Talk:British nationality law

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how to apply for british nationality[edit]

Are citizens also subjects? It's not clear from the article if a British Citizen is also a Subject. Would be good to clear up this old chestnut (long argued point). Fantastic work though, people, thanks. [mgaved 28 Oct 2004]


Section 37 (4) of the British Nationality Act 1981 states that "No person shall have the status of ... a British subject otherwise than under this Act."

People can hold British subject status under the following sections of the 1981 Act:

  • s30 - former British subjects without citizeship connected with British India prior to 1949 and some women married to them
  • s31 - British subjects connected with pre-1949 Republic of Ireland
  • s32 - Minors registered as British subjects since 1983 (very uncommon)
  • s33 - Transitional entitlement to register as a British subject for a woman married to a British subject by virtue of s30 (expired on 31 December 1987)
  • s34 - provides for renunciation of British subject status
  • s35 - provides for automatic loss of British subject status should any other nationality be acquired.

From the above it's clear that:

  • the provisions for conferring British subject status do not extend to British citizens
  • any British subject who becomes a British citizen automatically loses British subject status, with the exception being a British subject from Ireland (s31) who can hold both statuses simultaneously upon naturalisation/registration as a British citizen. However, retaining British subject status is meaningless to someone who has become a British citizen. [24 June 2005] JAJ

british nationality passed from mother to children[edit]

I am a british citizen living outside the UK. I gained British nationality by descent, my mother being born in Chagos island and lived part of her life there( a British Indian Ocean Territory). I am holder holder of a british passport , mentionned" british citizen" and would like to know if I can pass on my nationality to my three children, 9 yrs, 6 yrs and 1 1/2 years old.

I thank you very much for your help.

Marie France Wang

If you are a British citizen by descent and acquired this status by virtue of section 6 of the British Overseas Territories Act then it does not automatically make your own children British citizens.

There may be options available if your children are stateless (ie, have no nationality).

Otherwise, you would likely need to bring your children to the UK on settlement visas and apply for them to be registered as British citizens after taking up residence in the UK. The precise mechanics and residence period will depend on their circumstances. Visit for information on entry clearance. JAJ

Soli, not solis[edit]

Please note that the correct form is soli (= of the soil) — as in lex soli or ius solinot solis (= of the sun).

Discrimination against those born before 1983 to British female citizens[edit]

The registration process involves payment of high fees, good character checks, and attendance of citizenship ceremonies. Children born abroad to British Female citizens are not treated in the same way as children born abroad to British Male citizens. [1] Those born after 1983 however are automatically British citizens. Previously such persons held the right of abode instead however they are left out of the European union because the UK declaration of Nationals did not include these children of British female citizens. [2] In 1981 such persons also stopped being "British subjects" as a blanket removal of subject status was applied to all who held commonwealth citizenship whether or not they had the right of abode. [3] In this manner the UK does indeed discriminate against those persons who were born abroad between 1948-1983 unfairly due to their age as well as their descent from a female British citizen. This small group of persons who have close blood and family ties with the UK are left out of enjoying the benefits of the European union as they cannot compete in an open job market nor do they benefit from freedom of movement as it only restricted to EU citizens only.[4]

--Jmortoza26 (talk) 16:59, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Do you have a specific change that you would like to make to the article? Gabbe (talk) 18:54, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes I did but it was removed 3 times !!!

5.3.1 British Nationality Act 1981 section 4C discrimination against children born abroad to British mothers Children born abroad to British mothers did not automatically acquire their mother’s British nationality until 1983. The government only recognised this injustice in February 1979, promising to legislate to abolish it but in the meantime giving British-born women the right to register their minor children born abroad as British Citizens. In the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 limited steps were taken to address this, but these provide a means to remedy the situation by registration under what is now s.4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 only for those born on or after 7 February 1961. As a result, sibling groups may be divided. The entitlement to register under section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 as amended should be extended to all those still living. There is also room for exploring the present-day effects of historical discrimination and how these might be addressed.

The 2009 Act that came in 2010[edit]

The 2009 Act that came in in 2010 still discriminates against the children of British female citizens who are born before 1983. This is because the citizenship process requires registration, fees, and good character check. It is not automatic and the same for either those born to male citizens or to those born after 1983. The issue here is that the discrimination is applied as a path through registration against automatic nationality. I fear you have misunderstood my point! You may also read this petition online by another person also fighting about the same issue : --Jmortoza26 (talk) 18:05, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

No, I think you've misunderstood the purpose of Wikipedia. Please review WP:5. Gabbe (talk) 18:53, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

They are not my opinions they are the result of reading what is done in practice and also looking at the forms and guides. I know you think you are experts but you have missed the point of the facts here and want to repress the information with your agenda behind it

hey are not my opinions they are the result of reading what is done in practice. YOU should read more carefully in the manner in which the law has been implemented to see what has happened. Here is a link to all those know it alls to where it states very clearly the processes of application I get the feeling you are more hell bent in removing the article for your own reasons! These are the facts which you keep trying to prevent me from publishing which makes me think you have your own agenda here!

