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section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Old Jan 26th 2024, 8:32 pm
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Default section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Hello, I am wondering if I might be eligible for UK citizenship in light of new legislation. My situation is very complex but I will try to keep it as brief as possible.There are three situations that may make one eligible and I think I may fit in all of these...or maybe none.

a) historical legislative unfairness. I may be eligible for citizenship through Double Descent. (my Canadian mother married my Canadian father who was British by Descent because my grandfather (his father) was born in the UK...except that I was born before December 1, 1948 which makes me ineligible. Under section 4L a) could this be viewed as discrimination? Age is one of the protected characteristics, yet only some of her children qualify based on date of birth.

c) exceptional circumstances related to myself. I have seen only examples based on heritage but in my case this point does not apply. My exceptional circumstances have to do with my marriage. My now deceased (in 2022) husband was a British Citizen. We married in England in 2010 and I was granted Discretionary Leave (not a spouse visa which is another complicated subject) for 3 years to be followed by another application for a further three years, to be followed by an application for Indefinite Leave, then later an application for citizenship. Unfortunately my husband suffered a massive stroke in 2013. He survived but was left with overwhelming personality changes that resulted in paranoia, anger, frustration and abuse. I was forced to leave and return to Canada a number of times for the sake of my health. In time, I lost my visa status as I was away too long. Our plans for my application for citizenship were derailed by the effects of my husband's stroke, exceptional circumstances beyond my control. Would my situation qualify do you think?

b) an act or omission of a public authority. This also has to do with my marriage. In 2018, after I had lost my visa status, I returned to England on a 6-month visitor visa to care for my husband through the winter as I had done the previous year. I was denied entry and held for 6 hours while the decision was made. I was granted a week with my husband before I was made to leave. During the interview I was asked why I had come and I explained. I was asked if I intended to stay beyond 6 months. i said no, I did not. When pressed, I said that if I felt now able to care for my husband without further damage to my health I would consider taking legal steps to stay if there were any. I emphasized that I would not stay illegally. The decision was made that I would overstay and that I would work no matter what I had assured them. (I had an online business that I had left in my brother's care). There was no valid reason to refuse me entry. I had come and gone twice before and had not overstayed my visa either time. I had/have exemplary history fo obedience to laws here in Canada as well as in the UK. There was no indication that I would stay illegally. I was 70 years old and caring for an invalid. Where would I hide from Immigration? What I would have considered doing was to apply for Discretionary Leave to Remain on Compassionate Grounds due to my husband's failing health and need for care. I am certain I would have be allowed under the European Human Rights Act. I would then have switched to a Spouse Visa. A Spouse Visa would have allowed me to apply for Indefinite Leave as a Bereaved Partner upon my husband's death which was certain to happen at some point as he was in his 80s and in very poor health following his stroke. An application for citizenship would have followed. Being refused entry for no valid reason deprived me of the opportunity to apply for citizenship as well as the chance to be with my husband before his death. (as part of the decision, my right to travel to the UK without acquiring a visa as a Canadian was revoked. I would have to make an application in Canada if I wanted to visit my husband again. I asked if there was any reason I would not be refused again. She shrugged. Why would Immigration allow it? They were in fear of me overstaying. I didn't try. I gave up. i wonder if I might be eligible for citizenship under these circumstances.

I'm sorry if this was an overly long post. If anyone has any thoughts i would greatly appreciate hearing. Since it is new legislation, I'm not able to find anything as a precedent to help me. I may be whistling in the wind but my heart has been left in England and I would dearly love to join it if possible.

Thank you for reading through this long post.

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Old Jan 26th 2024, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

(as part of the decision, my right to travel to the UK without acquiring a visa as a Canadian was revoked.

I would have thought that the above decision alone, and your immigration history, would make your situation far too complicated for the lay people in this forum.
Proper legal advice probably.... ?
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Old Jan 26th 2024, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Yes, it is complicated. I'm not expecting definitive answers...although I wouldn't mind. Just hoping for thoughts about any of the scenarios I outlined. Other eyes may see something I haven't. Proper legal advise would be lovely and I may have to go that route st some point. But for now, I'm just looking for general input to help me muddle through. I just examined the application again and I may be able to tick all three boxes, present my case for each one, then throw it against the wall and see if one of them sticks.
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Old Jan 27th 2024, 4:28 am
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

I keep doing more research and I wonder if anyone knows with regard to double descent, why December 1, 1948 was chosen as the cut-off birth date for eligibility. Was it an arbitrary choice, pulled out of a hat or is there a specific reason that date was chosen? I've looked high and low for an answer but have not found one. Does anyone know? Having an answer to that question might help me to decide whether or not I could cite that requirement as historical legislative unfairness as age is considered a protected characteristic.

