United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Discretion (Marriage pre 1983 Husband)
The UK Government entered into a treaty with the United Nations some years ago to enshrine equal rights for women, and to treat men and women equally. While the UK has passed legislation to allow such claims, the Home Office has interpreted this legislation in relation to marriage as still being from a man to a woman and not the other way round. So the existing stance of the UK Government therefore did not fully address gender discrimination in relation to citizenship applications.
It was only in 1983 that the issue of gender discrimination in British nationality law was addressed for the first time. However, there remained many areas in the law that were not taken into account, and several further changes have been made in the years since 1983 to remedy these. But the complexities of the old laws, and the legacy of the British colonial empire, meant that instances of unfairness still remain today.
Philip Gamble, founder and our Senior Partner and widely regarded as the world's leading British nationality expert on the subject, has made representations to the Parliamentary sub-committee that is looking into this issue. The draft legislation that he has seen appears to properly address the unfairness of the older law. Accordingly, it should be possible to lodge an application if one can demonstrate that - had it not been for gender discrimination in the old law - an applicant would (or could) have British nationality in the modern day. Based on your family tree, it appears that such an application would be successful based on a man's marriage to a British woman. While the theory is complex, this solution broadly requires the following:
- Date of marriage before 1983
- Wife born in the UK (or either of her parent's born in the UK
PLEASE NOTE: We expect this change to become effective in the latter part of 2021 or early 2022. However, we will be taking on cases now on a strictly first-come, first-serve basis in anticipation of the change in law. This is because we will include a formal assessment of the husband's nationality status and an opinion on the likely success of their application, as well as setting out the documents that the home Office will require.