
When our second daughter was born in the US, we did the same. She too has two passports, although we never use the one from Peru.
Now that I'm a US citizen, I too have both passports, although the US expects me never to use the Peruvian passport in US soil, which I don't. My Peruvian passport isn't even current.

In the case of a baby born on an aircraft, I was under the impression that it received the citizenship of the country where the plane landed. I was also under the impression that any baby born aboard an aircraft receives free travel for the rest of their life.

FLY2LIM
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fraspotter
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:23 am

I always thought that it was where the plane landed and not the registration. What if the plane is wet leased?  boggled 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:27 am

Nationality does is not necessarily determined by the place you were born. For instance, I was born in Moscow, but my sister was born in San Francisco. Even though she was born in America, and has an American passport, she is still Russian. My whole family is Russian, and she is no exception. So it all depends on what the family situation is.
 
bucky707
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:29 am

I don't care where you are born, your nationality should be that of your parents.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:55 am

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 3):
The Birthplace is that of the air carrier's flag. The citizenship is that of the parents. As an example, if you are born of British parents on an American Airlines Flight to London, your place of Birth is Dallas (The airlines business address of record), Texas and your citizenship is British.

It depends. If you are born on US soil (the plane) you can normally claim US citizenship. Same for a ship.

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 4):
well, say an American women-citizen has a child on a plane going from the US to Britain. From my understanding he/she is given dual citizenship in both countries until he/she turns 18. then the adult chooses which nationality they want to be.

Dual citizenship rules vary from country to country. For example, you can be Swedish AND American at the same time, or Russian/Polish/Australian (yes I know a guy with triple citizenship). If both countries accept citizenship of the other country as well it's just a question of claiming both.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Trijetman
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:25 am

This is a great and very interesting thread! I'm not sure if we'll come up with THE right answer - suppose it depends on many factors and laws and regulations change all the time.

Imagine, by circumstance, your child would have a nationality that you don't like or that may cause disadvantage for the child... like a woman who is a muslim and the plane happened to be above Israel at the time of birth... or a little American being born in Cuban airspace...
Imagine also to fill out official forms and in "Place of birth" you'd have to put in the longitude and latitude of your birthplace - that would make life so much easier... try to get a social security card, passport or visa like that!!!

A lot of things to consider and maybe there's more than just one answer... maybe there are also options: People from many countries would like to have their child a US or any European citizenship.

Just a few things that came to my mind.

Happy flying everyone!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:14 am

Quoting Trijetman (Reply 40):
like a woman who is a muslim and the plane happened to be above Israel at the time of birth... or a little American being born in Cuban airspace...

Airspace doesn't count. The vessel counts.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
jtamu97
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:34 am

Do the airlines make you pay for an extra seat once you have the baby? J/K!! Anyways interesting topic and while we are at the what if's..What if the baby was born the precise moment the aircraft is crossing the interntional dateline? Would be neat for the mom to go into labor on wednesday and give birth on tuesday if there are any flights where that could happen.
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Elagabal
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:46 am

Hi FLy2Lim,

Good to hear of someone else a bit like me - I have dual parentage, and both US and British nationality.

Art, TransIsland is right on the money. Check out Amnesty International, or certain other human rights organizations' websites: they do note the (undesirable) cases in which a nation does not automatically extend its nationality to children whose parents have that state's nationality. Egypt is one (in addition to the Bahamas, it seems); I'm sure there are others. Britain used to have such laws as well (until recently, you couldn't inherit citizenship from your mother, unless... It was needlessly complicated).

In any case, depending on the particular laws of the particular countries concerned, in certain circumstances a child born over international territory - or even foreign sovereign territory - might be stateless.

Both US and British nationality laws have undergone a HELL of a lot of revision over the past few years. I should know, I was a beneficiary of this!  Smile
 
AR385
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:54 am

TransIsland is correct, many countries don't have "ius soli" and won't give you the nationality of their flag carriers
 
avek00
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:06 am

"In any case, depending on the particular laws of the particular countries concerned, in certain circumstances a child born over international territory - or even foreign sovereign territory - might be stateless."

Completely untrue - B747-437B has provided the authoritative guidance on this issue.
Live life to the fullest.
 
LH450
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:38 am

wow,
I didn't know that there is existing a Lufthansa flight from LA to Sydney Big grin...*jk*
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FLY2LIM
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:42 am

Quoting Bucky707 (Reply 38):
I don't care where you are born, your nationality should be that of your parents.

Errrr, not true. Your nationality is determined by where you are born. If your parents are from a different country as you, then you may enjoy the benefit of that nationality as well. If your theory were true, what happens to the Australian who marries a South African and moves to Brasil and has a baby?

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 39):
It depends. If you are born on US soil (the plane) you can normally claim US citizenship. Same for a ship.

If you are born on US soil, or a territory of the US (like Puerto Rico), you are a US citizen. However, the law was changed. Your parents no longer get it automatically. They must wait until the US citizen is 18 and "claims" them for residence. This was changed because of the thousands of Mexican and Central American nationals who crossed the border to have a baby and, once born, all were able to get citizenship.

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 37):
Nationality does is not necessarily determined by the place you were born. For instance, I was born in Moscow, but my sister was born in San Francisco. Even though she was born in America, and has an American passport, she is still Russian. My whole family is Russian, and she is no exception. So it all depends on what the family situation is.

Your sister was born in America and has an American passport. Her nationality is American. I think what you are saying is that she is Russian culturally and ethnically, being a descendant of native Russians. She is still an American, citizenship wise. She can also hold a Russian passport, at least until she turns 18. She would have to renounce her US citizenship.
US law respects "reciprocity", in other words, the laws of other countries regarding citizenship.

FLY2LIM
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
 
B707Stu
Posts: 893
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:15 pm

RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:43 am

A friend of mine was born on an Aer Lingus trans-atlantic flight many years ago. She was given American citizenship because her MOther and Father were American. Not sure what her birth certificate said. I believe it was New York, NY, the flight's destination. She was born mid-Atlantic and the aircraft was met by an ambulance...
 
isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
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RE: What Nationality Are You If Born Aloft?

Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:47 am

That's a great Q.

I would guess
an Airbusite
a Boeinger
or
a McDonnell Douglasan

just kidding
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.

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