United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - NEW - British Citizenship by Double Descent (Colony by Descent by Discretion)
After 1948 and prior to 1983, British Citizenship could only be passed two generations by Descent from a UK-born paternal grandfather. From 1983 onwards, this was extended to include descent from a UK-born maternal grandfather. This allowed claims to British nationality where the middle generation (the parent) was born in a former British Colony. However, gender disrimination still persisted (and a claim to British nationality would not arise) where a parent was born in a former British Territory and the relevant grandfather was not born in 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 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 requires:
- Applicant born before 31 December 1982;
- Applicant born before the independence date of their father's country of birth;
- Applicant's parent born in a former British Colony; AND
- Applicant has the Right of Abode through a UK-born grandparent.
PLEASE NOTE: If such an applicant has any children under the age of 18, then these children could be registered as British citizens.