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British Nationality Act 1981

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Part IE+W+S+N.I. British Citizenship

Acquisition after commencementE+W+S+N.I.

1 Acquisition by birth or adoption.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person born in the United Kingdom after commencement [F1, or in a qualifying territory on or after the appointed day,] shall be a British citizen if at the time of the birth his father or mother is—

(a)a British citizen; or

(b)settled in the United Kingdom [F2or that territory].

[F3(1A)A person born in the United Kingdom or a qualifying territory on or after the relevant day shall be a British citizen if at the time of the birth his father or mother is a member of the armed forces.]

(2)A new-born infant who, after commencement, is found abandoned in the United Kingdom [F4, or on or after the appointed day is found abandoned in a qualifying territory,] shall, unless the contrary is shown, be deemed for the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a)to have been born in the United Kingdom after commencement [F5or in that territory on or after the appointed day]; and

(b)to have been born to a parent who at the time of the birth was a British citizen or settled in the United Kingdom [F6or that territory].

(3)A person born in the United Kingdom after commencement who is not a British citizen by virtue of subsection (1) [F7, (1A)] or (2) shall be entitled to be registered as a British citizen if, while he is a minor—

(a)his father or mother becomes a British citizen or becomes settled in the United Kingdom; and

(b)an application is made for his registration as a British citizen.

[F8(3A)A person born in the United Kingdom on or after the relevant day who is not a British citizen by virtue of subsection (1), (1A) or (2) shall be entitled to be registered as a British citizen if, while he is a minor—

(a)his father or mother becomes a member of the armed forces; and

(b)an application is made for his registration as a British citizen]

(4)A person born in the United Kingdom after commencement who is not a British citizen by virtue of subsection (1) [F9, (1A)] or (2) shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen made at any time after he has attained the age of ten years, to be registered as such a citizen if, as regards each of the first ten years of that person’s life, the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in that year does not exceed 90.

[F10(5)Where—

( a )any court in the United Kingdom [F11or, on or after the appointed day, any court in a qualifying territory] makes an order authorising the adoption of a minor who is not a British citizen; or

(b)a minor who is not a British citizen is adopted under a Convention adoption,

that minor shall, if the requirements of subsection (5A) are met, be a British citizen as from the date on which the order is made or the Convention adoption is effected, as the case may be [F12effected under the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom].

(5A)Those requirements are that on the date on which the order is made or the Convention adoption is effected (as the case may be)—

( a )the adopter or, in the case of a joint adoption, one of the adopters is a British citizen; and

(b)in a case within subsection (5)(b), the adopter or, in the case of a joint adoption, both of the adopters are habitually resident in the United Kingdom [F13or in a designated territory].]

(6)Where an order [F14or a Convention adoption]in consequence of which any person became a British citizen by virtue of subsection (5) ceases to have effect, whether on annulment or otherwise, the cesser shall not affect the status of that person as a British citizen.

(7)If in the special circumstances of any particular case the Secretary of State thinks fit, he may for the purposes of subsection (4) treat the person to whom the application relates as fulfilling the requirement specified in that subsection although, as regards any one or more of the first ten years of that person’s life, the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in that year or each of the years in question exceeds 90.

(8)In this section and elsewhere in this Act “settled” has the meaning given by section 50 F15. . . .

[F16(9)The relevant day for the purposes of subsection (1A) or (3A) is the day appointed for the commencement of section 42 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (which inserted those subsections).]

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Amendments (Textual)

F10S. 1(5)(5A) substituted (1.6.2003) for s. 1(5) by 1999 c. 18, ss. 7(1), 18(3); S.I. 2003/362, art. 2(a)

F14Words in s. 1(6) inserted (1.6.2003) by 1999 c. 18, ss. 7(2), 18(3); S.I. 2003/362, art. 2(a)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 1(1) explained by S.I. 1972/1613, art. 6 (as inserted by S.I. 1982/1649, art. 3)

2 Acquisition by descent.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person born outside the United Kingdom [F17and the qualifying territories] after commencement shall be a British citizen if at the time of the birth his father or mother—

(a)is a British citizen otherwise than by descent; or

(b)is a British citizen and is serving outside the United Kingdom [F18and the qualifying territories] in service to which this paragraph applies, his or her recruitment for that service having taken place in the United Kingdom [F19or a qualifying territory]; or

(c)is a British citizen and is serving outside the United Kingdom [F20and the qualifying territories] in service under an [F21EU] institution, his or her recruitment for that service having taken place in a country which at the time of the recruitment was a member of [F22the European Union].

