British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Old Feb 2nd 2022, 11:46 am
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Default British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Hi Everyone,

I received this from a well-known agency that deals with immigration services:


The UK Government entered into a treaty with the United Nations some years ago to enshrine equal rights for women. Included in the Treaty is the right for their children (and potentially, their grandchildren) to acquire her citizenship by descent on the same terms as if such a right had come down the paternal side of the family. While the UK has passed legislation to allow such claims, the Home Office has interpreted this legislation in relation to making claims to British Nationality by descent to be effective only for those born in the first generation. The existing stance of the UK Government therefore did not fully address gender discrimination in relation to citizenship applications.

It was only in 1983 that the issue of gender discrimination in British nationality law was addressed for the first time. However, there remained many areas in the law that were not taken into account, and several further changes have been made in the years since 1983 to remedy these. But the complexities of the old laws, and the legacy of the British colonial empire, meant that instances of unfairness still remain today.

The draft legislation appears to properly address the unfairness of the older law. Accordingly, it should be possible to lodge an application if one can demonstrate that - had it not been for gender discrimination in the old law - an applicant would (or could) have British nationality in the modern day. Based on your family tree, it appears that such an application would be successful. While the theory is complex, this solution broadly requires the following:

- Applicant born in a qualifying country

- Applicant born between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1987

- Applicant's grandparent born in the UK

PLEASE NOTE: We expect this change to only become law in the latter part of 2021 or early 2022. However, we will be taking on cases now on a strictly first-come, first-serve basis in anticipation of the change in law. This is because we will include a formal assessment of your nationality status and an opinion on the likely success of your application, as well as setting out the documents that the home Office will require.


My husband qualifies on the requirements set above, but said immigration agency wants to charge thousands of Pounds for their services. I'm wondering if this is worth doing on our own (once the law has changed) if it is a fairly simple application? Or will it be a bit more complex? We are in two minds as to whether to join the queue or take the risk and do it on our own.

Any help or advice will be much appreciated!
Thank you!

Last edited by pinkrose; Feb 2nd 2022 at 11:58 am.
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Old Feb 2nd 2022, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

The Nationality and Borders Bill in question is currently making its way through the House of Lords so it’s likely to receive Royal Assent in the next few weeks.

https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3023

Personally I would wait and make the application yourself.
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Old Feb 2nd 2022, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

This is great news, thank you so much.

In the meantime my husband can make sure he has all his documents in order. I'm wondering if he would he need his vault birth certificate for this type of application? Or will an unabridged birth certificate suffice?

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 3rd 2022, 10:14 am
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Hi BritInParis

I just checked and my husband has an unabridged birth certificate (South Africa), and his Mother has both a vault and unabridged birth certificate.
Should he apply for his vault birth certificate, just in case?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old Feb 3rd 2022, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

The vault copies would be preferable.
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Old Feb 3rd 2022, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Thank you!
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Old Apr 29th 2022, 8:33 am
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Hi BritInParis !

I see the bill has received Royal Assent https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3023.
I am wondering now what the next steps would be?
I've been told this application could take 9-12 months.

Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old Apr 30th 2022, 12:25 am
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

You’re a bit quick off the mark! I would wait until the relevant changes are made and published on legislation.gov.uk then we can confirm whether your husband is indeed now eligible.
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Old May 9th 2022, 8:06 am
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Sounds good! Thanks so much BritInParis !
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Old Jul 5th 2022, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

BritInParis Hi! I see the Nationality and Borders Act commencement date was 28 June https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga...ntents/enacted
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Old Jul 7th 2022, 12:49 am
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

I presume Sable are referring to this section of the BNA 1981:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61/section/4L

But without knowing their reasoning it’s difficult to say whether your husband has a claim. Which country was he born in and when? South Africa post 1983 but pre 1987?
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Old Jul 7th 2022, 8:34 am
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Yes it looks like they are referring to that section of the BNA.

For what it’s worth, Sable did a status trace and it came back as Likely (95-99%) that he has a claim.

My husband was born in South Africa in 1987.

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Old Jul 13th 2022, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

BritInParis I thought I'd share this link:https://assets.publishing.service.go...-ard-06-22.pdf

Would this be the application my husband would need to fill out should he qualify? It gives a better idea of more or less what they'd require.
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Old Jul 16th 2022, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

Originally Posted by pinkrose
BritInParis I thought I'd share this link:https://assets.publishing.service.go...-ard-06-22.pdf

Would this be the application my husband would need to fill out should he qualify? It gives a better idea of more or less what they'd require.
When you fill out the application, your husband will need to make a convincing argument about how he was subject to historical legislative unfairness. Otherwise, the examiner may misread the facts and believe that your husband is making an argument about the BNA 1981 changes being unfair in the sense that he 'missed out', in which case the application would be denied. I read the 'case studies' that the Secretary set out and they differentiate between legislative unfairness, an act or omission by a public authority, and feeling that you 'missed out'. The 'missed out' guidance mostly concerns changes in BNA 1981.

To make a convincing argument you will need to clearly explain that if not for this legislative unfairness (specifically, gender discrimination) his parent could have registered him under BNA 1981 by making use of the transitional registration period within BNA 1981 (1983-1987) combined with gender discrimination. BNA 1981 had a transitional registration period which was continued with the end date being 31 December 1987. I believe that the relevant section is BNA 1981 Section 9, as originally enacted, although I will look into this further.

You may want to explain that South Africa was outside of the Commonwealth from 31 May 1962 to 25 July 1994 inclusive to avoid a rejection due to a passport examiner not understanding that South Africa was a "foreign country" as set out in section 9.

Let us know when the application is approved.
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Old Jul 18th 2022, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: British Citizenship by Discretion (CBR post 1982)

jmin Thank you! This helps so much!

For this application, I’m wondering what supporting documents he’d need?

And do all applications have to be sent via post along with the supporting documents?
Or can it be done online?

Thanks again!
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