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British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part IIIGeneral

National Status of Married Women and Infant Children

10National status of married women

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, the wife of a British subject shall be deemed to be a British subject, and the wife of an alien shall be deemed to be an alien.

(2)Where a woman has (whether before or after the commencement of this Act) married an alien, and was at the time of her marriage a British subject, she shall not, by reason only of her marriage, be deemed to have ceased to be a British subject unless, by reason of her marriage, she acquired the nationality of her husband.

(3)Where a man has, during the continuance of his marriage, ceased (whether before or after the commencement of this Act) to be a British subject, his wife shall not, by reason only of that fact, be deemed to have ceased to be a British subject unless, by reason of the acquisition by her husband of a new nationality, she also acquired that nationality.

(4)Where a man ceases, during the continuance of his marriage, to be a British subject and, by reason of his acquisition of a new nationality, his wife also acquires that nationality, she may, whether her marriage is still continuing or not, at any time within the period of twelve months from the date on which she so acquired that nationality, or at such later time as the Secretary of State may in special circumstances allow, make a declaration that she desires to retain British nationality, and thereupon she shall be deemed to have remained a British subject.

(5)Where, after the end of the year nineteen hundred and thirty-three, a certificate of naturalization is granted to an alien, his wife, if not already a British subject, shall not be deemed to be a British subject, unless, within the period of twelve months from-the date of the certificate, or within such longer period as the Secretary of State may in special circumstances allow, she makes a declaration that she desires to acquire British nationality.

(6)Where an alien is a subject of a state at war with His Majesty, it shall be lawful for his wife, if she was at birth a British subject, to make a declaration that she desires to resume British nationality, and thereupon the Secretary of State, if he is satisfied that it is desirable that she be permitted to do so, may grant her a certificate of naturalization.

11Status of widows

A woman who, having been a British subject, has by, or in consequence of, her marriage become an alien, shall not, by reason only of the death of her husband, or the dissolution of her marriage, cease to be an alien, and a woman who, having been an alien, has by, or in consequence of, her marriage become a British subject, shall not, by reason only of the death of her husband or the dissolution of her marriage, cease to be a British subject.

12Status of children

(1)Where a person being a British subject ceases to be a British subject, whether by declaration of alienage or, otherwise, every child of that person, being a minor, shall thereupon cease to be a British subject, unless such child, on that person ceasing to be a British subject, does not become by the law of any other country naturalized in that country :

Provided that, where a widow who is a British subject marries an alien, any child of hers by her former husband shall not, by reason only of her marriage, cease to be a British subject, whether he is residing outside His Majesty's dominions or not.

(2)Any child who has so ceased to be a British subject may, within one year after attaining his majority, make a' declaration that he wishes to resume British nationality, and shall thereupon again become a British subject.

Loss of British Nationality

13Loss of British nationality by foreign naturalization

A British subject who, when in any foreign state and not under disability, by obtaining a certificate of naturalization or by any other voluntary and formal act, becomes naturalized therein, shall thenceforth be deemed to have ceased to be a British subject.

14Declaration of alienage

(1)Any person who by reason of his having been born within His Majesty's dominions and allegiance or on board a British ship is a natural-born British subject, but who at his birth or during his minority became under the law of any foreign state a subject also of that state, and is still such a subject, may, if of full age and not under disability, make a declaration of alienage, and on making the declaration shall cease to be a British subject.

(2)Any person who though born out of His Majesty's dominions is a natural-born British subject may, if of full age and not under disability, make a declaration of alienage, and on making the declaration shall cease to be a British subject.

15Power of naturalized subjects to divest themselves of their status in certain cases

Where His Majesty has entered into a convention with any foreign state to the effect that the subjects or citizens of that state to whom certificates of naturalization have been granted may divest themselves of their status as such subjects, it shall be lawful for His Majesty, by Order in Council, to declare that the convention has been entered into by His Majesty; and from and after the date of the Order any person having been originally a subject or citizen of the state therein referred to, who has been naturalized as a British subject, may, within the limit of time provided in the convention, make a declaration of alienage, and on his making the declaration he shall be regarded as an alien and as a subject of the state to which he originally belonged as aforesaid.

16Saving of obligations incurred before loss of nationality

Where any British subject ceases to be a British subject, he shall not thereby be discharged from any obligation, duty or liability in respect of any act done before he ceased to be a British subject.

Status of Aliens

17Capacity of alien as to property

Real and personal property of every description may be taken, acquired, held and disposed of by an alien in the same manner in all respects as by a natural-born British subject; and a title to real and personal property of every description may be derived through, from or in succession to an alien in the same manner in all respects as through, from or in succession to a natural-born British subject:

Provided that this section shall not operate so as to—

(1)confer any right on an alien to hold real property situate out of the United Kingdom; or

(2)qualify an alien for any office or for any municipal, parliamentary, or other franchise; or

(3)qualify an alien to be the owner of a British ship; or

(4)entitle an alien to any right or privilege as a British subject, except such rights and privileges in respect of property as are hereby expressly given to him; or

(5)affect any estate or interest in real or personal property to which any person has or may become entitled, either mediately or immediately, in possession or expectancy, in pursuance of any disposition made before the twelfth day of May, eighteen hundred and seventy, or in pursuance of any devolution by law on the death of any person dying before that day.

18Trial of alien

An alien shall be triable in the same manner as if he were a natural-born British subject.