(2)Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) applies to—

(a)Crown service under the government of the United Kingdom [F23or of a qualifying territory]; and

(b)service of any description for the time being designated under subsection (3).

(3)For the purposes of this section the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument designate any description of service which he considers to be closely associated with the activities outside the United Kingdom [F24and the qualifying territories] of Her Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom [F25or in a qualifying territory].

(4)Any order made under subsection (3) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

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Amendments (Textual)

F25Words in s. 2(3) inserted (21.5.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), Sch. 1 para. 2(1)(4)(b); S.I. 2002/ 1252, {art. 2}

3 Acquisition by registration: minors.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)If while a person is a minor an application is made for his registration as a British citizen, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, cause him to be registered as such a citizen.

(2)A person born outside the United Kingdom [F26and the qualifying territories] shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen made [F27while he is a minor], to be registered as such a citizen if the requirements specified in subsection (3) or, in the case of a person born stateless, the requirements specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of that subsection, are fulfilled in the case of either that person’s father or his mother (“the parent in question”).

(3)The requirements referred to in subsection (2) are—

(a)that the parent in question was a British citizen by descent at the time of the birth; and

(b)that the father or mother of the parent in question—

(i)was a British citizen otherwise than by descent at the time of the birth of the parent in question; or

(ii)became a British citizen otherwise than by descent at commencement, or would have become such a citizen otherwise than by descent at commencement but for his or her death; and

(c)that, as regards some period of three years ending with a date not later than the date of the birth—

(i)the parent in question was in the United Kingdom [F28or a qualifying territory] at the beginning of that period; and

(ii)the number of days on which the parent in question was absent from the United Kingdom [F29and the qualifying territories] in that period does not exceed 270.

(4)F30. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)A person born outside the United Kingdom [F31and the qualifying territories] shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen made while he is a minor, to be registered as such a citizen if the following requirements are satisfied, namely—

(a)that at the time of that person’s birth his father or mother was a British citizen by descent; and

(b)subject to subsection (6), that that person and his father and mother were in the United Kingdom [F32or a qualifying territory] at the beginning of the period of three years ending with the date of the application and that, in the case of each of them, the number of days on which the person in question was absent from the United Kingdom [F33and the qualifying territories] in that period does not exceed 270; and

(c)subject to subsection (6), that the consent of his father and mother to the registration has been signified in the prescribed manner.

(6)In the case of an application under subsection (5) for the registration of a person as a British citizen—

(a)if his father or mother died, or their marriage [F34or civil partnership] was terminated, on or before the date of the application, or his father and mother were legally separated on that date, the references to his father and mother in paragraph (b) of that subsection shall be read either as references to his father or as references to his mother; [F35 and]

(b)if his father or mother died on or before that date, the reference to his father and mother in paragraph (c) of that subsection shall be read as a reference to either of them; F36...

F37(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F34Words in s. 3(6)(a) inserted (5.12.2005) by Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), ss. 261(1), 263, Sch. 27 para. 71; S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(2) (subject to art. 2(3)-(5))

F35Word in s. 3(6) inserted (1.7.2006 with effect as mentioned in s. 162(5) of the amending Act) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 9(2)(a), 162 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2(b), 3

F36Word in s. 3(6)(b) ceased to have effect (1.7.2006 with effect as mentioned in s. 162(5) of the amending Act) and repealed (prosp.) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 9(2)(b), 161, 162, Sch. 9 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2(b), 3

F37S. 3(6)(c) ceased to have effect (1.7.2006 with effect as mentioned in s. 162(5) of the amending Act) and repealed (prosp.) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 9(2)(c), 161, 162, Sch. 9 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2(b), 3

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

4 Acquisition by registration: [F38British overseas territories citizens] etc.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section applies to any person who is a [F39British overseas territories citizen], [F40a British National (Overseas),] a British Overseas citizen, a British subject under this Act or a British protected person.

