Great news for South Africans, if you have a British-born mother, you will be more eligible for British citizenship.
The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court recently reached a decision to greatly expand who is eligible for British citizenship under the country’s immigration laws.
According to immigration consultants Breytenbachs, the changes will affect those eligible for “citizenship by descent”. This means that those born to a British-born mother will be more eligible for citizenship.
“In the year 2003 the UK Parliament enacted legislation to remedy the gender discrimination in terms of which British citizenship could not be transferred through the female line, but only the male line,” Breytenbachs said in a statement.
Children born abroad between the years 1949 and 1983 to a parent who is a British citizen were required to have their births registered at a British consulate within a year of birth.
This discrimination on the basis of gender was removed in 2013. However, the parents would not be able to register the birth of the child.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court called this a paradox, and have also abolished the requirement to register the birth with the British consulate within a year.
This means that in line with the 2003 ruling, children born outside the UK from a British-born mother between 1949 and 1983 are now eligible for British citizenship, regardless of whether or not they were registered after their birth. In 2003 and 2009 the Act was further amended to include retrospective applications for some of those born before 1983 with British mothers to register with the Secretary of State as British citizens, and to require new applications to be dealt with as if the law had never discriminated against descent from the mother.
UK Parliament equalised historic gender discrimination through the British Nationality Act 1981, which included provisions to allow applications for citizenship through the female line for those born from 1983 onwards.
All persons who feel they are eligible for British citizenship are encouraged to get in touch with Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants.