United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - NEW - British Citizenship by Discretion (Marriage pre Independence)
After 1948 and prior to 1983, British Citizenship could only be passed two generations by Descent. However, gender disrimination still persisted, and claims have been restricted for those only with a mother with links back to the UK.
The UK Government entered into a treaty with the United Nations some years ago to enshrine equal rights for women. Included in the Treaty is the right for their children (and potentially, their grandchildren) to acquire her citizenship by descent on the same terms as if such a right had come down the paternal side of the family. While the UK has passed legislation to allow such claims, the Home Office has still interpreted this legislation in relation to making claims to British Nationality by descent to be effective only for those born in the first generation. The existing stance of the UK Government therefore did not fully address gender discrimination in relation to citizenship applications.
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 a remedy to this 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 - an applicant would (or could) have British nationality in the modern day.
Broadly, this solution requires the following:
- Candidate is a man;
- Candidate married before the independence of the country linked to their wife (by her birth, or descent from her father or mother);
- The candidate's wife picked up CUKC status either through birth or descent from a parent born in a former British Protectorate, Protected State, UK Mandated or Trust Territory or a former British Colony; AND
- The candidate has the Right of Abode.
The Right of Abode can be picked up through a UK-born grandparent, marriage or from the place of residence at the time.
PLEASE NOTE (1): If such an applicant has any children under the age of 18, then these children could be registered as British citizens.
PLEASE NOTE (2): WHILE WE THINK THAT THE NEW LEGISLATION PASSED IN APRIL 2022 TO REMEDY GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN THE OLD LAW APPLIES IN YOUR SITUATION, THE HOME OFFICE HAVE ADVISED US THAT THEY DISAGREE. WE ARE ENGAGING WITH THE HOME OFFICE AND HOPE TO GET A CHANGE IN THEIR DECISION. AS A RESULT, AND IN LIGHT OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, AN APPLICATION TO THE HOME OFFICE WILL PROBABLY FAIL. WE THEREFORE ADVISE YOU NOT TO MAKE AN APPLICATION AND TO WAIT UNTIL A FINAL DECISION HAS BEEN TAKEN. WE WILL ALERT YOU (BY EMAIL AND TEXT) WHEN FURTHER INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.