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British Nationality Act 1981

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British Nationality Act 1981 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 03 December 2016. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Help about Changes to Legislation

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I British Citizenship

    1. Acquisition after commencement

      1. 1. Acquisition by birth or adoption.

      2. 2. Acquisition by descent.

      3. 3. Acquisition by registration: minors.

      4. 4. Acquisition by registration: British overseas territories citizens etc.

      5. 4A. Acquisition by registration: further provision for British overseas territories citizens

      6. 4B. Acquisition by registration: certain persons without other citizenship

      7. 4C. Acquisition by registration: certain persons born between 1961 and 1983

      8. 4D.Acquisition by registration: children of members of the armed forces

      9. 4E.The general conditions

      10. 4F.Person unable to be registered under other provisions of this Act

      11. 4G.Person unable to become citizen automatically after commencement

      12. 4H.Citizen of UK and colonies unable to become citizen at commencement

      13. 4I.Other person unable to become citizen at commencement

      14. 4J.Sections 4E to 4I: supplementary provision

      15. 5. Acquisition by registration: nationals for purposes of the EU Treaties.

      16. 6. Acquisition by naturalisation.

    2. Acquisition after commencement: special cases

      1. 7. Right to registration by virtue of residence in U.K. or relevant employment.

      2. 8. Registration by virtue of marriage.

      3. 9. Right to registration by virtue of father’s citizenship etc.

      4. 10. Registration following renunciation of citizenship of U.K. and Colonies.

    3. Acquisition at commencement

      1. 11. Citizens of U.K. and Colonies who are to become British citizens at commencement.

    4. Renunciation and resumption

      1. 12. Renunciation.

      2. 13. Resumption.

    5. Supplementary

      1. 14. Meaning of British citizen (by descent).

  3. Part II British overseas territories citizenship

    1. Acquisition after commencement

      1. 15. Acquisition by birth or adoption.

      2. 16. Acquisition by descent.

      3. 17. Acquisition by registration: minors.

      4. 18. Acquisition by naturalisation.

    2. Acquisition after commencement: special cases

      1. 19. Right to registration by virtue of residence in British overseas territory.

      2. 20. Registration by virtue of marriage.

      3. 21. Right to registration by virtue of father’s citizenship etc.

      4. 22. Right to registration replacing right to resume citizenship of U.K. and Colonies.

    3. Acquisition at commencement

      1. 23. Citizens of U.K. and Colonies who are to become British overseas territories citizens at commencement.

    4. Renunciation and resumption

      1. 24. Renunciation and resumption.

    5. Supplementary

      1. 25. Meaning of British overseas territories citizen“by descent”.

  4. Part III British Overseas Citizenship

    1. 26. Citizens of U.K. and Colonies who are to become British Overseas citizens at commencement.

    2. 27. Registration of minors.

    3. 28. Registration by virtue of marriage.

    4. 29. Renunciation.

  5. Part IV British Subjects

    1. 30. Continuance as British subjects of existing British subjects of certain descriptions.

    2. 31. Continuance as British subjects of certain former citizens of Eire.

    3. 32. Registration of minors.

    4. 33. Registration of certain alien women entitled to registration as British subjects immediately before commencement.

    5. 34. Renunciation.

    6. 35. Circumstances in which British subjects are to lose that status.

  6. Part V Miscellaneous and Supplementary

    1. 36. Provisions for reducing statelessness.

    2. 37. Commonwealth citizenship.

    3. 38. British protected persons.

    4. 39. Amendment of Immigration Act 1971.

    5. 40. Deprivation of citizenship.

    6. 40A. Deprivation of citizenship: appeal

    7. 40B.Review of power under section 40(4A)

    8. 41. Regulations and Orders in Council.

    9. 41A.Registration: requirement to be of good character

    10. 42. Registration and naturalisation: citizenship ceremony, oath and pledge

    11. 42A. Registration and naturalisation: fee

    12. 42B. Registration and naturalisation: timing

    13. 43. Exercise of functions of Secretary of State by Governors and others.

    14. 44. Decisions involving exercise of discretion.

    15. 44A.Waiver of requirement for full capacity

    16. 45. Evidence.

    17. 46. Offences and proceedings.

    18. 47. Legitimated children.

    19. 48. Posthumous children.

    20. 49.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    21. 50. Interpretation.

    22. 50A.Meaning of references to being in breach of immigration laws

    23. 51. Meaning of certain expressions relating to nationality in other Acts and instruments.

    24. 52. Consequential amendments, transitional provisions, repeals and savings.

    25. 53. Citation, commencement and extent.

