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British Nationality Act 1981

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British Nationality Act 1981, Part V is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 21 July 2019. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

Part VU.K. Miscellaneous and Supplementary

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Pt. V (ss. 36–53) extended by S.I. 1983/882, art. 3(5)

36 Provisions for reducing statelessness.U.K.

The provisions of Schedule 2 shall have effect for the purpose of reducing statelessness.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

37 Commonwealth citizenship.U.K.

(1)Every person who—

(a)under [F1the British Nationality Acts 1981 and 1983][F2or the British Overseas Territories Act 2002] is a British citizen, a [F3British overseas territories citizen] , [F4a British National (Overseas),] a British Overseas citizen or a British subject; or

(b)under any enactment for the time being in force in any country mentioned in Schedule 3 is a citizen of that country,

shall have the status of a Commonwealth citizen.

(2)Her Majesty may by Order in Council amend Schedule 3 by the alteration of any entry, the removal of any entry, or the insertion of any additional entry.

(3)Any Order in Council made under this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(4)After commencement no person shall have the status of a Commonwealth citizen or the status of a British subject otherwise than under this Act.

Textual Amendments

F3Words in s. 37(1) substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 2(2)(b)

F4By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(3)(b) it is provided that s. 37 shall have effect as if in subsection (1)(a) after the words “British Dependent Territories citizen,” there were inserted the words “a British National (Overseas),”

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3S. 37 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

C4S. 37 amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

C5S. 37(1)(a) amended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(3)(a)

38 British protected persons.U.K.

(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council made in relation to any territory which was at any time before commencement—

(a)a protectorate or protected state for the purposes of the 1948 Act; or

(b)a United Kingdom trust territory within the meaning of that Act,

declare to be British protected persons for the purposes of this Act any class of persons who are connected with that territory and are not citizens of any country mentioned in Schedule 3 which consists of or includes that territory.

(2)Any Order in Council made under this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

X139 Amendment of Immigration Act 1971.U.K.

(1)The Immigration Act 1971 shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2)For section 2 (statement of right of abode) there shall be substituted—

2 Statement of right of abode in United Kingdom.

(1)A person is under this Act to have the right of abode in the United Kingdom if—

(a)he is a British citizen; or

(b)he is a Commonwealth citizen who—

(i)immediately before the commencement of the British Nationality Act 1981 was a Commonwealth citizen having the right of abode in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 2(1)(d) or section 2(2) of this Act as then in force; and

(ii)has not ceased to be a Commonwealth citizen in the meanwhile.

(2)In relation to Commonwealth citizens who have the right of abode in the United Kingdom by virtue of subsection (1)(b) above, this Act, except this section and sections 3(9) and (9A), 5(2) and 13(3), shall apply as if they were British citizens; and in this Act, (except as aforesaid) “British citizen” shall be construed accordingly.

F5(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)In section 8 (except for special cases), after subsection (5) there shall be inserted—

(5A)An order under subsection (2) above may, as regards any person or class of persons to whom it applies, provide for that person or class to be in specified circumstances regarded (notwithstanding the order) as settled in the United Kingdom for the purposes of section 1(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

F5(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)Schedule 4 (which contains further amendments of the M1Immigration Act 1971) shall have effect.

(7)In section 90 of the M2Mental Health Act 1959 and section 82 of the M3Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960 (removal of non-patrial in-patients to places outside the United Kingdom), for the words from “any patient” to “1971 and” (which were susbtituted for “any person being an alien” by section 30(1) of the Immigration Act 1971) there shall be substituted “any patient who is neither a British citizen nor a Commonwealth citizen having the right of abode in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 2(1)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971, being a patient”.

(8)A certificate of patriality issued under the M4Immigration Act 1971 and in force immediately before commencement shall have effect after commencement as if it were a certificate of entitlement issued under that Act [F6as in force after commencement], unless at commencement the holder ceases to have the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Information

X1The text of s. 39(1)-(7) is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and, except as specified, does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C6S. 39(1) extended (Isle of Man) (13.3.2008 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.5.2008) by The Immigration (Isle of Man) Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/680), arts. 1(2), 5, 8(2)(a)

C7S. 39(2) extended (Isle of Man) (13.3.2008 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.5.2008) by The Immigration (Isle of Man) Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/680), arts. 1(2), 5, 8(2)(a)

C8S. 39(4) extended (Isle of Man) (13.3.2008 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.5.2008) by The Immigration (Isle of Man) Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/680), arts. 1(2), 5, 8(2)(a)

C9S. 39(6) extended in part (Isle of Man) (13.3.2008 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.5.2008) by The Immigration (Isle of Man) Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/680), arts. 1(2), 5, 8(2)(b)

Marginal Citations

[F7 40 Deprivation of citizenship.U.K.

(1) In this section a reference to a person’s “ citizenship status ” is a reference to his status as—

(a)a British citizen,

(b)a British overseas territories citizen,

(c)a British Overseas citizen,

(d)a British National (Overseas),

(e)a British protected person, or

(f)a British subject.

[F8(2)The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.]

(3)The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status which results from his registration or naturalisation if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the registration or naturalisation was obtained by means of—

(a)fraud,

(b)false representation, or

(c)concealment of a material fact.

(4)The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (2) if he is satisfied that the order would make a person stateless.

[F9(4A)But that does not prevent the Secretary of State from making an order under subsection (2) to deprive a person of a citizenship status if—

(a)the citizenship status results from the person's naturalisation,

(b)the Secretary of State is satisfied that the deprivation is conducive to the public good because the person, while having that citizenship status, has conducted him or herself in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom, any of the Islands, or any British overseas territory, and

(c)the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able, under the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, to become a national of such a country or territory.]

(5)Before making an order under this section in respect of a person the Secretary of State must give the person written notice specifying—

(a)that the Secretary of State has decided to make an order,

(b)the reasons for the order, and

(c)the person’s right of appeal under section 40A(1) or under section 2B of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997 (c. 68).

(6)Where a person acquired a citizenship status by the operation of a law which applied to him because of his registration or naturalisation under an enactment having effect before commencement, the Secretary of State may by order deprive the person of the citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the registration or naturalisation was obtained by means of—

(a)fraud,

(b)false representation, or

(c)concealment of a material fact.]