(2)A person to whom this section applies shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen, to be registered as such a citizen if the following requirements are satisfied in the case of that person, namely—

(a)subject to subsection (3), that he was in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the period of five years ending with the date of the application and that the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in that period does not exceed 450; and

(b)that the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in the period of twelve months so ending does not exceed 90; and

(c)that he was not at any time in the period of twelve months so ending subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which he might remain in the United Kingdom; and

(d)that he was not at any time in the period of five years so ending in the United Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws.

(3)So much of subsection (2)(a) as requires the person in question to have been in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the period there mentioned shall not apply in relation to a person who was settled in the United Kingdom immediately before commencement.

(4)If in the special circumstances of any particular case the Secretary of State thinks fit, he may for the purposes of subsection (2) do all or any of the following things, namely—

(a)treat the person to whom the application relates as fulfilling the requirement specified in subsection (2)(a) or subsection (2)(b), or both, although the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in the period there mentioned exceeds the number there mentioned;

(b)disregard any such restriction as is mentioned in subsection (2)(c), not being a restriction to which that person was subject on the date of the application;

(c)treat that person as fulfilling the requirement specified in subsection (2)(d) although he was in the United Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws in the period there mentioned.

(5)If, on an application for registration as a British citizen made by a person to whom this section applies, the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant has at any time served in service to which this subsection applies, he may, if he thinks fit in the special circumstances of the applicant’s case, cause him to be registered as such a citizen.

(6)Subsection (5) applies to—

(a)Crown service under the government of a [F41British overseas territory]; and

(b)paid or unpaid service (not falling within paragraph (a)) as a member of any body established by law in a [F41British overseas territory] members of which are appointed by or on behalf of the Crown.

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Amendments (Textual)

F38Words in s. 4 sidenote substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 2(2)(b)

F39Words in s. 4(1) substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 2(2)(b)

F40By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(2) it is provided that s. 4(1) shall have effect as if after the words “British Dependent Territories citizen,” there were inserted the words “a British National (Overseas),”

F41Words in s. 4(6) substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), {s. 1(1)((b)}

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C7S. 4(2)(4) modified (7.11.2002, partly retrospective) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), s. 11

C9S. 4(2)(4) modified (7.11.2002, partly retrospective) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), s. 11

[F424A Acquisition by registration: further provision for British overseas territories citizensE+W+S+N.I.

(1)If an application is made to register as a British citizen a person who is a British overseas territories citizen, the Secretary of State may if he thinks fit cause the person to be so registered.

(2)Subsection (1) does not apply in the case of a British overseas territories citizen who—

(a)is such a citizen by virtue only of a connection with the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia; or

(b)has ceased to be a British citizen as a result of a declaration of renunciation.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F434B Acquisition by registration: certain persons without other citizenshipE+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section applies to a person who has the status of—

(a)British Overseas citizen,

(b)British subject under this Act, F44. . .

(c)British protected person.[F45, or

(d)British National (Overseas)]

(2)A person to whom this section applies shall be entitled to be registered as a British citizen if—

(a)he applies for registration under this section,

(b)the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person does not have, apart from the status mentioned in subsection (1), any citizenship or nationality, and

(c)the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person has not after [F46the relevant day] renounced, voluntarily relinquished or lost through action or inaction any citizenship or nationality

[F47(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(c), the “ relevant day ” means—

(a)in the case of a person to whom this section applies by virtue of subsection (1)(d) only, 19th March 2009, and

(b)in any other case, 4th July 2002.]]

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Amendments (Textual)

F45S. 4B(1)(d) and preceding word inserted (13.1.2010) by Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (c. 11), ss. 44(2)(b), 56, 58; S.I. 2009/2731, art. 4(c)

[F484C Acquisition by registration: certain persons born between 1961 and 1983E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person is entitled to be registered as a British citizen if—

(a)he applies for registration under this section, and

(b)he satisfies each of the following conditions.

(2)The first condition is that the applicant was born F49. . . before 1st January 1983.