  7. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      Requirements for Naturalisation

      1. Naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(1)

        1. 1.(1) Subject to paragraph 2, the requirements for naturalisation as...

        2. 2.(1) If in the special circumstances of any particular case...

        3. 2A.(1) A person has a qualifying immigration status for the...

      2. Naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(2)

        1. 3.Subject to paragraph 4, the requirements for naturalisation as a...

        2. 4.Paragraph 2 shall apply in relation to paragraph 3 with...

        3. 4A.(1) Subject to paragraph 3(5), a person has a qualifying...

      3. The qualifying period for naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6

        1. 4B.(1) The qualifying period for the purposes of paragraph 1...

      4. Naturalisation as a British overseas territories citizen under section 18(1)

        1. 5.(1) Subject to paragraph 6, the requirements for naturalisation as...

        2. 6.If in the special circumstances of any particular case the...

      5. Naturalisation as a British overseas territories citizen under section 18(2)

        1. 7.Subject to paragraph 8, the requirements for naturalisation as a...

        2. 8.Paragraph 6 shall apply in relation to paragraph 7 with...

      6. Periods to be treated as periods of absence from U.K. or a British overseas territory

        1. 9.(1) For the purposes of this Schedule a person shall...

      7. Interpretation

        1. 10.In this Schedule “the relevant territory” has the meaning given...

        2. 11.(1) This paragraph applies for the purposes of this Schedule....

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      Provisions for Reducing Statelessness

      1. Persons born in the United Kingdom after commencement

        1. 1.(1) Where a person born in the United Kingdom after...

      2. Persons born in a British overseas territory after commencement

        1. 2.(1) Where a person born in a British overseas territory...

      3. Persons born in the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory after commencement

        1. 3.(1) A person born in the United Kingdom or a...

      4. Persons born outside the United Kingdom and the British overseas territories after commencement

        1. 4.(1) A person born outside the United Kingdom and the...

      5. Persons born stateless before commencement

        1. 5.(1) A person born before commencement shall be entitled, on...

      6. Supplementary

        1. 6.If in the special circumstances of any particular case the...

    3. SCHEDULE 3

      Countries Whose Citizens are Commonwealth Citizens

      1. Antigua and Barbuda

      2. Australia

      3. The Bahamas

      4. Bangladesh

      5. Barbados

      6. Belize

      7. Botswana

      8. Brunei

      9. Cameroon

      10. Canada

      11. Republic of Cyprus

      12. Dominica

      13. Fiji

      14. The Gambia

      15. Ghana

      16. Grenada

      17. Guyana

      18. India

      19. Jamaica

      20. Kenya

      21. Kiribati

      22. Lesotho

      23. Malawi

      24. Malaysia

      25. Maldives

      26. Malta

      27. Mauritius

      28. Mozambique

      29. Nauru

      30. New Zealand

      31. Nigeria

      32. Pakistan

      33. Papua New Guinea

      34. Rwanda

      35. Saint Christopher and Nevis

      36. Saint Lucia

      37. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

      38. Seychelles

      39. Sierra Leone

      40. Singapore

      41. Solomon Islands

      42. South Africa

      43. Sri Lanka

      44. Swaziland

      45. Tanzania

      46. Tonga

      47. Trinidad and Tobago

      48. Tuvalu

      49. Uganda

      50. Vanuatu

      51. Western Samoa

      52. Zambia

      53. Zimbabwe

      54. Namibia

    4. SCHEDULE 4

      Amendments of Immigration Act 1971

      1. 1.In this Schedule “the 1971 Act” means the Immigration Act...

      2. 2.For “patrial”— (a) where it occurs in the provisions of...

      3. 3.(1) For “certificate of patriality”, wherever (except in section 33(1))...

      4. 4.In section 3(7) of the 1971 Act (powers available where...

      5. 5.In section 8(5) of the 1971 Act, for the words...

      6. 6.In section 25(5) of the 1971 Act (extension of provisions...

      7. 7.In section 33 of the 1971 Act (interpretation)—

    5. SCHEDULE 5

      Citizenship Oath and Pledge

      1. The form of citizenship oath and pledge is as follows...

        1. 1.The form of citizenship oath and pledge is as follows...

      2. Oath

      3. Pledge

        1. 2.The form of citizenship oath and pledge is as follows...

      4. Oath

      5. Pledge

        1. 3.The form of citizenship oath is as follows for registration...

        2. 4.The form of citizenship oath is as follows for registration...