Textual Amendments

F7Ss. 40, 40A substituted (1.4.2003) for s. 40 by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 4(1)(4), 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))

F9S. 40(4A) inserted (28.7.2014) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 66(1), 75(3); S.I. 2014/1820, art. 3(t) as amended by SI 2014/2771 art 14

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C10S. 40 extended by S.I. 1986/948, art.7(11)

C11Ss. 40–42, 44–48, 50 extended by British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 (c. 34, SIF 87), s. 2(3)

C12S. 40 amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

C13S. 40 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

[F1040A Deprivation of citizenship: appealU.K.

(1)A person who is given notice under section 40(5) of a decision to make an order in respect of him under section 40 may appeal against the decision to [F11the First-tier Tribunal].

(2)Subsection (1) shall not apply to a decision if the Secretary of State certifies that it was taken wholly or partly in reliance on information which in his opinion should not be made public—

(a)in the interests of national security,

(b)in the interests of the relationship between the United Kingdom and another country, or

(c)otherwise in the public interest.

[F12(3) The following provisions of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41) shall apply in relation to an appeal under this section as they apply in relation to an appeal under section 82 F13 ...of that Act—

F14( a ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15(b ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c) section 106 (rules), F16 . . .

(d)section 107 (practice directions)[F17, and

(e)section 108 (forged document: proceedings in private).]]

(6)F18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)F18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(8)F18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]

Textual Amendments

F13Words in s. 40A(3) omitted (20.10.2014) by virtue of Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 9 para. 25(a); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 2(e) (with arts. 9-11) (as amended (2.3.2015 and 6.4.2015) by S.I. 2015/371, arts. 1(2)(3), 7, 8; and with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/2928, art. 2 (which S.I. is revoked (6.4.2015) by S.I. 2015/371, arts. 1(3), 9))

F14S. 40A(3)(a) omitted (20.10.2014) by virtue of Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 9 para. 25(b); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 2(e) (with arts. 9-11) (as amended (2.3.2015 and 6.4.2015) by S.I. 2015/371, arts. 1(2)(3), 7, 8; and with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/2928, art. 2 (which S.I. is revoked (6.4.2015) by S.I. 2015/371, arts. 1(3), 9))

F17S. 40A(3)(e) and preceding word added (16.6.2006) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 56(2), 62; S.I. 2006/1497, art. 3, Sch.

[F1940BReview of power under section 40(4A)U.K.

(1)The Secretary of State must arrange for a review of the operation of the relevant deprivation power to be carried out in relation to each of the following periods—

(a)the initial one year period;

(b)each subsequent three year period.

(2)The “relevant deprivation power” is the power to make orders under section 40(2) to deprive persons of a citizenship status in the circumstances set out in section 40(4A).

(3)A review must be completed as soon as practicable after the end of the period to which the review relates.

(4)As soon as practicable after a person has carried out a review in relation to a particular period, the person must—

(a)produce a report of the outcome of the review, and

(b)send a copy of the report to the Secretary of State.

(5)The Secretary of State must lay before each House of Parliament a copy of each report sent under subsection (4)(b).

(6)The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the person who produced the report, exclude a part of the report from the copy laid before Parliament if the Secretary of State is of the opinion that it would be contrary to the public interest or prejudicial to national security for that part of the report to be made public.

(7)The Secretary of State may—

(a)make such payments as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate in connection with the carrying out of a review, and

(b)make such other arrangements as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate in connection with the carrying out of a review (including arrangements for the provision of staff, other resources and facilities).

(8)In this section—

  • initial one year period” means the period of one year beginning with the day when section 40(4A) comes into force;

  • subsequent three year period” means a period of three years beginning with the first day after the most recent of—

    (a)

    the initial one year period, or

    (b)

    the most recent subsequent three year period.]

Textual Amendments

F19S. 40B inserted (28.7.2014) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 66(3), 75(3); S.I. 2014/1820, art. 3(t) as amended by SI 2014/2771 art 14

41 Regulations and Orders in Council.U.K.

(1)The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision generally for carrying into effect the purposes of this Act, and in particular provision—

(a)for prescribing anything which under this Act is to be prescribed;

(b)for prescribing the manner in which, and the persons to and by whom, applications for registration or naturalisation under any provision of this Act may or must be made;

[F20(bza)requiring an application for registration or naturalisation of a person as a British citizen to be accompanied by biometric information, or enabling an authorised person to require an individual to whom such an application relates to provide biometric information;]

[F21(ba)for determining whether a person has sufficient knowledge of a language for the purpose of an application for naturalisation;

(bb)for determining whether a person has sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom for the purpose of an application for naturalisation;]

(c)for the registration of anything required or authorised by or under this Act to be registered;

[F22(d)for the time within which an obligation to make a citizenship oath and pledge at a citizenship ceremony must be satisfied;

(da)for the time within which an obligation to make a citizenship oath or pledge must be satisfied;

(db)for the content and conduct of a citizenship ceremony;

(dc)for the administration and making of a citizenship oath or pledge;

(dd)for the registration and certification of the making of a citizenship oath or pledge;

(de)for the completion and grant of a certificate of registration or naturalisation;]

(e)for the giving of any notice required or authorised to be given to any person under this Act;

(f)for the cancellation of the registration of, and the cancellation and amendment of certificates of naturalisation relating to, persons deprived of citizenship [F23or of the status of a British National (Overseas)] under this Act, and for requiring such certificates to be delivered up for those purposes;

(g)for the births and deaths of persons of any class or description born or dying in a country mentioned in Schedule 3 to be registered F24...;

(h)for the births and deaths of persons of any class or description born or dying in a foreign country to be registered F25...;

F26(i). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F27(j)as to the consequences of failure to comply with provision made under any of paragraphs (a) to (i).]

[F28(1ZA) In subsection (1)(bza) “ authorised person ” and “ biometric information ” have the same meaning as in section 126 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

(1ZB)Section 126(4) to (7) of that Act applies to regulations under subsection (1)(bza) as it applies to regulations under section 126(1) of that Act.

(1ZC) Section 8 of the UK Borders Act 2007 (power to make regulations about use and retention of biometric information) applies to biometric information provided in accordance with regulations under subsection (1)(bza) as it applies to biometric information provided in accordance with regulations under section 5(1) of that Act.