[F50(3)The second condition is that the applicant would at some time before 1st January 1983 have become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies—

(a)under section 5 of, or paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to, the 1948 Act if assumption A had applied,

(b)under section 12(3), (4) or (5) of that Act if assumption B had applied and as a result of its application the applicant would have been a British subject immediately before 1st January 1949, or

(c)under section 12(2) of that Act if one or both of the following had applied—

(i)assumption A had applied;

(ii)assumption B had applied and as a result of its application the applicant would have been a British subject immediately before 1st January 1949.

(3A)Assumption A is that—

(a)section 5 or 12(2) of, or paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to, the 1948 Act (as the case may be) provided for citizenship by descent from a mother in the same terms as it provided for citizenship by descent from a father, and

(b)references in that provision to a father were references to the applicant's mother.

(3B)Assumption B is that—

(a)a provision of the law at some time before 1st January 1949 which provided for a nationality status to be acquired by descent from a father provided in the same terms for its acquisition by descent from a mother, and

(b)references in that provision to a father were references to the applicant's mother.

(3C)For the purposes of subsection (3B), a nationality status is acquired by a person (“P”) by descent where its acquisition—

(a)depends, amongst other things, on the nationality status of one or both of P's parents, and

(b)does not depend upon an application being made for P's registration as a person who has the status in question.

(3D)For the purposes of subsection (3), it is not to be assumed that any registration or other requirements of the provisions mentioned in that subsection or in subsection (3B) were met.]

(4)The third condition is that immediately before 1st January 1983 the applicant would have had the right of abode in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 2 of the Immigration Act 1971 (c. 77) had he become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies as described in subsection (3) above.

[F51(5) For the purposes of the interpretation of section 5 of the 1948 Act in its application in the case of assumption A to a case of descent from a mother, the reference in the proviso to subsection (1) of that section to “ a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent only ” includes a reference to a female person who became a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by virtue of—

(a)section 12(2), (4) or (6) only of the 1948 Act,

(b)section 13(2) of that Act,

(c)paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to that Act, or

(d)section 1(1)(a) or (c) of the British Nationality (No. 2) Act 1964.]]

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Amendments (Textual)

F50S. 4C(3)-(3D) substituted (13.1.2010) for s. 4C(3) by Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (c. 11), ss. 45(3), 58; S.I. 2009/2731, art. 4(d)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F524DAcquisition by registration: children of members of the armed forcesE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person (“P”) born outside the United Kingdom and the qualifying territories on or after the relevant day is entitled to be registered as a British citizen if—

(a)an application is made for P's registration under this section; and

(b)each of the following conditions is satisfied.

(2)The first condition is that, at the time of P's birth, P's father or mother was—

(a)a member of the armed forces; and

(b)serving outside the United Kingdom and the qualifying territories.

(3)The second condition is that, if P is a minor on the date of the application, the consent of P's father and mother to P's registration as a British citizen has been signified in the prescribed manner.

(4)But if P's father or mother has died on or before the date of the application, the reference in subsection (3) to P's father and mother is to be read as a reference to either of them.

(5)The Secretary of State may, in the special circumstances of a particular case, waive the need for the second condition to be satisfied.

(6)The relevant day for the purposes of this section is the day appointed for the commencement of section 46 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (which inserted this section).]

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Amendments (Textual)

[F534EThe general conditionsE+W+S+N.I.

For the purposes of sections 4F to 4I, a person (“P”) meets the general conditions if—

(a)P was born before 1 July 2006;

(b)at the time of P's birth, P's mother—

(i)was not married, or

(ii)was married to a person other than P's natural father;

(c)no person is treated as the father of P under section 28 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; and

(d)P has never been a British citizen.

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Amendments (Textual)

4FPerson unable to be registered under other provisions of this ActE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person (“P”) is entitled to be registered as a British citizen on an application made under this section if—

(a)P meets the general conditions; and

(b)P would be entitled to be registered as a British citizen under—

(i)section 1(3),

(ii)section 3(2),

(iii)section 3(5),

(iv)paragraph 4 of Schedule 2, or

(v)paragraph 5 of Schedule 2,

had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth.