--Jmortoza26 (talk) 19:33, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

These are the facts which you keep trying to prevent me from publishing which makes me think you have your own agenda here!

--Jmortoza26 (talk) 19:31, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:No original research. What you are advocating adding to the article constitutes original research. If you want to add it, you need a reliable source that states that discrimination is happening. Cordless Larry (talk) 19:41, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

These are a variety of sources on what is currently going on. It has not gone to court yet as its a recent issue. However I am citing articles from the Guardian as well as the guide from the Border Agencies own web site

The fact that children of only British Mothers must follow registration shows there is already a difference ie discrimination! There is no guide for those born of British fathers

Please read the following article on the Gurdian

MPs site

Campaign site

Harriet Harmans Tweet saying the inequalties would be removed but haven't

Ndirect govenement site




UK Border Agency

Hansard/Parliament Debate

There has been no court case - The point we are trying to make is that it is blatant discrimination and are trying to influence the change in law. If not there will be a court case soon to try and get this fixed. However if you read the contents of your own page then you will see that a whole group are treated in a different manner. It does not require intelligence to work out the inverse of what has been researched.

My edits have been removed/deleted on three attempts without reference to the facts. It seems an unfair attitude to not even read the contents of the rules of your own article and draw the conclusions from it even though the differences are shown on it. Evaluate the laws in terms of Age i.e. someone born between 1948-1983, then descent through male or female lines and you can easily draw your conclusions from it and that is not an opinion I am afraid like it or not. This is my last chance to make myself heard after which I will give up as it appears your attempt to stick to facts also likes to obscure the facts itself!

--Jmortoza26 (talk) 20:36, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Your edits were reverted because they lacked sources. Wikipedia articles require sources since, per WP:V, "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth". As I stated on your talk page, if you want to add the material again with a reference, you can. The reference needs to state that discrimination is happening (so the UKBA sources aren't suitable - that they imply discrimination is your reading, and hence original research). Cordless Larry (talk) 20:54, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

The reference needed is on the very page itself showing the difference. There are rules for 1983 and after and there are another set of rules for before 1983 on the article itself! I also added reference to the guide as published on the government agency's web site. The reference are primary to the very article itself as well as secondary materials to other sites and other wikipedia pages and those have been removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmortoza26 (talkcontribs) 21:05, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

You need to provide sources that are "directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the material as presented" (WP:NOR). What reliable sources say, for example, that "the UK does indeed discriminate against [...] unfairly"? Gabbe (talk) 21:07, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Here is the section in your own article with reference to the situation.

Before 1983

Before 1983, as a general rule British nationality could only be transmitted from the father through one generation only, and parents were required to be married. See History of British nationality law. Here is the first mention of the issue! It shows that before 1983 there was a recognised issue

With effect from 20 July 2009, the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 provides that a person born outside the UK to a British mother may be entitled to register as a British citizen by descent if that person was born before 1 January 1983[5]. Before the 2009 changes, only persons born after 7 February 1961 and before 1 January 1983 were eligible for this provision. However those with permanent resident status in the UK or who are entitled to the right of abode may instead prefer to seek naturalisation as a British citizen which gives transmissible British citizenship otherwise than by descent. Requirements for successful registration are that the applicant be of good character and attend a citizenship ceremony.

"In the above paragraph you can see it mentions that only children of British mothers have to register if born before 1983.The link to the UKBA guide shows in following the registration route you have to pay fees and undergo good character checks"

I rest my case! Your own article is serving as the primary source material here

And which sources are calling this an "unfair discrimination"? Gabbe (talk) 21:16, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Also here is an article from Human Rights Watch on the subject which also constitutes as primary material The Government has said that it is ‘firmly committed to eradicating age discrimination wherever it arises. No-one should be treated badly just because of their age’ 5 Yet, in a recent speech, Harriet Harman, the Minister for Equality and Women claimed that ‘… older people are the last remaining group that society deems it acceptable to discriminate against.’6 We believe that such a statement undermines the legitimacy of children and young people’s experiences and reinforces the idea that they do not experience age discrimination. This is not the case and we call on the Government to amend the Equality Bill in order to extend legal protection from unfair discrimination on the grounds of age to children and young people.

Also read liberties briefing

"4.7 The State party states that, in the mid- to late 1970s, the United Kingdom Government recognized the discriminatory impact of section 5 of the 1948 Act and, as a result, the (then) Home Secretary, Merlyn Rees, announced to the House of Commons on 7 February 1979 a transitional policy change with regard to applications by women who were born in the United Kingdom to have their minor children registered as British citizens. This general and transitional policy would apply to anyone under the age of 18 on the date that the new policy was announced (i.e., any child born to a British citizen mother after 7 February 1961)."