    6. SCHEDULE 6

      British Overseas Territories

      1. Anguilla Bermuda British Antarctic Territory British Indian Ocean Territory Cayman...

    7. SCHEDULE 7

      Consequential Amendments

      1. ACT OF SETTLEMENT (12 & 13 Will. 3. c. 2.)

      2. LEGITIMACY DECLARATION ACT 1858 (c. 93)

      3. SUBMARINE TELEGRAPH ACT 1885 (c. 49)

      4. BRITISH NATIONALITY ACT 1948 (c. 56)

      5. IRELAND ACT 1949 (c. 41)

        1. 1.In section 3(1)(a) (certain provisions not affected by fact that...

        2. 2.For section 7(2) (interpretation of references to protectorates etc. by...

      6. DEFAMATION ACT 1952 (c. 66)

      7. DEFAMATION ACT (NORTHERN IRELAND) 1955 (c. 11) (N.I.)

      8. CYPRUS ACT 1960 (c. 52)

      9. EMERGENCY LAWS (RE-ENACTMENTS AND REPEALS) ACT 1964 (c. 60)

        1. In section 9 (territorial extent of Part I), in subsection...

      10. DIPLOMATIC PRIVILEGES ACT 1964 (c. 81)

        1. For section 3(2) (disregard, in connection with citizenship of children...

      11. COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT ACT 1966 (c. 10)

      12. WEST INDIES ACT 1967 (c. 4)

        1. 1.In section 13(3) (power to make changes in nationality or...

        2. 2.In Schedule 3 (modifications of British Nationality Acts)—

      13. MARINE BROADCASTING (OFFENCES) ACT 1967 (c. 41)

        1. In section 3(3) (persons prohibited from broadcasting whilst on or...

      14. ANTARCTIC TREATY ACT 1967 (C. 65)

        1. In section 1(3) (person prohibited from harming Antarctic flora and...

      15. FUGITIVE OFFENDERS ACT 1967 (c. 68)

        1. . . . .

      16. CONSULAR RELATIONS ACT 1968 (c. 18)

        1. In section 1(2) (meaning of certain terms in Schedule 1),...

      17. TANZANIA ACT 1969 (c. 29)

      18. INCOME AND CORPORATION TAXES ACT 1970 (c. 10)

        1. . . . .

      19. MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT 1970 (c. 36)

        1. 1.In section 70(3) (meaning of “British seamen” in section 70),...

        2. 2.In section 93(3) (meaning of “independent Commonwealth country” in section...

      20. CHILDREN ACT 1975 (c. 72)

        1. 1.In Part II of Schedule 1 (adoption orders)—

        2. 2.In Schedule 2 (status conferred in Scotland by adoption)—

      21. ADOPTION ACT 1976 (c. 36)

        1. In section 47(2) (nationality enactments)— (a) in paragraph (a), for...

      22. NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE ACT 1977 (c. 49)

        1. In paragraph 3 of Schedule 11 (territorial extent)— in the...

      23. SOLOMON ISLANDS ACT 1978 (c. 15)

        1. In section 6 (construction of nationality provisions)—

      24. ADOPTION (SCOTLAND) ACT 1978 (c. 28)

        1. In section 41(2) (nationality enactments)— (a) in paragraph (a), for...

      25. NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (SCOTLAND) ACT 1978 (c. 29)

        1. In paragraph 3 of Schedule 10 (territorial extent)—

      26. STATE IMMUNITY ACT 1978 (c. 33)

        1. In section 4(5) (definition of “national of the United Kingdom”),...

      27. DEEP SEA MINING (TEMPORARY PROVISIONS) ACT 1981 (c. 53)

        1. 1.In section 1 (prohibition of unlicensed deep sea mining)—

        2. 2.In section 14(3) (persons who may be guilty of offences...

    8. SCHEDULE 8

      Transitional Provisions

      1. Applications for naturalisation or registration pending at commencement

        1. 1.(1) This paragraph applies to any application—

        2. 2.Where a person who has been registered or to whom...

      2. Registration at U.K. consulate, after commencement, of certain births occurring in foreign countries less than a year before commencement

        1. 3.(1) This paragraph applies to a person born less than...

      3. Declarations by certain persons who by virtue of an Order in Council under section 4 of the Cyprus Act 1960 have ceased to be citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies

        1. 4.(1) Where— (a) a person has before commencement duly made...

      4. Applications for certificates of patriality pending at commencement

        1. 5.Any application for a certificate of patriality under the Immigration...

      5. Appeals under Part II of Immigration Act 1971

        1. 6.Where a person who has been refused a certificate of...

        2. 7.Any appeal under Part II of the Immigration Act 1971...

        3. 8.In relation to appeals against any decision taken or other...

    9. SCHEDULE 9

      REPEALS

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