(1ZD)But (despite section 8(5)(b) of that Act) regulations made by virtue of subsection (1ZC) may provide for photographs of a person who is registered or naturalised as a British citizen to be retained until the person is issued with a United Kingdom passport describing the person as a British citizen.]

[F29(1A)Regulations under subsection (1)(ba) or (bb) may, in particular—

(a)make provision by reference to possession of a specified qualification;

(b)make provision by reference to possession of a qualification of a specified kind;

(c)make provision by reference to attendance on a specified course;

(d)make provision by reference to attendance on a course of a specified kind;

(e)make provision by reference to a specified level of achievement;

(f)enable a person designated by the Secretary of State to determine sufficiency of knowledge in specified circumstances;

(g)enable the Secretary of State to accept a qualification of a specified kind as evidence of sufficient knowledge of a language.]

(2)F30. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Regulations under subsection (1) F31. . . may make different provision for different circumstances; and—

(a)regulations under subsection (1) may provide for the extension of any time-limit for the [F32making of oaths and pledges of citizenship]; and

(b)F33. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F34(3A)Regulations under subsection (1)(d) to (de) may, in particular—

(a)enable the Secretary of State to designate or authorise a person to exercise a function (which may include a discretion) in connection with a citizenship ceremony or a citizenship oath or pledge;

(b)require, or enable the Secretary of State to require, a local authority to provide specified facilities and to make specified arrangements in connection with citizenship ceremonies;

(c)impose, or enable the Secretary of State to impose, a function (which may include a discretion) on a local authority or on a registrar.

(3B)In subsection (3A)—

  • local authority ” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, a county council, a county borough council, a metropolitan district council, a London Borough Council and the Common Council of the City of London, and

    (b)

    in relation to Scotland, a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39), and

  • registrar ” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, a superintendent registrar of births, deaths and marriages (or, in accordance with section 8 of the Registration Service Act 1953 (c. 37), a deputy superintendent registrar), and

    (b)

    in relation to Scotland, a district registrar within the meaning of section 7(12) of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965 (c. 49).]

(4)Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide for any Act or Northern Ireland legislation to which this subsection applies to apply, with such adaptations and modifications as appear to Her necessary, to births and deaths registered—

(a)in accordance with regulations made in pursuance of subsection (1)(g) [F35and (h)] of this section or subsection (1)(f) and (g) of section 29 of the 1948 Act; or

(b)at a consulate of Her Majesty in accordance with regulations made under the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Acts 1914 to 1943 or in accordance with instructions of the Secretary of State; or

(c)by a High Commissioner for Her Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom or members of his official staff in accordance with instructions of the Secretary of State;

and an Order in Council under this subsection may exclude, in relation to births and deaths so registered, any of the provisions of section 45.

(5)Subsection (4) applies to—

(a)the M5Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, the M6Registration Service Act 1953 and the M7Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965; and

(b)so much of any Northern Ireland legislation for the time being in force (whether passed or made before or after commencement) as relates to the registration of births and deaths.

(6)The power to make regulations under subsection (1) or (2) shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.

(7)Any regulations or Order in Council made under this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

[F36(8)Any regulations (whether alone or with other provision)—

(a)under subsection (1)(a) for prescribing activities for the purposes of paragraph 4B(5)(a) of Schedule 1; or

(b)under subsection [F37(1)(bza), (bc)], (bd) or (be),

may not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.]

Textual Amendments

F20S. 41(1)(bza) inserted (28.7.2014) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 10(2), 75(3); S.I. 2014/1820, art. 3(i)

F22S. 41(1)(d)-(de) substituted (1.1.2004) for s. 41(1)(d) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 3, 162, Sch. 1 para. 4 (with s. 159); S.I. 2003/3156, art. 2(a) (with arts. 3, 4)

F23By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(4)(b) it is provided that s. 41 shall have effect as if in subsection (1)(f) after the word “citizenship” there were inserted the words “or of the status of a British National (Overseas)”

F28S. 41(1ZA)-(1ZD) inserted (28.7.2014) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 10(3), 75(3); S.I. 2014/1820, art. 3(i)

F30S. 41(2) repealed (2.4.2007) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 52(7), 61, 62, Sch. 2 para. 1(a), Sch. 3; S.I. 2007/1109, {arts. 4, 5}, Sch. (subject to art. 6)

F31Words in s. 41(3) repealed (2.4.2007) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 52(7), 61, 62, Sch. 2 para. 1(b)(i), Sch. 3; S.I. 2007/1109, {arts. 4, 5}, Sch. (subject to art. 6)

F33S. 41(3)(b) repealed (2.4.2007) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 52(7), 61, 62, Sch. 2 para. 1(b)(ii), Sch. 3; S.I. 2007/1109, {arts. 4, 5}, Sch. (subject to art. 6)

F36S. 41(8) inserted (27.10.2014 for specified purposes) by Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (c. 11), ss. 41(5), 58(2); S.I. 2014/2634, art. 2(a)

F37By Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 10(4), 75(2); S.I. 2014/1820, art. 3(i), it is provided that in s. 41(8)(b) the words "(1)(bza), (bc)" be substituted for "(1)(bc)" (28.7.2014) despite s. 41(8) not being inserted until 27.10.2014 and the words "(bc), (bd) or (be)" in s. 41(8)(b) being excluded from the commencement of that insertion

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C14Ss. 41, 42, 44–48 extended by British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 (c. 6, SIF 87), s. 4(2)(a)–(f)

C15S. 41 amended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(4)(a)

C16Ss. 40–42, 44–48, 50 extended by British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 (c. 34, SIF 87), s. 2(3)

C17S. 41 amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

C18S. 41 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

Marginal Citations

[F3841ARegistration: requirement to be of good characterU.K.

(1)An application for registration of an adult or young person as a British citizen under section 1(3), (3A) or (4), 3(1), (2) or (5), 4(2) or (5), 4A, 4C, 4D, [F39 4F, 4G, 4H, 4I], 5, 10(1) or (2) or 13(1) or (3) must not be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the adult or young person is of good character.

(2)An application for registration of an adult or young person as a British overseas territories citizen under section 15(3) or (4), 17(1) or (5), 22(1) or (2) or 24 must not be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the adult or young person is of good character.

(3)An application for registration of an adult or young person as a British Overseas citizen under section 27(1) must not be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the adult or young person is of good character.

(4)An application for registration of an adult or young person as a British subject under section 32 must not be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the adult or young person is of good character.

