United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - NEW - British Citizenship by Discretion (Marriage pre 1971)
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, 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 - your father would (or could) have British nationality in the modern day, and that he had the right to pass this down to his children (i.e. you). Based on your family tree, it appears that such an application would be successful. While the theory is complex, this solution broadly requires the following criteria:
- Your parents were married before 28 October 1971; AND
- Your mother had (or has) a claim to British nationality, or is already a British citizen (or a BOC, BNO or a BPP).
PLEASE NOTE: If such an applicant has any children under the age of 18, then these children could be registered as British citizens.