(2)In the following provisions of this section “relevant registration provision” means the provision under which P would be entitled to be registered as a British citizen (as mentioned in subsection (1)(b)).

(3)If the relevant registration provision is section 3(2), a person who is registered as a British citizen under this section is a British citizen by descent.

(4)If the relevant registration provision is section 3(5), the Secretary of State may, in the special circumstances of the particular case, waive the need for any or all of the parental consents to be given.

(5)For that purpose, the “parental consents” are—

(a)the consent of P's natural father, and

(b)the consent of P's mother,

insofar as they would be required by section 3(5)(c) (as read with section 3(6)(b)), had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth.

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Amendments (Textual)

4GPerson unable to become citizen automatically after commencementE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person (“P”) is entitled to be registered as a British citizen on an application made under this section if—

(a)P meets the general conditions; and

(b)at any time in the period after commencement, P would have automatically become a British citizen at birth by the operation of any provision of this Act or the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth.

(2)A person who is registered as a British citizen under this section is a British citizen by descent if the British citizenship which the person would have acquired at birth (as mentioned in subsection (1)(b)) would (by virtue of section 14) have been British citizenship by descent.

(3)If P is under the age of 18, no application may be made unless the consent of P's natural father and mother to the registration has been signified in the prescribed manner.

(4)But if P's natural father or mother has died on or before the date of the application, the reference in subsection (3) to P's natural father and mother is to be read as a reference to either of them.

(5)The Secretary of State may, in the special circumstances of a particular case, waive the need for any or all of the consents required by subsection (3) (as read with subsection (4)) to be given.

(6)The reference in this section to the period after commencement does not include the time of commencement (and, accordingly, this section does not apply to any case in which a person was unable to become a British citizen at commencement).

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Amendments (Textual)

4HCitizen of UK and colonies unable to become citizen at commencementE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person (“P”) is entitled to be registered as a British citizen on an application made under this section if—

(a)P meets the general conditions;

(b)P was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies immediately before commencement; and

(c)P would have automatically become a British citizen at commencement, by the operation of any provision of this Act, had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth.

(2)A person who is registered as a British citizen under this section is a British citizen by descent if the British citizenship which the person would have acquired at commencement (as mentioned in subsection (1)(c)) would (by virtue of section 14) have been British citizenship by descent.

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Amendments (Textual)

4IOther person unable to become citizen at commencementE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person (“P”) is entitled to be registered as a British citizen on an application made under this section if—

(a)P meets the general conditions;

(b)P is either—

(i)an eligible former British national, or

(ii)an eligible non-British national; and

(c)had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth, P—

(i)would have been a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies immediately before commencement, and

(ii)would have automatically become a British citizen at commencement by the operation of any provision of this Act.

(2)P is an “eligible former British national” if P was not a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies immediately before commencement and either—

(a)P ceased to be a British subject or a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by virtue of the commencement of any independence legislation, but would not have done so had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth, or

(b)P was a British subject who did not automatically become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at commencement of the British Nationality Act 1948 by the operation of any provision of it, but would have done so had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth.

(3)P is an “eligible non-British national” if—

(a)P was never a British subject or citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies; and

(b)had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth, P would have automatically become a British subject or citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies—

(i)at birth, or

(ii)by virtue of paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the British Nationality Act 1948 (child of male British subject to become citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies if the father becomes such a citizen).

(4)A person who is registered as a British citizen under this section is a British citizen by descent if the British citizenship which the person would have acquired at commencement (as mentioned in subsection (1)(c)(ii)) would (by virtue of section 14) have been British citizenship by descent.

(5)In determining for the purposes of subsection (1)(c)(i) whether P would have been a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies immediately before commencement, it must be assumed that P would not have—

(a)renounced or been deprived of any notional British nationality, or

(b)lost any notional British nationality by virtue of P acquiring the nationality of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom.

(6)A “notional British nationality” is—

(a)in a case where P is an eligible former British national, any status as a British subject or a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies which P would have held at any time after P's nationality loss (had that loss not occurred and had P's mother had been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth);

(b)in a case where P is an eligible non-British national—

(i)P's status as a British subject or citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies mentioned in subsection (3)(b), and

(ii)any other status as a British subject or citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies which P would have held at any time afterwards (had P's mother been married to P's natural father at the time of P's birth).

(7)In this section—

  • “British subject” has any meaning which it had for the purposes of the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914;

  • independence legislation” means an Act of Parliament or any subordinate legislation (within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978) forming part of the law in the United Kingdom (whenever passed or made, and whether or not still in force)—

    (a)

    providing for a country or territory to become independent from the United Kingdom, or

    (b)

    dealing with nationality, or any other ancillary matters, in connection with a country or territory becoming independent from the United Kingdom;

  • P's nationality loss” means P's—

    (a)

    ceasing to be a British subject or citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (as mentioned in subsection (2)(a)), or

    (b)

    not becoming a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (as mentioned in subsection (2)(b)).

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Amendments (Textual)

4JSections 4E to 4I: supplementary provisionE+W+S+N.I.

(1)In sections 4E to 4I and this section, a person's “natural father” is a person who satisfies the requirements as to proof of paternity that are prescribed in regulations under section 50(9B).

(2)The power under section 50(9B) to make different provision for different circumstances includes power to make provision for the purposes of any provision of sections 4E to 4I which is different from other provision made under section 50(9B).

(3)The following provisions apply for the purposes of sections 4E to 4I.

(4)A reference to a person automatically becoming a British citizen, or a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, is a reference to the person becoming such a citizen without the need for—

(a)the person to be registered as such a citizen by the Secretary of State or any other minister of the Crown;

(b)the birth of the person to be registered by a diplomatic or consular representative of the United Kingdom; or

(c)the person to be naturalised as such a citizen.

(5)If the mother of a person could not actually have been married to the person's natural father at the time of the person's birth (for whatever reason), that fact does not prevent an assumption being made that the couple were married at the time of the birth.]

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Amendments (Textual)

5 Acquisition by registration: nationals for purposes of the [F21EU] Treaties.E+W+S+N.I.

A [F54British overseas territories citizen] who falls to be treated as a national of the United Kingdom for the purposes of the [F21EU] Treaties shall be entitled to be registered as a British citizen if an application is made for his registration as such a citizen.

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Amendments (Textual)

F54Words in s. 5 substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 2(2)(b)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

6 Acquisition by naturalisation.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)If, on an application for naturalisation as a British citizen made by a person of full age and capacity, the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant fulfils the requirements of Schedule 1 for naturalisation as such a citizen under this subsection, he may, if he thinks fit, grant to him a certificate of naturalisation as such a citizen.

(2)If, on an application for naturalisation as a British citizen made by a person of full age and capacity who on the date of the application is married to a British citizen, [F55or is the civil partner of a British citizen] the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant fulfils the requirements of Schedule 1 for naturalisation as such a citizen under this subsection, he may, if he thinks fit, grant to him a certificate of naturalisation as such a citizen.

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Amendments (Textual)

Acquisition after commencement: special casesE+W+S+N.I.

7 Right to registration by virtue of residence in U.K. or relevant employment.E+W+S+N.I.

F56. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F56S. 7 ceased to have effect (7.11.2002) and repealed (prosp.) by virtue of Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 15, 161, 162, Sch. 2 para. 1(a), Sch. 9 (with s. 159, Sch. 2 para. 2)

8 Registration by virtue of marriage.E+W+S+N.I.

F57. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F57S. 8 ceased to have effect (7.11.2002) and repealed (prosp.) by virtue of Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 15, 161, 162, Sch. 2 para. 1(b), Sch. 9 (with s. 159, Sch. 2 para. 2)

9 Right to registration by virtue of father’s citizenship etc.E+W+S+N.I.

F58. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F58S. 9 ceased to have effect (7.11.2002) and repealed (prosp.) by virtue of Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 15, 161, 162, Sch. 2 para. 1(c), Sch. 9 (with s. 159, Sch. 2 para. 2)

10 Registration following renunciation of citizenship of U.K. and Colonies.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Subject to subsection (3), a person shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen, to be registered as such a citizen if immediately before commencement he would (had he applied for it) have been entitled under section 1(1) of the M1British Nationality Act 1964 (resumption of citizenship) to be registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by virtue of having an appropriate qualifying connection with the United Kingdom or F59. . . by virtue of having been married before commencement to a person who has, or would if living have, such a connection.

