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Case Study: Mother from pre-independence India

by Sable International | Nov 08, 2011
  • This client wants to register as British because her mother was born in pre-Independence India, and based on recent anti gender discrimination. Click here for more information on British Nationality by Descent and British Mothers as supplied by

    Below is a letter written by one of our UK Nationality partners on behalf of a client who qualified for one of the five forms of British Nationality. To protect the identity of the client, their name has been redacted but all other information is unchanged.

    The Letter to the UK Home Office

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    My client wishes to register as a British Citizen pursuant to Section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981. The purpose of this letter is to explain how our client qualifies for Registration to aid your consideration of the matter. The new Section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 refers;

    This Section states that all applicants must be born before 01/01/83. This is indeed the case with our client and is shown very clearly by the certified copy of her passport and her original birth certificate.

    Section 3 gives three sets of criteria for applicants in different positions. In this case, Subsection 3(a) applies to our client as she was born after commencement of the British Nationality Act 1948 (1/1/49).

    Subsection A of Section 3 states that the applicant would acquire Citizenship of the UK & Colonies under section 5 of the 1948 Act if ‘Assumption A’ had applied. ‘Assumption A’ is that the law at the time would have allowed for British Nationality to be passed down the female line as well as the male line by virtue of the law between 1949 and 1983.

    In our client’s case, her mother was born in an Indian Protected State in 1940. She was therefore a British Protected Person at her birth but later became a British Subject by virtue of acquiring Indian Citizenship in 1950. Our client’s mother later registered as a Citizen of the UK and Colonies in Nairobi in 1965.

    Section 5 of the BNA 1948 states that where the subject is born to a male Citizen of the UK & Colonies, that person will also acquire the same status provided that the father is not a Citizen of the UK & Colonies by birth. Those registered as Citizens of the UK and Colonies were not classified as such citizens by descent only. It therefore follows naturally that had the law at the time allowed for Citizenship of the UK & Colonies to be passed in the female line as well as the male line, our client would have become a Citizen of the UK & Colonies at her birth. We would therefore respectfully submit that our client meets the criteria of Section 3.

    This section also shows that had the applicant become a Citizen of the UK & Colonies as above in Section 3, the applicant would also have held the Right of Abode under our Immigration Act of 1971. In this case, our client would have held the Right of Abode under section 2(1)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971 by virtue of her mother’s registration as a Citizen of the UK & Colonies in 1965 (i.e. post independent Kenya).

    Finally, this section describes further conditions for those relying on assumption (A) of paragraph 3. In this case our client’s mother has not become a Citizen of the UK & Colonies by virtue of Section 12(2), (4) or (6) only of the 1948 Act, Section 13(2) of that Act, Paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to that Act, or Section 1(1)(a) or (c) of the British Nationality (2) Act 1964. This subsection cannot apply to her therefore.

    Given the above, it is submitted that our client meets the full criteria for Registration under Section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981.

    How do you find out if you qualify?

    Contact our Sable International citizenship team to find out if you qualify for a British passport. The UK Nationality rules have been supplied by Philip Gamble

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

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