United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - NEW - British Citizenship by Discretion (Marriage BOTC)
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 to date interpreted this legislation in relation to the first generation (i.e. parents) and not to the second generation (i.e. grandparents), and to ignore the rights that could have been granted from husband to wife and vice versa. 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, made representations to the Parliamentary sub-committee that looked into this issue. The new legislation 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 - a person would (or could) have British nationality in the modern day. And if that was indeed the case, it should therefore follow that had this person married before 1 January 1983, then their partner could have been registered as a British citizen. An application to register as a British citizen should be successful based on a marriage before this date. While the theory is complex, this solution broadly requires the following:
- Date of marriage before 1983;
- One of the partners to the marriage could (or should) have been a British citizen had it not been for gender inequality in the old law; AND
- This right to British nationality arises from a parent's birth ina British Overseas Territory.
PLEASE NOTE: If such an applicant has any children under the age of 18, then these children could be registered as British citizens.