(2)On an application for his registration as a British citizen made by a person of full capacity who had before commencement ceased to be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies as a result of a declaration of renunciation, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, cause that person to be registered as a British citizen if that person—

(a)has an appropriate qualifying connection with the United Kingdom; or

(b)F59. . . has been married to [F60, or has been the civil partner of,] a person who has, or would if living have, such a connection.

(3)A person shall not be entitled to registration under subsection (1) on more than one occasion.

(4)For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have an appropriate qualifying connection with the United Kingdom if he, his father or his father’s father—

(a)was born in the United Kingdom; or

(b)is or was a person naturalised in the United Kingdom; or

(c)was registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in the United Kingdom or in a country which at the time was mentioned in section 1(3) of the 1948 Act.

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Amendments (Textual)

F60Words in s. 10(2)(b) inserted (5.12.2005) by Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), ss. 261(1), 263, Sch. 27 para. 73; S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(2) (subject to art. 2(3)-(5))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C14S. 10(1)(2) restricted (4.12.2006) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 58, 62; S.I. 2006/2838, art. 4(1) (subject to art. 4(2))

Marginal Citations

Acquisition at commencementE+W+S+N.I.

11 Citizens of U.K. and Colonies who are to become British citizens at commencement.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Subject to subsection (2), a person who immediately before commencement—

(a)was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies; and

(b)had the right of abode in the United Kingdom under the M2Immigration Act 1971 as then in force,

shall at commencement become a British citizen.

(2)A person who was registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies under section 1 of the M3British Nationality (No. 2) Act 1964 (stateless persons) on the ground mentioned in subsection (1)(a) of that section (namely that his mother was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time when he was born) shall not become a British citizen under subsection (1) unless—

(a)his mother becomes a British citizen under subsection (1) or would have done so but for her death; or

(b)immediately before commencement he had the right of abode in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 2(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1971 as then in force (settlement in United Kingdom, combined with five or more years’ ordinary residence there as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies).

(3)A person who—

(a)immediately before commencement was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by virtue of having been registered under subsection (6) of section 12 of the 1948 Act (British subjects before commencement of 1948 Act becoming citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies) under arrangements made by virtue of subsection (7) of that section (registration in independent Commonwealth country by United Kingdom High Commissioner); and

(b)was so registered on an application under the said subsection (6) based on the applicant’s descent in the male line from a person (“the relevant person”) possessing one of the qualifications specified in subsection (1)(a) and (b) of that section (birth or naturalisation in the United Kingdom and Colonies),

shall at commencement become a British citizen if the relevant person was born or naturalised in the United Kingdom.

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Marginal Citations

Renunciation and resumption E+W+S+N.I.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C15S. 12 extended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(10)

12 Renunciation.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)If any British citizen of full age and capacity makes in the prescribed manner a declaration of renunciation of British citizenship, then, subject to subsections (3) and (4), the Secretary of State shall cause the declaration to be registered.

(2)On the registration of a declaration made in pursuance of this section the person who made it shall cease to be a British citizen.

(3)A declaration made by a person in pursuance of this section shall not be registered unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person who made it will after the registration have or acquire some citizenship or nationality other than British citizenship; and if that person does not have any such citizenship or nationality on the date of registration and does not acquire some such citizenship or nationality within six months from that date, he shall be, and be deemed to have remained, a British citizen notwithstanding the registration.

(4)The Secretary of State may withhold registration of any declaration made in pursuance of this section if it is made during any war in which Her Majesty may be engaged in right of Her Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom.

(5)For the purposes of this section any person who has been married [F61, or has formed a civil partnership,] shall be deemed to be of full age.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C16S. 12 extended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(10)

13 Resumption.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Subject to subsection (2), a person who has ceased to be a British citizen as a result of a declaration of renunciation shall be entitled, on an application for his registration as a British citizen, to be registered as such a citizen if—

(a)he is of full capacity; and

(b)his renunciation of British citizenship was necessary to enable him to retain or acquire some other citizenship or nationality.

