Changes to the law under the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2009, to commence by January 2010
Till the announcement on implementation in changes, current versions of the forms and guides MN1, B (OS) and UKM valid
Tags: British nationality law, Earned Citizenship, naturalization,
11th September 2009: If you are applying for British passport, do not make an application on the basis of changes to British nationality law until these come into force. You should wait until an announcement is made that the changes have been implemented. Until then, the current versions of the forms and guides MN1, B (OS) and UKM remain valid.
The UK Border Agency recently announced changes to British nationality law. The Home Office said the changes to the law under the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2009, will commence by January 2010.
You should not make an application on the basis of these changes until they have become law. If you apply before then and you do not meet the current requirements for registration, the Home Office will not be able to register you. As such, you should wait until an announcement is made on the UK Border Agency website that the changes have come into force.
When the changes have become law, application forms and guidance notes will be available. Till that time, the current versions of the forms and guides MN1, B(OS) and UKM remain valid.
The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill received Royal Assent on 21 July. It will introduce certain changes to British nationality law. The new registration provisions will need to be commenced by order. The "Earned Citizenship " provisions, which will amend the requirements for naturalisation, will be commenced in the Summer of 2011.
One of these changes amends the British Nationality Act 1981 so that a person born in the United Kingdom to a parent in the armed forces will be a British citizen. This already happens, but changes to the 1981 Act will put the matter beyond doubt.
For children born overseas to those in the armed forces, the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act inserts a new section 4D into the British Nationality Act 1981, which will entitle a person born outside the United Kingdom to register as a British citizen if: he or she was born to a Foreign and Commonwealth member of the United Kingdom armed forces; and that parent was serving outside the United Kingdom at the time of birth; and both parents consent to the registration.
A change has been made to section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. At the moment, children of British citizens by descent can only be registered under that section if an application is made within 12 months of the birth (or six years, if the Home Secretary allows). The change will allow an application to be made at any time before a child's reaches the age of 18. More information about registration under section 3(2) can be found in Guide MN1, which you can download from the website.
The changes in the Act will allow British Nationals (Overseas) to be registered under section 4B of the British Nationality Act 1981 if they do not hold any other citizenship or nationality. A person will not qualify under this section if they have done anything after 19 March 2009 that resulted in the loss of another nationality. More information about registration under section 4B can be found in Guide BOS, which you can download from the right side of this page.
A person who has a British mother currently has a right to register as a British citizen under section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 if: he or she was born between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983; and he or she would have become a British citizen if women had been able to pass on citizenship in the same way as men at that time.
The new Act extends the provisions of section 4C to those born before 1961. Further information about registration under section 4C can be found in Guide UKM, again on the website.