Procedure and Evidence

19Regulations by Secretary of State

(1)The Secretary of State may make regulations generally for carrying into effect the objects of this Act, and in particular with respect to the following matters :—

(a)The form and registration of certificates of naturalization granted by the Secretary of State:

(b)The form and registration of declarations of alienage and declarations of resumption or retention or acquisition of British nationality:

(c)The registration by officers in the diplomatic or consular service of His Majesty of the births and deaths of British subjects born or dying out of His Majesty's dominions :

(d)The time within which the oath of allegiance is to be taken after the grant of a certificate of naturalization:

(e)The persons by whom the oath of allegiance may be administered, and the persons before whom declarations of alienage and declarations of resumption of British nationality may be made:

(f)Whether or not oaths of allegiance are to be subscribed as well as taken, and the form in which the taking and subscription are to be attested :

(g)The registration of oaths of allegiance:

(h)The persons by whom certified copies of oaths of allegiance may be given; and the proof in any legal proceeding of any such oaths :

(i)The transmission to the United Kingdom, for the purpose of registration or safe keeping or of being produced as evidence, of any declarations, certificates or oaths, made, granted or' taken out of the United Kingdom in pursuance of this Act or of any Act hereby repealed, or of any copies thereof, also of copies of entries contained in any register kept out of the United Kingdom in pursuance of this Act or any Act hereby repealed:

(j)With the consent of the Treasury, the imposition and application of fees in respect of any registration authorised to be made by this Act or any Act hereby repealed, and in respect of the making of any declaration or the grant of any certificate authorised to be made or granted by this Act or any Act hereby repealed, and in respect of the administration or registration of any oath : Provided that in the case of a woman who was a British subject previously to her marriage to an alien, and whose husband has died or whose marriage has been dissolved, the fee for the grant of a certificate shall not exceed five shillings.

(2)Any regulation made by the Secretary of State in pursuance of this Act shall be of the same force as if it had been enacted therein, but shall not, so far as respects the imposition of fees, be in force in any British Possession, and shall not, so far as respects any other matter, be in force in any British Possession in which any Act or ordinance, or, in the case of a Dominion specified in the First Schedule to this Act, any regulation made by the Government of the Dominion under Part II of this Act, to the contrary of, or inconsistent with, any such regulation may for the time being be in force.

(3)Any regulations made by the Secretary of State under any Act hereby repealed shall continue in force and be deemed to have been made under this Act.

20Evidence of declarations

Any declaration made under this Act or under any Act hereby repealed may be proved in any legal proceeding by the production of the original declaration or of any copy thereof certified to be a true copy by the Secretary of State, or by any person authorised by him in that behalf, and the production of the declaration or copy shall be evidence of the person therein named as declarant having made the declaration at the date therein mentioned.

21Evidence of certificates of naturalization

A certificate of naturalization may be proved in any legal proceeding by the production of the original certificate or of any copy thereof certified to be a true copy by the Secretary of State, or by any person authorised by him in that behalf.

22Evidence of entries in registers

Entries in any register made in pursuance of this Act or under any Act hereby repealed may be proved by such copies and certified in such manner as may be directed by the Secretary of State, and the copies of any such entries shall be evidence of any matters, by this Act or by any Act hereby repealed or by any regulation of the Secretary of State, authorised to be inserted in the register.

23Penalty for false representation or statement

If any person for any of the purposes of this Act knowingly makes any false representation or any statement false in a material particular, he shall, in the United Kingdom, be liable on summary conviction in respect of each offence to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding three months.

24Form of oath of allegiance

The oath of allegiance shall be in the form set out in the Second Schedule to this Act.

Supplemental

25Saving for letters of denization

Nothing in this Act shall affect the grant of letters of denization by His Majesty.

26Saving for powers of Legislatures and Governments of British possessions

(1)Nothing- in this Act shall take away or abridge any power vested in, or exerciseable by, the Legislature or Government of any British Possession, or affect the operation of any law at present in force which has been passed in exercise of such a power, or prevent any such Legislature or Government from treating differently different classes of British subjects.

(2)All laws, statutes and ordinances made by the Legislature of a British Possession for imparting to any person any of the privileges of naturalization to be enjoyed by him within the limits of that Possession, shall, within those limits, have the authority of law.

(3)Where any parts of His Majesty's Dominions are under both a central and a local legislature, the expression " British Possession " shall, for the purposes of this section, include both all parts under the central legislature and each part under a local legislature : Provided that nothing in this provision shall be construed as validating any law, statute or ordinance with respect to naturalization made by any such local legislature in any case where the central legislature possesses exclusive legislative authority with respect to naturalization.

27Definitions

(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

The expression " British subject " means a person who is a natural-born British subject, or a person to whom a certificate of naturalization has been granted, or a person who has become a subject of His Majesty by reason of any annexation of territory :

The expression " alien " means a person who is not a British subject:

The expression " certificate of naturalization" means a certificate of naturalization granted under this Act or under any Act repealed by this or any other Act:

The expression " disability " means the status of being a married woman, or a minor, lunatic, or idiot:

The expression " territorial waters" includes any port, harbour, Or dock :

The expression " British Consulate" means the office of any British consular officer where a register of births is kept, and includes, in the case of any territory where there is no British Consulate and there is a British resident or other representative of His Majesty, the office of such resident or representative.

(2)Where in pursuance of this Act the name of a child is included in a certificate of naturalization granted to his parent, or where, in pursuance of any Act repealed by this Act, any child has been deemed to be a naturalized British subject by reason of residence with his parent, such child shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a person to whom a certificate of naturalization has been granted.

28Repeal, short title, and commencement

(1)The enactments mentioned in the Third Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that schedule.

(2)This Act may be cited as the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1914.

(3)This Act shall come into operation on the first day of January, nineteen hundred and fifteen.

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