(2)A person shall not be entitled to registration under subsection (1) on more than one occasion.

(3)If a person of full capacity who has ceased to be a British citizen as a result of a declaration of renunciation (for whatever reason made) makes an application for his registration as such a citizen, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, cause him to be registered as such a citizen.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C17S. 13(1)(3) restricted (4.12.2006) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 58, 62; S.I. 2006/2838, art. 4(1) (subject to art. 4(2))

SupplementaryE+W+S+N.I.

14 Meaning of British citizen (by descent).E+W+S+N.I.

(1)For the purposes of this Act a British citizen is a British citizen “by descent” if and only if—

(a)he is a person born outside the United Kingdom after commencement who is a British citizen by virtue of section 2(1)(a) only or by virtue of registration under section 3(2) or 9; or

(b)subject to subsection (2), he is a person born outside the United Kingdom before commencement who became a British citizen at commencement and immediately before commencement—

(i)was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by virtue of section 5 of the 1948 Act (citizenship by descent); or

(ii)was a person who, under any provision of the British Nationality Acts 1948 to 1965, was deemed for the purposes of the proviso to section 5(1) of the 1948 Act to be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent only, or would have been so deemed if male; or

(iii)had the right of abode in the United Kingdom by virtue only of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 2 of the M4Immigration Act 1971 as then in force (connection with United Kingdom through parent or grandparent), or by virtue only of that paragraph and paragraph (c) of that subsection (settlement in United Kingdom with five years’ ordinary residence there), or by virtue only of being or having been the wife of a person who immediately before commencement had that right by virtue only of the said paragraph (b) or the said paragraphs (b) and (c); or

(iv)being a woman, was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies as a result of her registration as such a citizen under section 6(2) of the 1948 Act by virtue of having been married to a man who at commencement became a British citizen by descent or would have done so but for his having died or ceased to be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies as a result of a declaration of renunciation; or

(c)he is a British citizen by virtue of registration under section 3(1) and either—

(i)his father or mother was a British citizen at the time of the birth; or

(ii)his father or mother was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at that time and became a British citizen at commencement, or would have done so but for his or her death; or

(d)he is a British citizen by virtue of registration under [F62section 4B [F63, 4C] or 5]; or

[F64(da)the person is a British citizen by descent by virtue of section 4F(3), 4G(2), 4H(2) or 4I(4); or]

(e)subject to subsection (2), being a woman born outside the United Kingdom before commencement, she is a British citizen as a result of her registration as such a citizen under section 8 by virtue of being or having been married to a man who at commencement became a British citizen by descent or would have done so but for his having died or ceased to be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies as a result of a declaration of renunciation; or

(f)he is a British citizen by virtue of registration under section 10 who, having before commencement ceased to be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies as a result of a declaration of renunciation, would, if he had not so ceased, have at commencement become a British citizen by descent by virtue of paragraph (b); or

(g)he is a British citizen by virtue of registration under section 13 who, immediately before he ceased to be a British citizen as a result of a declaration of renunciation, was such a citizen by descent; or

(h)he is a person born in a [F65 British overseas territory] after commencement who is a British citizen by virtue of paragraph 2 of Schedule 2.

(2)A person born outside the United Kingdom before commencement is not a British citizen “by descent” by virtue of subsection (1)(b) or (e) if his father was at the time of his birth serving outside the United Kingdom—

(a)in service of a description mentioned in subsection (3), his recruitment for the service in question having taken place in the United Kingdom; or

(b)in service under a [F21EU] institution, his recruitment for that service having taken place in a country which at the time of the recruitment was a member of the Communities.

(3)The descriptions of service referred to in subsection (2) are—

(a)Crown service under the government of the United Kingdom; and

(b)service of any description at any time designated under section 2(3).

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Amendments (Textual)

F62Words in s. 14(1)(d) substituted (30.4.2003) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 12(2), 162 (with s. 159); S.I. 2003/754, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 (with arts. 3, 4, Sch. 2 (as amended by S.I. 2003/1040, art. 2 and S.I. 2003/1339, art. 4))

F65Words in s. 14(1)(h) substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 1(1)(b)

Marginal Citations

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