United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - NEW - British Citizenship by Discretion (Partner by Discretion - Marriage)
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). 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. Based on your family tree, it appears that your partner falls in that position and an application to register as a British citizen would 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; AND
- 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.
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.