Search Legislation

British Nationality Act 1948

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

FIRST SCHEDULEOath of Allegiance

I, A.B., swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Sixth His Heirs and Successors according to law.

SECOND SCHEDULEQualifications for Naturalisation

Aliens

1Subject to the provisions of the next following paragraph, the qualifications for naturalisation of an alien who applies therefor are:—

(a)that he has either resided in the United Kingdom or been in Crown service under His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom, or partly the one and partly the other, throughout the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of the application ; and

(b)that during the seven years immediately preceding the said period of twelve months he has either resided in the United Kingdom or any colony, protectorate, United Kingdom mandated territory or United Kingdom trust territory or been in Crown service as aforesaid, or partly the one and partly the other, for periods amounting in the aggregate to not 'ess than four years; and

(c)that he is of good character ; and

(d)that he has sufficient knowledge of the English language, and

(e)that he intends in the event of a certificate being granted to him—

(i)to reside in the United Kingdom or in any colony, protectorate or United Kingdom trust territory or in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan; or

(ii)to enter into or continue in Crown service under His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom, or under the government of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, or service under an international organisation of which His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom is a member or service in the employment of a society, company or body of persons established in the United Kingdom or established in any colony, protectorate or United Kingdom trust territory.

2The Secretary of State may if in the special circumstances of any particular case he thinks fit—

(a)allow a continuous period of twelve months ending not more than six months before the date of the application to be reckoned, for the purposes of sub-paragraph (a) of the last foregoing paragraph, as if it had immediately preceded that date;

(b)allow residence in any country mentioned in subsection (3) of section one of this Act or in Eire, or in any mandated territory or trust territory, or in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, or residence in Burma before the fourth day of January, nineteen hundred and forty-eight, to be reckoned for the purposes of sub-paragraph (b) of the last foregoing paragraph ;

(c)allow service under the government of any country mentioned in the said subsection (3), or of any state, province or territory thereof, or under the government of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, or service before the fourth day of January, nineteen hundred and forty-eight, under the government of Burma, to be reckoned for the purposes of the said sub-paragraph (b) as if it had been Crown service under His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom ;

(d)allow periods of residence or service earlier than eight years before the date of the application to be reckoned in computing the aggregate mentioned in the said sub-paragraph (b).

British protected persons

3The qualifications for naturalisation of a British protected person who applies therefor are:—

(a)that he is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom and has been so resident throughout the period of twelve months, or such shorter period as the Secretary of State may in the special circumstances of any case accept, immediately preceding his application ; or

(b)that he is in Crown service under His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom, and

the qualifications specified in sub-paragraphs (c) (d) and (e) of paragraph 1 of this Schedule.

Application to colonies, protectorates and trust territories

4The foregoing provisions of this Schedule shall, in their application to any colony, protectorate or United Kingdom trust territory, have effect as if—

(a)for any references therein to the Secretary of State there were substituted references to the Governor of that colony, protectorate or territory;

(b)for the reference in sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 1 and sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 3 thereof to residence in the United Kingdom there were substituted a reference to residence in that colony, protectorate or territory ; and

(c)for the reference therein to the English language there were substituted, in the case of a British protected person, a reference to the English language or any other language in current use in that colony, protectorate or territory, and, in the case of an alien, a reference to the English language or any language recognised in that colony, protectorate or territory as being on an equality with the English language.

THIRD SCHEDULEBritish Subjects without Citizenship under Section Thirteen of this Act

1The law in force before the commencement of this Act relating to British nationality shall continue to apply to a person while he remains a British subject without citizenship by virtue of section thirteen of this Act as if this Act had not been passed :

Provided that—

(a)if that person is a male, nothing in this paragraph shall confer British nationality on any woman whom he marries during the period that he is a British subject without citizenship, or on any child born to him during that period;

(b)he shall not, by becoming naturalised in a foreign state, be deemed to have ceased to be a British subject by virtue of section thirteen of the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1914;

(c)so long as a woman remains a British subject without citizen ship as aforesaid she shall not on marriage to an alien cease to be a British subject.

2So long as a person remains a British subject without citizenship by virtue of section thirteen of this Act he shall be treated for the purposes of any application made by him for registration as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies under sections six to nine of this Act as if he were a citizen of one of the countries mentioned in subsection (3) of section one of this Act.

3If while a male person remains a British subject without citizenship by virtue of section thirteen of this Act a child is born to him, the child shall, unless the child has previously become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, or of any country mentioned in subsection (3) of section one of this Act or of Eire, become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies if and when the father becomes, or would but for his death have become, such a citizen; and a male person who becomes a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by virtue of this paragraph shall be deemed for the purposes of the proviso to subsection (1) of section five of this Act to be a citizen thereof by descent only.

FOURTH SCHEDULEEnactments Repealed

Part IEnactments relating to Natural-Born British Subjects

Session and Chapter.Short Title, etc.Extent of Repeal.
11 Will. 3. c. 7.An Act for the more effect-tuall Suppression of Piracy.In section seven, the words " naturall borne" and " or denizens of this King-dome ".

12 & 13 Will. 3.

c. 2.

The Act of Settlement.In section three, the words from " That after the said limitation shall take effect " to " in trust for him " so far as they relate to British subjects and citizens of Eire.
18 Geo. 2. c. 30.The Piracy Act, 1744.In section one, the words " natural born" and "or denizens ".
21 & 22 Vict, c 93.The Legitimacy Declaration Act, 1858.In section nine, the words " natural-born ".
31 & 32 Vict, c. 20.The Legitimacy Declaration Act (Ireland), 1868.In sections one and two, the words "natural-born" wherever they occur.
33 & 34 Vict, c. 77.The Juries Act, 1870.In section eight, the words " natural-born " in both places where they occur.
57 & 58 Vict, c. 60.The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894.In section one, the words " natural-born " in the first place where they occur, paragraphs (b) and (c) and the proviso.
15 & 16 Geo. 5. c. 49.The Supreme Court of Judi-cature (Consolidation) Act, 1925-In section one hundred and eighty-eight, the words " natural-born" wherever they occur.

Part IIOther Enactments

Session and Chapter.Short Title, etc.Extent of Repeal.
4 & 5 Ann. c. 16.An Act for the Naturalization of the Most Excellent Princess Sophia Electress and Dutchess Dowager of Hanover and the Issue of her Body.The whole Act.
35 & 36 Vict. c 39.The Naturalization Act, 1872.The whole Act.
The Army Act.In section ninety-five, the words " natural-born ".
4 & 5 Geo. 5. c. 17.The British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1914.

Sections one to sixteen.

In sections seventeen and eighteen, the words " natural-born " wherever they occur.

Sections nineteen to twenty-six.

Section twenty-seven, except

so far as it defines the

expression " alien ". In section twenty-eight, the

words " British Nationality

and ". The Schedules.

The Air Force Act.In section ninety-five, the words " natural-born ".
8 & 9 Geo. 5. c. 38.The British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1918.The whole Act.
12 & 13 Geo. 5. c. 44.The British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1922.The whole Act.
16 & 17 Geo. 5. c. 60.The Legitimacy Act, 1926.In section two, the words " natural-born ".
23 & 24 Geo. 5. c. 4.The Evidence (Foreign, Dominion and Colonial Documents) Act, 1933Section two.
23 & 24 Geo. 5. c. 49.The British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1933.The whole Act.
6 & 7 Geo. 6. c. 14.The British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1943.The whole Act.
11 ix 12 Geo. 6.c. 7.The Ceylon Independence Act, 1947.Paragraph 1 of the Second Schedule.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources