There is good news on the horizon for children born and raised outside the UK who are direct descendants of British mothers. Amendments to the British Nationality Act 1981, recently introduced by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will have a considerable impact for newly eligible individuals across the globe.
Until now the status quo has meant children of British citizens by descent born abroad can only be registered under section(3)2 of the Act if an application is made within 12 months of the child’s birth. Occasionally it has been allowed within the first six years, in cases where the Home Secretary provides permission. The new amendments, not yet signed into law, will now allow an application to be made at any time before a child reaches the age of 18, allowing the child the right to British nationality and a UK passport.
“Visa and Immigration service advisory group 1st Contact has noted that the newly eligible can not make an application on the basis of the aforementioned changes until they have officially become law by January 2010”
An additional condition also provides a path citizenship. The UK Border Agency has announced that a person who has a British mother currently has a right to register as a British citizen under section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 if he or she was born between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983. In a final crucial move to make British nationality by registration an option to those who previously could not apply due to maternal lineage, citizenship can be obtained by applicants who would have become British citizens if women had been able to pass on citizenship in the same way as men between the aforementioned dates. This is now extended to those born prior to 7 February 1961.
Visa and Immigration service advisory group 1st Contact has noted that the newly eligible can not make an application on the basis of the aforementioned changes until they have officially become law by January 2010.
“When the changes have become law, we will make application forms and guidance notes available for all those eligible”
“When the changes have become law, we will make application forms and guidance notes available for all those eligible,” confirmed Stephen Atkinson, 1st Contact’s expert immigration consultant at the company’s UK office.
“The amendment to the Act now extends the provisions of the British Nationality Act to those born before 1961,” Atkinson added. “This has considerable impact especially in Southern Africa, where there previously was no option to migrate to the UK.”
When the amendments come into force, those born to a UK citizen mother outside the UK prior to 1961 may also register as a British citizen, thus entitling them to a UK passport and access to the EU.
For extra information and advice, please contact 1st Contact Visas.
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