Finally read the information section from this link

--Jmortoza26 (talk) 21:18, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Most of the sources you list are irrelevant since they simply spell out policy. We might consider that policy discriminatory, but simply pointing to it and saying "it's obvious" isn't enough. The Guardian and Liberty sources might be helpful though. Cordless Larry (talk) 22:21, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps an addition to the Before 1983 section can be made? Cordless Larry (talk) 22:25, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

My trouble is that from 1983 the law was fixed for legitimate children born to either female or male British citizens. Before 1983 only male citizens children were automatically British. Also before 1983 a new section was put in for those who were children of female citizens and there was a cut off point of February 07 1961. Nobody knows why this arbitrary date was choosen. However this method still did not treat the children equally as children from males before 1983 were automatically British and those from females had to register although in those days it was a simple formality of turning up at an Embassy and a certificate of registration was given on the basis of Gratis (No fees) and there was no background checks either. This in fact was the course for my own two younger siblings. However there was still a difference in acquisition of nationality that was not fixed until 1983. Since 1983 questions arose as to the lack of any method open to those born before Feb 07 1961 and this along with the disparity from the earlier section was still in question. The new 2009 law stated that it would fix this by modifying where the word "father" was mentioned it would say "mother" also but for reasons nobody has been explained this did not happen either and section 4C was instead amended to drop the cut off date of Feb 07 1961 in order to extend it back. It still only applies towards the children of British Females. In other words there are two sections in law towards acquisition of citizenship and one of them requires registration fees now £540 and rising each year, and the other does not require registration through fathers and can have a passport directly. I guess I could do with help on how to frame this in a more correct fashion with the citations needed so would be open to anyone who would like to help out with this so that the discrimination issues can be highlighted in some way for wider public understanding. It is complex and the process has been rigged like this in order to create work for the UKBA so they can justify their jobs I suspect. Because the laws are all over the place I thought it would be more simpler to point to the UKBA leaflets online as they show the difference, however since children of fathers are automatic there is no mention of it by them only for children of mothers born abroad before 1983 under section 4c.

These two links from the same government site does show the differences

Through Mother before 1983

Northern Ireland Direct Gov Site Through Father

UK Direct Gov Site Through Mother Through Father

The issue I am showing is not only is there a Gender inequality but also an age inequality ! I hope someone will be willing to pitch and help with this. Thanks

--Jmortoza26 (talk) 23:21, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

I have added a new section instead called Obtaining a British passport for children born abroad before 1983 and have simply stated there is an ongoing issue of alleged discrimination for obtaining passports, etc so hope this is going to be acceptable to the problem we have faced

--Jmortoza26 (talk) 00:01, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't have time to fix it now, but the tone is wrong. Wording such as "you will also have to undergo a background check" shouldn't be used on Wikipedia, which is an encyclopedia, not a guidebook. Cordless Larry (talk) 06:30, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I've tightened the wording, but I'm still not entirely satisfied with the end result. Primarily, isn't it redundant? The article already has a section on these rules and the differences between them. Secondly, wouldn't it be more appropriate for the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009? This is quite a lot of detail for relatively minor points. Gabbe (talk) 09:00, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Deletion discussion regarding nationality campaign[edit]

Users who are involved in editing this article may be interested in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Children and Maternal Parents Against Immigration & Government Nationality Situation. Cordless Larry (talk) 07:49, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Logical Contradiction[edit]

There is a direct logical contradiction or perhaps incorrect information on this page:

"British subjects (other than British subjects by virtue of a connection with the Republic of Ireland) and British protected persons will lose their British nationality upon acquiring any other form of nationality, whether British, Commonwealth or foreign."

So: British nationals lose British citizenship upon acquiring foreign citizenship.

and a few paragraphs down: "Since the British Nationality Act of 1948, there is in general no restriction, in United Kingdom law, on a British national being a citizen of another country as well. So, if a British national acquires another nationality, they will not automatically lose British nationality. Similarly, a person does not need to give up any other nationality when they become British."

So: British nationals DO NOT lose British citizenship upon acquiring foreign citizenship.

Can someone please correct which one is the true British law?

Does a British citizen lose his citizenship by acquiring another citizenship? talk § _Arsenic99_ 07:09, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Maybe the first point relates only to British subjects, rather than British citizens? Mooretwin (talk) 10:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Right but the distinction is not clear. British national means citizen in my view. talk § _Arsenic99_ 06:35, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

How many people are in each category?[edit]

The article list 6 categories of British Citizenship, 2 active ('British citizen' and 'British Overseas Territories citizen') plus 4 residual category ('British Overseas citizen (BOC)', 'British subject', 'British National (Overseas) (BNO)' and 'British protected person (BPP)'). How many are in each category? It would be useful to see how significant the number is in each category. TiffaF (talk) 10:00, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]