(5) In this section, “ adult or young person ” means a person who has attained the age of 10 years at the time when the application is made. ]

[F4042 Registration and naturalisation: citizenship ceremony, oath and pledgeU.K.

(1)A person of full age shall not be registered under this Act as a British citizen unless he has made the relevant citizenship oath and pledge specified in Schedule 5 at a citizenship ceremony.

(2)A certificate of naturalisation as a British citizen shall not be granted under this Act to a person of full age unless he has made the relevant citizenship oath and pledge specified in Schedule 5 at a citizenship ceremony.

(3)A person of full age shall not be registered under this Act as a British overseas territories citizen unless he has made the relevant citizenship oath and pledge specified in Schedule 5.

(4)A certificate of naturalisation as a British overseas territories citizen shall not be granted under this Act to a person of full age unless he has made the relevant citizenship oath and pledge specified in Schedule 5.

(5)A person of full age shall not be registered under this Act as a British Overseas citizen or a British subject unless he has made the relevant citizenship oath specified in Schedule 5.

(6)Where the Secretary of State thinks it appropriate because of the special circumstances of a case he may—

(a)disapply any of subsections (1) to (5), or

(b)modify the effect of any of those subsections.

(7)Sections 5 and 6 of the Oaths Act 1978 (c. 19) (affirmation) apply to a citizenship oath; and a reference in this Act to a citizenship oath includes a reference to a citizenship affirmation.]

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C21S. 42 amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

C22S. 42 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

[F4142A Registration and naturalisation: feeU.K.

F42. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

Textual Amendments

F42S. 42A repealed (2.4.2007) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 52(7), 61, 62, Sch. 2 para. 2, Sch. 3; S.I. 2007/1109, {arts. 4, 5}, Sch. (subject to art. 6)

[F4342B Registration and naturalisation: timingU.K.

(1)A person who is registered under this Act as a citizen of any description or as a British subject shall be treated as having become a citizen or subject—

(a)immediately on making the required citizenship oath and pledge in accordance with section 42, or

(b)where the requirement for an oath and pledge is disapplied, immediately on registration.

(2)A person granted a certificate of naturalisation under this Act as a citizen of any description shall be treated as having become a citizen—

(a)immediately on making the required citizenship oath and pledge in accordance with section 42, or

(b)where the requirement for an oath and pledge is disapplied, immediately on the grant of the certificate.

(3)In the application of subsection (1) to registration as a British Overseas citizen or as a British subject the reference to the citizenship oath and pledge shall be taken as a reference to the citizenship oath.]

Textual Amendments

43 Exercise of functions of Secretary of State by Governors and others.U.K.

(1)Subject to subsection (3), the Secretary of State may, in the case of any of his functions under this Act with respect to any of the matters mentioned in subsection (2), make arrangements for that function to be exercised—

(a)in any of the Islands, by the Lieutenant-Governor in cases concerning British citizens or British citizenship;

(b)in any [F44British overseas territory]F45. . . , by the Governor in cases concerning [F46British overseas territories citizens] or [F47British overseas territories citizenship][F48and in cases concerning British Nationals (Overseas) or the status of a British National (Overseas)]

(2)The said matters are—

(a)registration and naturalisation; and

(b)renunciation, resumption and deprivation of British citizenship or [F47British overseas territories citizenship].

[F49(c)renunciation and deprivation of the status of a British National (Overseas).]

(3)Nothing in this section applies in the case of any power to make regulations or rules conferred on the Secretary of State by this Act.

(4)Arrangements under subsection (1) may provide for any such function as is there mentioned to be exercisable only with the approval of the Secretary of State.

Textual Amendments

F44Words in s. 43(1)(b) substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 1(1)(b)

F45Words in s. 43(1)(b) repealed (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 7, Sch. 2

F46Words in s. 43(1)(b) substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 2(2)(b)

F47Words in s. 43 substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 2(2)(a)

F48By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(6)(b) it is provided that s. 43 shall have effect as if in subsection (1)(b) at the end there were inserted the words “and in cases concerning British Nationals (Overseas) or the status of a British National (Overseas)”

F49By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(6)(c) it is provided that s. 43 shall have effect as if in sub-section (2) at the end there were inserted paragraph (c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C23S. 43 amended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(6)(a)

44 Decisions involving exercise of discretion.U.K.

(1)Any discretion vested by or under this Act in the Secretary of State, a Governor or a Lieutenant-Governor shall be exercised without regard to the race, colour or religion of any person who may be affected by its exercise.

(2)F50. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)F50. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F50S. 44(2)(3) ceased to have effect (7.11.2002) and repealed (prosp.) by virtue of Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 7(1), 161, 162, Sch. 9 (with s. 159)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C24Ss. 41, 42, 44–48 extended by British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 (c. 6, SIF 87), s. 4(2)(a)–(f)

C25Ss. 40–42, 44–48, 50 extended by British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 (c. 34, SIF 87), s. 2(3)

C26S. 44(1)(2) amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

[F5144AWaiver of requirement for full capacityU.K.

Where a provision of this Act requires an applicant to be of full capacity, the Secretary of State may waive the requirement in respect of a specified applicant if he thinks it in the applicant's best interests.]

Textual Amendments

F51S. 44A inserted (31.8.2006) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), ss. 49, 62; S.I. 2006/2226, art. 3, Sch. 1 (subject to transitional provisions in art. 4)

45 Evidence.U.K.

(1)Every document purporting to be a notice, certificate, order or declaration, or an entry in a register, or a subscription of an oath of allegiance, given, granted or made under this Act or any of the former nationality Acts shall be received in evidence and shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been given, granted or made by or on behalf of the person by whom or on whose behalf it purports to have been given, granted or made.

(2)Prima facie evidence of any such document may be given by the production of a document purporting to be certified as a true copy of it by such person and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3)Any entry in a register made under this Act or any of the former nationality Acts shall be received as evidence (and in Scotland as sufficient evidence) of the matters stated in the entry.

