citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

Old Mar 4th 2008, 2:10 pm
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Default citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

It is well known that there are two kind of British citizens: those born or naturalized in Britain (other than by descent) and those born abroad to British parents (by descent). British citizens other than by descent have a superior citizenship to the others and have an important additional right: the right to have their children to be British citizens regardless of where they are born. This scheme is used in Britain to restrict the citizenship propagating through generations of individuals living abroad. Canada uses a similar system, where the basic idea is again the same - some citizens are born with more rights than others.(Actually for Canada its even worse - certain Canadians - who weren't born in Canada - automatically lose citizenship if they don't live in Canada before they turn 28)

I find the whole idea of certain citizens being born with fewer rights than others very disturbing. Through no fault of your own, you may have a birthmark, you may be a second class citizen - for life! Propagation of citizenship may seem minor to some, but the concept is what is disturbing. And as far as Canada is concerned, certain citizens are forced to go live in Canada just to keep citizenship.

I am wondering the legality of these principles. I am not an expert, but I would think that, for Britain, the Human Rights Act or the European Convention of Human rights or even the magna carta, should have something outlawing this blatant form of discrimination of citizens born unequal.

As far as Canada is concerned, Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says:

"15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."

I understand the motives behind these laws, but think they got it all wrong. The United States has figured out the best way to go about this: A US citizen can only give citizenship to children born abroad if he/she has lived in the US for five years or more before their birth. Which is clear and fair for every citizen. Any comments? JAJ?
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Old Mar 4th 2008, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

I think that laws generally are a mess and international laws even worse.

For example a person born in the UK may or may not be a British Citizen depending on when he was born.

I think that as people generally start to move around the world more this is going to become more and more of an issue.

So I generally do agree with you that two people can both be citizens of a country but still have different rights.
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Old Mar 4th 2008, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

I recently looked into this very topic as my children were born in the US to UKC/USC parents. I moved back to the UK with my children who are UK by decent and am now looking at moving back to the States.

My children have the right to live and work in the UK. If they move abroad and have children i.e. in the US they can register their children who would then be my grandchildren as British citizen's as my children have resided in the UK now for more than 3 years regardless of what time in their lives. It's part of the British Nationality Act 1981.
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Old Mar 5th 2008, 12:18 am
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Default Re: citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

Originally Posted by dreamercon View Post
It is well known that there are two kind of British citizens: those born or naturalized in Britain (other than by descent) and those born abroad to British parents (by descent). British citizens other than by descent have a superior citizenship to the others and have an important additional right: the right to have their children to be British citizens regardless of where they are born. This scheme is used in Britain to restrict the citizenship propagating through generations of individuals living abroad.

...

I understand the motives behind these laws, but think they got it all wrong. The United States has figured out the best way to go about this: A US citizen can only give citizenship to children born abroad if he/she has lived in the US for five years or more before their birth. Which is clear and fair for every citizen. Any comments? JAJ?
In fact in the U.S. it's 5 years, with 2 years after age 14, which is not the same thing. Or it's more or less automatic if both parents are Americans. There are ways to get children not meeting these criteria American citizenship by naturalisation.

The British law has existed in its current form since 1915. Like that of many countries, the United Kingdom seeks to avoid an endless propagation of overseas born "British citizens" who might have little or no real ties to the United Kingdom.

In the view of the British government, overseas born children of British emigrants will generally speaking identify much more with their country of birth rather than the United Kingdom. Even more so among the second and subsequent generations.

There are ways, in particular circumstances, for the overseas born child of a British citizen by descent to be registered as British. In the main, these are in sections 3(2) and 3(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981. There is also discretionary registration under section 3(1) of the Act which can be used to deal with specific cases of hardship.
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Old May 9th 2008, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

Originally Posted by bromleygirl View Post
I recently looked into this very topic as my children were born in the US to UKC/USC parents. I moved back to the UK with my children who are UK by decent and am now looking at moving back to the States.

My children have the right to live and work in the UK. If they move abroad and have children i.e. in the US they can register their children who would then be my grandchildren as British citizen's as my children have resided in the UK now for more than 3 years regardless of what time in their lives. It's part of the British Nationality Act 1981.
Hi Bromley Girl,

I saw the three year thing on the Home Office website. I am curious if anyone happens to know what kind of proof you would need to show that you were resident for three years.

Thanks
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Old May 9th 2008, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

My daughter is British by descent. She wasn't born in the UK and she has never lived there and likely never will. I don't really see why she should be able to pass on citizenship to a country she only has nationality of because of who her parents are, and yet she could potentially never have citizenship of a country she could live and work in for the rest of her life.
Personally I find it despicable that people can pay taxes and be law abiding residents of a country they don't have citizenship of and be treated like second class citizens. I only paid taxes in the UK for 3 years of my life and yet if something were to happen to me none of the other countries I have lived in and paid taxes in for longer would come to my aid. I've never had a vote in any of these countries (or the UK but that's a different matter).
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Old May 10th 2008, 1:55 am
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Default Re: citizen by descent or other than by descent and equality

Originally Posted by k1journey View Post
Hi Bromley Girl,

I saw the three year thing on the Home Office website. I am curious if anyone happens to know what kind of proof you would need to show that you were resident for three years.

Thanks

You may wish to browse through Chapter 10 of the Nationality Instructions:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/po...ctions/nivol1/
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