Thank you.
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Old Jan 27th 2024, 7:45 am
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

new-law-opens-door-to-british-citizenship-for-people-born-before-1988
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Old Jan 27th 2024, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Thank you for the link. Unfortunately, this is not the way double descent affects me. I do not have a British grandmother. Philip Gamble from Sable International explains the anomaly that involves me in a youtube video, or at least my sibling who was born after 1948. I was going to include it but not sure if that is allowed.

What I can't get my head 'round is why children born (in this scenario) before 1949 are not eligible, why the cut-off date. According to Mr. Gamble's explanation, my mother had to be married to my father (British by descent) before 1949. They married in 1942 and had three children, born in 1943, 1945 and 1950. But only the child born after 1949 is eligible. That feels like 'historical legislative unfairness' in light of Section 4L. Would it not be discrimination based on date of birth. Age is a protected characteristic.

There may be a simple explanation that I am not seeing. If so, I wish I could see it. What I am trying to do with this thread is to examine each of the scenarios I outlined above to see if any of them would forge a path for me to acquire British citizenship. Historical legislative unfairness in my case looks simple to me but maybe it isn't, maybe I am missing something.

It isn't as though a finding of historical legislative unfairness in this scenario would open a floodgate of folks applying for citizenship. We are all, however many of us, over 76 years old. I don't suspect many are eager to uproot their lives to emigrate. But I am.

Last edited by LeftMyHeartInEngland; Jan 27th 2024 at 4:16 pm.
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Old Jan 31st 2024, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

An interesting dilemma. Before looking at a nationality based solution, had you considered a UK Ancestry visa? Not typically recommended for those of retirement age but it would provide a route back to the UK.

Out of interest, have you ever applied for a British passport or nationality based on descent?

Last edited by BritInParis; Jan 31st 2024 at 7:01 pm.
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Old Jan 31st 2024, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

I have looked at a UK Ancestry Visa. I do qualify, have all the documents, birth certificates etc. but a bit too old to be able to guarantee 5 more years of being able to get a job or otherwise work. I looked at double descent as a possibility. My younger brother, if still living, born after 1949 would have been eligible but my older brother (1943) and myself (1945) are not eligible because we were born before 1949. Apparently my father could have registered us as British within one year after birth. He didn't so we are out of luck...unless historical legisltive unfairness would come into play but I don't see how. The only option that seems remotely possible might be 4L c) exceptional circumstances pertaining to the applicant. This point seems to me to be quite outside the other two points which deal with unfairness/errors in the system. I was hoping to hear opinions with regard to my situation as I briefly described in my original post. The legisltion is so new and there are few examples of successful applications to refer to, none using point c) that I could find.
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Old Feb 2nd 2024, 8:08 am
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Originally Posted by LeftMyHeartInEngland
I have looked at a UK Ancestry Visa. I do qualify, have all the documents, birth certificates etc. but a bit too old to be able to guarantee 5 more years of being able to get a job or otherwise work. I looked at double descent as a possibility. My younger brother, if still living, born after 1949 would have been eligible but my older brother (1943) and myself (1945) are not eligible because we were born before 1949. Apparently my father could have registered us as British within one year after birth. He didn't so we are out of luck...unless historical legisltive unfairness would come into play but I don't see how. The only option that seems remotely possible might be 4L c) exceptional circumstances pertaining to the applicant. This point seems to me to be quite outside the other two points which deal with unfairness/errors in the system. I was hoping to hear opinions with regard to my situation as I briefly described in my original post. The legisltion is so new and there are few examples of successful applications to refer to, none using point c) that I could find.
I do not know the answers to your questions, I'm sorry, but you've mentioned the 1949 thing and possible age discrimination. I do not know the specifics of why 1949 matters in your situation, hopefully someone else will be able to explain it, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the 1948 British Nationality Act, which went into affect in 1949. So in other words, something in that Act must have changed something that made it so your younger brother would be eligible, but before the Act was passed the existing legislation when you were born didn't make it so you'd be eligible. That wouldn't be age discrimination. It sounds like you were hoping your mom obtained citizenship other than by descent via her marriage to your dad and that if not for gender discrimination she should have been able to pass it on to you. I do not know enough to know if that is true about her obtaining citizenship. There are some very smart people here who know a lot so hopefully they can assist with these answers.

If you would like to do some reading, you can find the nationality acts online on a UK government site. Here is a document that discusses historic legislation: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...on-nationality. Here is the 1948 BNA - you can find the other relevant Acts on the same website: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga...ntents/enacted.
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Old Feb 2nd 2024, 9:53 am
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Thank you for your thoughts, much appreciated. From consultation with a UK immigration expert I understand that there is no age discrimination in my case. My father had the right to register me within one year of my birth (April 1945) and he didn't do so which would make me ineligible.
However, my father was in the Canadian Army and was stationed overseas, Holland I think, and was not discharged until late 1946, 1 1/2 years after my birth. He was unable to register me in Canada within the required time limit. So I must find out if legislation allowed him to register me outside of Canada and I'm not sure how to do that. Possibly if the law did not allow soldiers serving overseas to register their children, that may be considered either a) historical legislative unfairness or b) an act or ommision of a public authority.