(4)A certificate given by or on behalf of the Secretary of State that a person was at any time in Crown service under the government of the United Kingdom or that a person’s recruitment for such service took place in the United Kingdom shall, for the purposes of this Act, be conclusive evidence of that fact.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C27Ss. 41, 42, 44–48 extended by British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 (c. 6, SIF 87), s. 4(2)(a)–(f)

C28S. 45 amended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(7)(a)

S. 45 amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

C29Ss. 40–42, 44–48, 50 extended by British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 (c. 34, SIF 87), s. 2(3)

C30S. 45 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

46 Offences and proceedings.U.K.

(1)Any person who for the purpose of procuring anything to be done or not to be done under this Act—

(a)makes any statement which he knows to be false in a material particular; or

(b)recklessly makes any statement which is false in a material particular,

shall be liable on summary conviction in the United Kingdom to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to a fine not exceeding [F52level 5 on the standard scale], or both.

(2)Any person who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with any requirement imposed on him by regulations made under this Act with respect to the delivering up of certificates of naturalisation shall be liable on summary conviction in the United Kingdom to a fine not exceeding [F52level 4 on the standard scale].

(3)In the case of an offence under subsection (1)—

(a)any information relating to the offence may in England and Wales be tried by a magistrates’ court if it is laid within six months after the commission of the offence, or if it is laid within three years after the commission of the offence and not more than two months after the date certified by a chief officer of police to be the date on which evidence sufficient to justify proceedings came to the notice of an officer of his police force; and

(b)summary proceedings for the offence may in Scotland be commenced within six months after the commission of the offence, or within three years after the commission of the offence and not more than two months after the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the Lord Advocate to justify proceedings came to his knowledge; and

(c)a complaint charging the commission of the offence may in Northern Ireland be heard and determined by a magistrates’ court if it is made within six months after the commission of the offence, or if it is made within three years after the commission of the offence and not more than two months after the date certified by an officer of police not below the rank of assistant chief constable to be the date on which evidence sufficient to justify the proceedings came to the notice of the police in Northern Ireland.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (3)(b) proceedings shall be deemed to be commenced on the date on which a warrant to apprehend or to cite the accused is granted, if such warrant is executed without undue delay; and a certificate of the Lord Advocate as to the date on which such evidence as is mentioned in subsection (3)(b) came to his knowledge shall be conclusive evidence.

(5)For the purposes of the trial of a person for an offence under subsection (1) or (2), the offence shall be deemed to have been committed either at the place at which it actually was committed or at any place at which he may be.

(6)In their application to the Bailiwick of Jersey subsections (1) and (2) shall have effect with the omission of the words “on summary conviction”.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C31Ss. 41, 42, 44–48 extended by British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 (c. 6, SIF 87), s. 4(2)(a)–(f)

C32Ss. 40–42, 44–48, 50 extended by British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 (c. 34, SIF 87), s. 2(3)

C33S. 46 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

C34S. 46(1) amended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(7)(b)

F5347 Legitimated children.U.K.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F53S. 47 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(4), 161, 162, Sch. 9 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2(b), 3

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C35Ss. 41, 42, 44–48 extended by British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 (c. 6, SIF 87), s. 4(2)(a)–(f)

C36Ss. 47, 48 amended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(7)(c)

C37Ss. 40–42, 44–48, 50 extended by British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 (c. 34, SIF 87), s. 2(3)

C38S. 47 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

48 Posthumous children.U.K.

Any reference in this Act to the status or description of the father or mother of a person at the time of that person’s birth shall, in relation to a person born after the death of his father or mother, be construed as a reference to the status or description of the parent in question at the time of that parent’s death; and where that death occurred before, and the birth occurs after, commencement, the status or description which would have been applicable to the father or mother had he or she died after commencement shall be deemed to be the status or description applicable to him or her at the time of his or her death.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C40Ss. 47, 48 amended by S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(7)(c)

C42S. 48 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

F5449. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .U.K.

50 Interpretation.U.K.

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

  • the 1948 Act” means the British Nationality Act 1948;

  • alien” means a person who is neither a Commonwealth citizen nor a British protected person nor a citizen of the Republic of Ireland;

  • [F55appointed day ” means the day appointed by the Secretary of State under section 8 of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002 for the commencement of Schedule 1 to that Act;

  • association ” means an unincorporated body of persons;

  • [F56British National (Overseas) ” means a person who is a British National (Overseas) under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986, and “status of a British National (Overseas)” shall be construed accordingly;

  • British Overseas citizen ”includes a person who is a British Overseas citizen under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986.

  • [F57British overseas territory ” means a territory mentioned in Schedule 6;

  • British protected person ” means a person who is a member of any class of persons declared to be British protected persons by an Order in Council for the time being in force under section 38 or is a British protected person by virtue of the M8 Solomon Islands Act 1978;

  • commencement ”, without more, means the commencement of this Act;

  • Commonwealth citizen ” means a person who has the status of a Commonwealth citizen under this Act;

  • company ” means a body corporate;

  • [F58Convention adoption ” means an adoption effected under the law of a country or territory in which the Convention is in force, and certified in pursuance of Article 23(1) of the Convention ]

  • Crown service ” means the service of the Crown, whether within Her Majesty’s dominions or elsewhere;

  • Crown service under the government of the United Kingdom ” means Crown service under Her Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom or under Her Majesty’s government in Northern Ireland [F59 or under the Scottish Administration ] [F60 or under the Welsh Assembly Government ] ;

  • [F61designated territory ” means a qualifying territory, or the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which is designated by Her Majesty by Order in Council under subsection (14) ]

  • F62. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • enactment ” includes an enactment comprised in Northern Ireland legislation;

  • foreign country ” means a country other than the United Kingdom, a [F63 British overseas territory ] , a country mentioned in Schedule 3 and the Republic of Ireland;

  • the former nationality Acts ” means—

    (a)

    the British Nationality Acts 1948 to 1965;

    (b)

    the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Acts 1914 to 1943; and

    (c)

    any Act repealed by the said Acts of 1914 to 1943 or by the M9Naturalization Act 1870;

  • Governor ”, in relation to a [F63 British overseas territory ] , includes the officer for the time being administering the government of that territory;

  • High Commissioner ” includes an acting High Commissioner;

  • immigration laws ”—

    (a)

    in relation to the United Kingdom, means the M10Immigration Act 1971 and any law for purposes similar to that Act which is for the time being or has at any time been in force in any part of the United Kingdom;

    (b)

    in relation to a [F63British overseas territory], means any law for purposes similar to the Immigration Act 1971 which is for the time being or has at any time been in force in that territory;

  • the Islands ” means the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man;

  • minor ” means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years;

  • prescribed ” means prescribed by regulations made under section 41;

  • [F64qualifying territory ” means a British overseas territory other than the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia;

  • settled ” shall be construed in accordance with subsections (2) to (4);

  • ship ” includes a hovercraft;

  • statutory provision ” means any enactment or any provision contained in—

    (a)

    subordinate legislation (as defined in section 21(1) of the M11Interpretation Act 1978); or

    (b)

    any instrument of a legislative character made under any Northern Ireland legislation;

  • the United Kingdom ” means Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Islands, taken together;

  • United Kingdom consulate ” means the office of a consular officer of Her Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom where a register of births is kept or, where there is no such office, such office as may be prescribed.

[F65(1A)Subject to subsection (1B), references in this Act to being a member of the armed forces are references to being—

(a)a member of the regular forces within the meaning of the Armed Forces Act 2006, or

(b)a member of the reserve forces within the meaning of that Act subject to service law by virtue of paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 367(2) of that Act.

(1B)A person is not to be regarded as a member of the armed forces by virtue of subsection (1A) if the person is treated as a member of a regular or reserve force by virtue of—

(a)section 369 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, or

(b)section 4(3) of the Visiting Forces (British Commonwealth) Act 1933.]

(2)Subject to subsection (3), references in this Act to a person being settled in the United Kingdom or in a [F63British overseas territory] are references to his being ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom or, as the case may be, in that territory without being subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which he may remain.

(3)Subject to subsection (4), a person is not to be regarded for the purposes of this Act—

(a)as having been settled in the United Kingdom at any time when he was entitled to an exemption under section 8(3) or (4)(b) or (c) of the M12Immigration Act 1971 or, unless the order under section 8(2) of that Act conferring the exemption in question provides otherwise, to an exemption under the said section 8(2), or to any corresponding exemption under the former immigration laws; or

(b)as having been settled in a [F63British overseas territory] at any time when he was under the immigration laws entitled to any exemption corresponding to any such exemption as is mentioned in paragraph (a) (that paragraph being for the purposes of this paragraph read as if the words from “unless” to “otherwise” were omitted).

(4)A person to whom a child is born in the United Kingdom after commencement is to be regarded for the purposes of section 1(1) as being settled in the United Kingdom at the time of the birth if—

(a)he would fall to be so regarded but for his being at that time entitled to an exemption under section 8(3) of the Immigration Act 1971; and

(b)immediately before he became entitled to that exemption he was settled in the United Kingdom; and

(c)he was ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom from the time when he became entitled to that exemption to the time of the birth;

but this subsection shall not apply if at the time of the birth the child’s father or mother is a person on whom any immunity from jurisdiction is conferred by or under the M13Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964.

(5)It is hereby declared that a person is not to be treated for the purpose of any provision of this Act as ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom or in a [F63British overseas territory] at a time when he is in the United Kingdom or, as the case may be, in that territory in breach of the immigration laws.

(6)For the purposes of this Act—

(a) a person shall be taken to have been naturalised in the United Kingdom if, but only if, he is—

(i)a person to whom a certificate of naturalisation was granted under any of the former nationality Acts by the Secretary of State or, in any of the Islands, by the Lieutenant-Governor; or

(ii)a person who by virtue of section 27(2) of the M14British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914 was deemed to be a person to whom a certificate of naturalisation was granted, if the certificate of naturalisation in which his name was included was granted by the Secretary of State; or

(iii)a person who by virtue of section 10(5) of the M15Naturalization Act 1870 was deemed to be a naturalised British subject by reason of his residence with his father or mother;

(b)a person shall be taken to have been naturalised in a [F63British overseas territory] if, but only if, he is—

(i)a person to whom a certificate of naturalisation was granted under any of the former nationality Acts by the Governor of that territory or by a person for the time being specified in a direction given in relation to that territory under paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the M16West Indies Act 1967 or for the time being holding an office so specified; or

(ii)a person who by virtue of the said section 27(2) was deemed to be a person to whom a certificate of naturalisation was granted, if the certificate of naturalisation in which his name was included was granted by the Governor of that territory; or

(iii)a person who by the law in force in that territory enjoyed the privileges of naturalisation within that territory only;

and references in this Act to naturalisation in the United Kingdom or in a [F63British overseas territory] shall be construed accordingly.

(7)For the purposes of this Act a person born outside the United Kingdom aboard a ship or aircraft—

(a)shall be deemed to have been born in the United Kingdom if—

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

(ii)he would, but for this subsection, have been born stateless,

and (in either case) at the time of the birth the ship or aircraft was registered in the United Kingdom or was an unregistered ship or aircraft of the government of the United Kingdom; but

(b)subject to paragraph (a), is to be regarded as born outside the United Kingdom, whoever was the owner of the ship or aircraft at that time, and irrespective of whether or where it was then registered.

[F66(7A)For the purposes of this Act a person born outside a qualifying territory aboard a ship or aircraft—

(a)shall be deemed to have been born in that territory if—

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

(ii)he would, but for this subsection, have been born stateless,

and (in either case) at the time of the birth the ship or aircraft was registered in that territory or was an unregistered ship or aircraft of the government of that territory; but

(b)subject to paragraph (a), is to be regarded as born outside that territory, whoever was the owner of the ship or aircraft at the time, and irrespective of whether or where it was then registered.

(7B)For the purposes of this Act a person born outside a British overseas territory, other than a qualifying territory, aboard a ship or aircraft—

(a)shall be deemed to have been born in that territory if—

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

(ii)he would, but for this subsection, have been born stateless,

and (in either case) at the time of the birth the ship or aircraft was registered in that territory or was an unregistered ship or aircraft of the government of that territory; but

(b)subject to paragraph (a), is to be regarded as born outside that territory, whoever was the owner of the ship or aircraft at the time, and irrespective of whether or where it was then registered.]

(8)For the purposes of this Act an application under any provision thereof shall be taken to have been made at the time of its receipt by a person authorised to receive it on behalf of the person to whom it is made; and references in this Act to the date of such an application are references to the date of its receipt by a person so authorised.

[F67(9)For the purposes of this Act a child’s mother is the woman who gives birth to the child.

(9A)For the purposes of this Act a child’s father is—

(a)the husband, at the time of the child’s birth, of the woman who gives birth to the child, or

[F68(b)where a person is treated as the father of the child under section 28 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 or section 35 or 36 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, that person, or

(ba)where a person is treated as a parent of the child under section 42 or 43 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, that person, or

(c)where none of paragraphs (a) to (ba) applies, a person who satisfies prescribed requirements as to proof of paternity.]

(9B) In subsection (9A)(c) “ prescribed ” means prescribed by regulations of the Secretary of State; and the regulations—

(a)may confer a function (which may be a discretionary function) on the Secretary of State or another person,

(b)may make provision which applies generally or only in specified circumstances,

(c)may make different provision for different circumstances,

(d)must be made by statutory instrument, and

(e)shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(9C) The expressions “ parent ”, “ child ” and “ descended ” shall be construed in accordance with subsections (9) and (9A). ]

(10)For the purposes of this Act—

(a)a period “from” or “to” a specified date includes that date; and

(b)any reference to a day on which a person was absent from the United Kingdom or from a [F63British overseas territory] or from the [F69British overseas territories] is a reference to a day for the whole of which he was so absent.

(11)For the purposes of this Act—

(a)a person is of full age if he has attained the age of eighteen years, and of full capacity if he is not of unsound mind; and

(b)a person attains any particular age at the beginning of the relevant anniversary of the date of his birth.

(12)References in this Act to any country mentioned in Schedule 3 include references to the dependencies of that country.

(13)Her Majesty may by Order in Council subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament amend Schedule 6 in any of the following circumstances, namely—

(a)where the name of any territory mentioned in it is altered; or

(b)where any territory mentioned in it is divided into two or more territories.

[F70(14)For the purposes of the definition of “designated territory” in subsection (1), an Order in Council may—

(a)designate any qualifying territory, or the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, if the Convention is in force there, and

(b)make different designations for the purposes of section 1 and section 15;

and, for the purposes of this subsection and the definition of “Convention adoption” in subsection (1), “ the Convention ” means the Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, concluded at the Hague on 29th May 1993.

An Order in Council under this subsection shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.]]]]]

Textual Amendments

F56By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(8) it is provided that s. 50 shall have effect as if in para. (1) after the definition of “association” there were inserted the definitions of “British National (Overseas)” and “British Overseas citizen”

F57Definition in s. 50(1) inserted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 1(1)(a)

F58S. 50(1): definition of "Convention adoption" inserted (30.12.2005) by Adoption and Children Act 2002 (c. 38), ss. 137(6)(a), 148 (with Sch. 4 paras. 6-8); S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(m)

F59S. 50: words in definition of “Crown service under the government of the United Kingdom” inserted (6.5.1999) by S.I. 1999/1042, art. 3, Sch. 1 Pt. I para. 10

F61S. 50(1): definition of "designated territory" inserted (30.12.2005) by Adoption and Children Act 2002 (c. 38), ss. 137(6)(b), 148 (with Sch. 4 paras. 6-8); S.I. 2005/2213, art. 2(m)

F62Definition in s. 50(1) repealed (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 7, Sch. 2

F63Words in s. 50 substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 1(1)(b)

F66S. 50(7A)(7B) substituted (21.5.2002) for words by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 5, Sch.1 para. 5(3)

F67S. 50(9)-(9C) substituted (5.6.2006 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.7.2006 with effect as mentioned in s. 162(5) of the amending Act) for s. 50(9) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), ss. 9(1), 162 (with s. 159); S.I. 2006/1498, arts. 2, 3

F68S. 50(9A)(b)(ba)(c) substituted (6.4.2009) for s. 50(9A)(b)(c) by Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (c. 22), ss. 56, 68, Sch. 6 para. 22; S.I. 2009/479, art. 6(d) (with transitional provisions in art. 7(1), Sch.)

F69Words in s. 50 substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 1(1)(b)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C44S. 50 applied by S.I. 1986/948, art. 1(4)

C45S. 50 applied (21.7.1993) by S.I. 1993/1795, art. 1(4).

C46S. 50 modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

C47S. 50 amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

C48S. 50(5) modified (7.11.2002, partly retrospective) by Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41), s. 11

Marginal Citations

[F7150AMeaning of references to being in breach of immigration lawsU.K.

(1)This section applies for the construction of a reference to being in the United Kingdom “in breach of the immigration laws” in—

(a)section 4(2) or (4);

(b)section 50(5); or

(c)Schedule 1.

(2)It applies only for the purpose of determining on or after the relevant day—

(a)whether a person born on or after the relevant day is a British citizen under section 1(1),

(b)whether, on an application under section 1(3) or 4(2) made on or after the relevant day, a person is entitled to be registered as a British citizen, or

(c)whether, on an application under section 6(1) or (2) made on or after the relevant day, the applicant fulfils the requirements of Schedule 1 for naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(1) or (2).

(3)But that is subject to section 48(3)(d) and (4) of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (saving in relation to section 11 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002).

(4)A person is in the United Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws if (and only if) the person—

(a)is in the United Kingdom;

(b)does not have the right of abode in the United Kingdom within the meaning of section 2 of the Immigration Act 1971;

(c)does not have leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (whether or not the person previously had leave);

(d)does not have a qualifying CTA entitlement;

(e)is not entitled to reside in the United Kingdom by virtue of any provision made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 (whether or not the person was previously entitled);

(f)is not entitled to enter and remain in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 8(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 (crew) (whether or not the person was previously entitled); and

(g)does not have the benefit of an exemption under section 8(2) to (4) of that Act (diplomats, soldiers and other special cases) (whether or not the person previously had the benefit of an exemption).

(5)For the purposes of subsection (4)(d), a person has a qualifying CTA entitlement if the person—

(a)is a citizen of the Republic of Ireland,

(b)last arrived in the United Kingdom on a local journey (within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971) from the Republic of Ireland, and

(c)on that arrival, was a citizen of the Republic of Ireland and was entitled to enter without leave by virtue of section 1(3) of the Immigration Act 1971 (entry from the common travel area).

(6)Section 11(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 (person deemed not to be in the United Kingdom before disembarkation, while in controlled area or while under immigration control) applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of that Act.

(7)This section is without prejudice to the generality of—

(a)a reference to being in a place outside the United Kingdom in breach of immigration laws, and

(b)a reference in a provision other than one specified in subsection (1) to being in the United Kingdom in breach of immigration laws.

(8)The relevant day for the purposes of subsection (2) is the day appointed for the commencement of section 48 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (which inserted this section).]

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

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

(1)Without prejudice to subsection (3)(c), in any enactment or instrument whatever passed or made before commencement

  • British subject” and

  • Commonwealth citizen” have the same meaning, that is—

(a)in relation to any time before commencement—

(i)a person who under the 1948 Act was at that time a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or who, under any enactment then in force in a country mentioned in section 1(3) of that Act as then in force, was at that time a citizen of that country; and

(ii)any other person who had at that time the status of a British subject under that Act or any other enactment then in force;

(b)in relation to any time after commencement, a person who has the status of a Commonwealth citizen under this Act.

(2)In any enactment or instrument whatever passed or made after commencement—

  • British subject” means a person who has the status of a British subject under this Act;

  • Commonwealth citizen” means a person who has the status of a Commonwealth citizen under this Act.

(3)In any enactment or instrument whatever passed or made before commencement—

(a)citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies”—

(i)in relation to any time before commencement, means a person who under the 1948 Act was at that time a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies;

(ii)in relation to any time after commencement, means a person who under [F72the British Nationality Acts 1981 and 1983][F73or the British Overseas Territories Act 2002] is a British citizen, a [F74British overseas territories citizen] or a British Overseas citizen [F75or who under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986 is a British National (Overseas)];

(b)any reference to ceasing to be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, in relation to any time after commencement, be construed as a reference to becoming a person who is neither a British citizen nor a [F74British overseas territories citizen][F76nor a British National (Overseas)] nor a British Overseas citizen;

(c)any reference to a person who is a British subject (or a British subject without citizenship) by virtue of section 2, 13, or 16 of the 1948 Act or by virtue of, or of section 1 of, the M17British Nationality Act 1965 shall, in relation to any time after commencement, be construed as a reference to a person who under this Act is a British subject.

(4)In any statutory provision, whether passed or made before or after commencement, and in any other instrument whatever made after commencement

alien”, in relation to any time after commencement, means a person who is neither a Commonwealth citizen nor a British protected person nor a citizen of the Republic of Ireland.

(5)The preceding provisions of this section—

(a)shall not apply in cases where the context otherwise requires; and

(b)shall not apply to this Act or to any instrument made under this Act.

Textual Amendments

F73Words in s. 51(3)(a)(ii) inserted (21.5.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 5, Sch. 1 para. 6; S.I. 2002/1252, art. 2

F74Words in s. 51 substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c. 8), s. 2(2)(b)

F75By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(9)(a) it is provided that s. 51 shall have effect as if in subsection (3) at the end of para. (a)(ii) there were inserted the words “or who under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986 is a British National (Overseas)”

F76By S.I. 1986/948, art. 7(9)(b) it is provided that s. 51 shall have effect as if in subsection (3) in para. (b) after the words “British Dependent Territories citizen” there were inserted the words “nor a British National (Overseas)”

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C52S. 51(3) modified (19.3.1997) by 1997 c. 20, s. 2(3)

C53S. 51(3) amended (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. 41, s. 2(2)

Marginal Citations

52 Consequential amendments, transitional provisions, repeals and savings.U.K.

(1)In any enactment or instrument whatever passed or made before commencement, for any reference to section 1(3) of the 1948 Act (list of countries whose citizens are Commonwealth citizens under that Act) there shall be substituted a reference to Schedule 3 to this Act, unless the context makes that substitution inappropriate.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), Her Majesty may by Order in Council make such consequential modifications of—

(a)any enactment of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed before commencement;

(b)any provision contained in any Northern Ireland legislation passed or made before commencement; or

(c)any instrument made before commencement under any such enactment or provision,

as appear to Her necessary or expedient for preserving after commencement the substantive effect of that enactment, provision or instrument.

(3)Subsection (2) shall not apply in relation to—

(a)the M18Immigration Act 1971; or

(b)any provision of this Act not contained in Schedule 7.

(4)Any Order in Council made under subsection (2) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5)Any provision made by Order in Council under subsection (2) after commencement may be made with retrospective effect as from commencement or any later date.

X2(6)The enactments specified in Schedule 7 shall have effect subject to the amendments there specified, being amendments consequential on the provisions of this Act.

(7)This Act shall have effect subject to the transitional provisions contained in Schedule 8.

X2(8)The enactments mentioned in Schedule 9 are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that Schedule.

(9)Without prejudice to section 51, nothing in this Act affects the operation, in relation to any time before commencement, of any statutory provision passed or made before commencement.

(10)Nothing in this Act shall be taken as prejudicing the operation of sections 16 and 17 of the M19Interpretation Act 1978 (which relate to the effect of repeals).

(11)In this section

modifications” includes additions, omissions and alterations.

Editorial Information

X2The text of s. 52(6)(8) is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

Marginal Citations

53 Citation, commencement and extent.U.K.

(1)This Act may be cited as the British Nationality Act 1981.

(2)This Act, except the provisions mentioned in subsection (3), shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint; and references to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as references to the beginning of that day.

(3)Section 49 and this section shall come into force on the passing of this Act.

(4)This Act extends to Northern Ireland.

(5)The provisions of this Act, except those mentioned in subsection (7), extend to the Islands and all [F77British overseas territories] ; and section 36 of the M20Immigration Act 1971 (power to extend provisions of that Act to Islands) shall apply to the said excepted provisions as if they were provisions of that Act.

F78(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)The provisions referred to in subsections (5) F79. . . are—

(a)section 39 and Schedule 4;

(b)section 52(7) and Schedule 8 so far as they relate to the Immigration Act 1971; and

(c)section 52(8) and Schedule 9 so far as they relate to provisions of the Immigration Act 1971 other than Schedule 1.

Subordinate Legislation Made

P1Power of appointment under s. 53(2) fully exercised: 1.1.1983 appointed by S.I. 1982/933

Textual Amendments

F77Words in s. 53(5) substituted (26.2.2002) by British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (C. 8), {s. 1(1)(b)}

F78S. 53(6) repealed (8.11.1995) by 1995 c. 44, s. 1, Sch. 1 Pt.II

F79Words in s. 53(7) repealed (8.11.1995) by 1995 c. 44, s. 1, Sch. 1 Pt.II

Marginal Citations

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