Maybe someone here knows whether or not registration could have been done outside of Canada or might be able to tell me how I might access that information..
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Old Feb 2nd 2024, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

I have done further research and have discovered that Canada had missions in both the Netherlands and Belgium where my father was posted. However both embassies were forced to evacuate and relocate to London during the war and were not re-established until 1947. I also learned that in 1945 Canadian diplomatic representatives and embassies were dependent on the Crown (until 1978) so my thinking is that since that was the case and because I was born a British subject in 1945 and my father should have been able to register me but was unable due to exceptional circumstances, this issue belongs here... if my thinking is not faulty.

So to recap because my head is spinning, I now know that 1) my father was not able to return to Canada until late in 1946 so was unable to register me as British within my first year as required, 2) there was no Canadian embassy in either the Netherlands nor Belgium for him to register me while overseas and, 3) as far as I can see, Canadian embassies were under the control of Britain.

If all of these factors are accurate, I wonder if I can make an application under section 4L, point c) because there was no unfairness involved nor an act or omission that prevented my father from registering but there were exceptional circumstances, a world war, tht prevented my father from registering me as British in his home country or in the country he was posted in.

Does this sound like a reasonable conclusion? I would be grateful for any thoughts/suggestions.
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Old Feb 4th 2024, 11:21 am
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

I’ll see if I can find the time today to double check but I feel an application for registration under S.4C using Form UKM would be the solution.
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Old Feb 4th 2024, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Thank you for that informtion and for looking into it for me. I'll also have a look at the section you reference. Very grateful, thank you.
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Old Feb 4th 2024, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

I'm afraid section 4C does not apply to me. My mother was not a CUKC. CUKC not not apply to dominions, only to colonies. My mother was born in the Dominion of Canada in 1921. Because she married my father, British by Descent, before 1949, she gained his status and was able then to pass on British by Double Descent to her children, but only to those children born after 1949. So my brother who was born in 1950 was covered by the legislation. My older brother (1943) and I (1945) were born under different legislation. At that time my father had the option to register me as British if he did so within the first year after my birth. BUT he was unable to do so. He was in the Canadian Forces overseas in Belgium or Holland at the time of my birth and remained so until late 1946, 1 1/2 years after my birth. If registration was available at Canadian Embassies, he may have been able to do so at one of these. EXCEPT the embassies in both of these countries had been evacuated during the war and relocated to London. It was not until 1947 that they were re-established in Holland and Belgium. So my father did not have the opportunity to register me as British during the first year after my birth. This is why I'm am considering applying under section 4L c) exceptional circumstances.

If there are holes to be poked in my reasoning, I hope someone will do so. It seems reasonable to me but I might be missing something. I have requested my father's military records which will confirm where he was from my birth in 1945 and for the following year and also his discharge date when he returned to Canada.
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Old Feb 4th 2024, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: section 4L, acquisition by registration:special circumstances

Originally Posted by LeftMyHeartInEngland
I'm afraid section 4C does not apply to me. My mother was not a CUKC. CUKC not not apply to dominions, only to colonies. My mother was born in the Dominion of Canada in 1921. Because she married my father, British by Descent, before 1949, she gained his status and was able then to pass on British by Double Descent to her children, but only to those children born after 1949. So my brother who was born in 1950 was covered by the legislation. My older brother (1943) and I (1945) were born under different legislation. At that time my father had the option to register me as British if he did so within the first year after my birth. BUT he was unable to do so. He was in the Canadian Forces overseas in Belgium or Holland at the time of my birth and remained so until late 1946, 1 1/2 years after my birth. If registration was available at Canadian Embassies, he may have been able to do so at one of these. EXCEPT the embassies in both of these countries had been evacuated during the war and relocated to London. It was not until 1947 that they were re-established in Holland and Belgium. So my father did not have the opportunity to register me as British during the first year after my birth. This is why I'm am considering applying under section 4L c) exceptional circumstances.

If there are holes to be poked in my reasoning, I hope someone will do so. It seems reasonable to me but I might be missing something. I have requested my father's military records which will confirm where he was from my birth in 1945 and for the following year and also his discharge date when he returned to Canada.
I *think* your mom would have gotten citizenship other than by descent via her marriage, not citizenship by descent. BritinParis is incredibly knowledgeable, so if they reply back that you can apply under section 4C they are probably correct.
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