Welcome to my new blog about British citizenship discrimination.

Did you know that all British parents don’t have the same right to pass on unconditional citizenship to their children?

Did you know about this discrimination? Have you been personally affected by this unjust legislation? Please share your story.

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31 Responses to Blog

  1. Flighty says:

    Hello, as you know I admire your tenacity in this matter and hope that it’s resolved to your satisfaction in the not too distant future.
    I shall give this blog a mention in one of my forthcoming posts, and add it to my favourites list. xx

  2. Flighty, I appreciate all your help! Thank you so much for your support.

  3. Tim says:

    Bravo with your new website and blog. Here is an update on the fee saga. I wrote appealing to have the fee refunded and this is the reply: “Unfortunately, UKBA are not issuing refunds for UKM’s retrospectively. At the time of application there was a fee.” The writer suggested I lodge a complaint, which I am going to do.
    Trust you are keeping well. Tim

  4. Thank you Tim.
    I’m sorry to hear about the fee. It’s shameful that even though the law was so obviously in the wrong – to charge a fee of £540 – that the UKBA simply refuses to refund fees retrospectively. I’m glad you plan to lodge a complaint.

  5. Tim says:

    I will let you know the outcome.

  6. Thanks Tim. Best of luck!

  7. Tony says:


    Thanks for this website.

    We children of British mothers born before 1983 ask for 3 changes to make our citizenship process the same as that of children born to British fathers, or of younger children (i.e., born after 1982) to British mothers:

    1. No oath of allegiance (we’re already British through our Mums).
    2. No citizenship ceremony. We’re not immigrants, we’re British.
    3. No requirement for letters of “good” character from other people. It’s insulting to our birthright.

    I believe all of these changes could be brought about by simple legislation.


  8. Hi Tony.

    Well said! I completely agree. All we are asking for is the same right that children born within marriage to British fathers* or children born on or after 1 January 1983 to Briitsh mothers are granted. The unfair conditions we are subject to is unjustified discrimination.

    *Children born out-of-wedlock, before 1 July 2006, to British fathers, are excluded from acquiring UK citizenship.

  9. Fiona says:

    Agree also. But the fee has gone down now, correct?

    Tim, I’m pretty sure they’ve already spent your £540, unfortuntely. But do post the outcome. Are you on twitter?

  10. Tim says:

    Fiona, I am glad you jolted me back to reality. I have been very ill with Lyme and Babesiosis diseases from a tick byte I received in our garden. Both attacked my heart and caused major damage and fatigue. But thankfully with the help of our wonderful cardiologist I am on the road to recovery. The outcome is that I must take a baby Aspirin once a day for the rest of my life. Thank goodness at 65, that is the only drug I am on!! And today we are preapring for hurricane Irene to hit us here on Long Island. What a lot of house and garden work just for a one-day storm?? If the worst comes to the worst, we head into our basement! But, once I am back on my feet, I will attend to the complaint about the fees I paid. Hope you are all well out there.

  11. Fiona says:

    Wow, Tim, I hope you stay safe. We will be hoping for a full recovery–not least so that you can claim your rightful refund from Her Majesty’s Government!

  12. Fiona, It’s not about how much the fee is now (£80 to cover the cost of a citizenship ceremony). It’s about discrimination. Registration and the citizenship ceremony are meant for those without a British parent.

    British by descent is a birthright. The UK recognises this for some but not all.

    This discrimination is unjustified.

    The British by Descent Campaign fights for British citizenship equality.

  13. Tim says:

    Hi Maureen, as you have read I have been a little under the weather(to coin a phrase), and now right in it!!! Is there anyone campaiging at present for the children born of British fathers out of marriage before 2006? My nephew is such and I am trying to help him with as much information as I can. Hope you are well?

  14. Hi Tim. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been ill. Hope you feel better soon. Also, hope you stay safe from any harm caused by Hurricane Irene.

    Hope your claim to a refund will be honoured. Good luck!

  15. Tim, Yes, I know of a campaign about that issue. Read about it on this site:

    I’m planning to post about that issue on this blog too.

  16. Tim says:

    Hi Maureen, I followed up on your suggestion and have received feedback. I am forwarding this information onto my nephew. Thank you so much. I am so greatful to you and all the people out there who blog and that I finally have a place to “speak” with people who are face discrimination. I however cannot get involved with Twitter and Facebook. It is all too much for me as I can hadrly keep up with my e-mails !!??

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I am wondering if anyone could shed some light on the following: I only have “certified copies” of birth and marriage certificates. Are these acceptable by the Home Office? I’ve read that they only accept originals… Thankfully I have my mother’s expired passports. Once I submit my application how long will they hold on to these documents for before returning them to me?? Also, how long does the registration process take before I get a final yay or nay? And do the ceremonies take place at overseas embassies or does one have to travel to the UK?… All my grandparents (bar one) are British by birth, as is my mother. So why are people in my situation treated like this?? Maureen, I think your campagning is great!! Unfortunately my circumstances dictate that I cannot put off an application any longer. But please keep up the great work!!
    Best regards

  18. Anonymous says:

    I forgot to add to the post above that I was born in a Commonwealth country before 1983, and am a citizen of that country. I am eligible to register as a Brit, right?… This whole citizenship issue has plaqued me all my adult life 😦

  19. Tim says:

    In response to the above questions: One needs to have original copies which one can order online from the British website:
    My experience has been that as soon as they receive your documents and assess them, they return the originals to you. They do not hold them for the entire period of the application. I am sure with your background, British mother, born before 1983, that you qualify but you need to go online to the UK Government website: and look for the heading Application Type Born before 1983 to British Mother and complete a UKM application and find out how and where to apply online. I know that whatever country you are in, search online for the “UK Government website in that country. For example, I am a visitor to the US and last year applied for my birth registration and then my passport through the Washington DC Consulate office. It can be found on South Africa is All my applications were completed online but some, after completing online, I had to print off and sign and post them to the relevant consulate. I also had to go for eye-balling and finger-printing at a British office here in New York. All this takes time. The whole process can take from three to six months or longer, so be advised to start as soon as you can. The citizenship ceremony will be held in the closest British Consulate to where you live but a friend of mine was the only person attending his. Be aware that you must pay for all courier costs, citizenship fee and passport fee, but no longer the UKS540 birth registration fee. See website:

  20. Hi Tim, Thank you for answering the previous query! I would have just given the link to the Home Office website so all the information you’ve provided about your personal experience is very helpful indeed. I appreciate your help with questions like this since I haven’t been through the registration like you have. Thanks again!

  21. Tim says:

    It’s my pleasure. As you know, one only finds out the REAL process once one has gone through the whole thing. It was quite a challenge at the time with all the various requirements. Whenever I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate.

  22. Tim, I see that it did present quite a challenge! I’m amazed at all the various things you had to do (and the time it takes!). It’s certainly not as straight-forward as the Home Office makes it sound, and your experience also clearly shows the injustice of denying our right to automatic British citizenship compared to the automatic right given to the children of British fathers and for those children born on or after 1 January 1983, because of their mother’s birth in the UK.

    We should not have to jump through all these hoops and be treated nearly the same as foreigners who don’t have a British parent. I think it’s shameful that we are expected to accept these blatant unjust “conditions” before we can claim our birthright!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tim, thank you so much for answering my questions above! Good heavens, does one have to get finger-printed and “eye-balled” like a criminal, or is this just for applicants in the US?.. I was actually eligible for a British passport as a child, had I been registered, but no one told me or my parents this. So much was the shock and disappointment when at 19 I went to apply for a British passport and was told I was 1 year too late. Consequently my younger sister (same parents) applied in time and she was granted a Brit PP without any a-do… On the subject of “original” birth certificates from GRO: are these a photocopy of the hand-written certificate, printed on pink(ish) paper with the title “Certified Copy”?? Because the copies I have are. A friend of mine ordered them from somewhere in the UK in the 1990’s, and I assume they came from GRO. (Or are there other agencies in the UK that can issue birth certificates, etc?) So, what I’m trying to determine is, are these pink paper copies that say “Certified Copy” actually what one calls “originals”?? (In my definition there can only be one original, so I’m just a tad confused)… Regarding where to send applications: I’ve read the UKM form & guidelines, and trawled the internet for info. I live in a European country and the embassy here says they don’t handle registration or passport applications and that I have to send all my documents to Dusseldorf(!) Am kind of worried I’ll never see them again, even if I use courier. Has anyone had any problems with Dusseldorf? I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be easier to send my application to Liverpool and give an aunt’s UK address as my contact address. Or is this not possible since I’m not currently resident in the UK?… I also read somewhere that you don’t have to send any fee with the registration application, though another website says it costs GBP 80. Do they ask for payment at a later date, i.e. once the application has been approved?… Sorry for all the questions! I’m finding the whole process rather mindboggling (to put it mildly). It’s wonderful being able to ask someone who has been through all the rigmarol!!!
    Thank you very much again!
    And yes, I agree. It’s shamefull and degrading that we have to through this process!!!!!

  24. Tim says:

    Hi Anonymous: I cannot find my mother’s certificate at this moment, but I think you have the right one. What I was referring to are photocopies one gets across the counter at a print shop and then asks a notary to certify them. These are not acceptable. If you have what is referred to as an original copy, it looks like the original certificate. A rectangular shaped document about 40cm x 20cm. It is a yellowish colour with redish print and the details hand written in. I think it has a seal as well.

    I would advise you to use the Dusseldorf consulate and here is their website:

    I would call them and check how you should send the documents to them as FEDEX or UPS are quite safe. Once you start with them they will advise you exactly how the process works and when and what to do. They will also advise you as to the nearest centre for the eye-balling etc.. It is for the new microchip passport which will enable you to scan yourself through at certain airports/border crossings as the system expands. My passport has a few rings of copper wire running round the back page which all helps make it more secure and more efficient. And what a relief not to have to be stopped by an officer when I arrived in Europe and the UK earlier this year.

    When I was called to New York to attend the Citizenship ceremony, only then did I have to pay the 80 pounds. As I mentioned, when the time comes you might find that you are the only candidate and I believe you can ask to go to your nearest British Consulate.

    Just to commiserate with you. In 1946 when I was born in Africa, no-one told my parents to register my birth so that I could claim my rights at 18, but after many years of research, I was led to believe that one couldn’t register a birth overseas until 1948. But, one has to accept that all this has changed, and make the most of what there is now. I wish you great success with your application but do contact the consulate for help.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tim, thank you very much for all the info and your advice – it is very, very much appreciated!!!! All the best to you!

  26. Ruby says:

    I went through this all back in 2003, shortly after the law had been changed to allow children of British mothers born before 1983 to acquire British citizenship at all. Prior to that we were just out of luck. I got mine, after jumping through all the correct hoops, but also was irate at the unfairness that my American cousins, whose father was my British mother’s brother, would have to do none of that. They could simply apply for a passport. There are also differences in how we are able to pass our citizenship along to any children not born in the UK. It’s barbaric that the UK still treats women and men differently under the law.

    At the time, I read the Parliamentary transcripts (available online) of the debates that resulted in the law change and got in touch with the member of the House of Lords who had been instrumental. He wrote to the Secretary of State on my behalf and the response was essentially that, while the government was ‘sympathetic’, they had more pressing things to worry about and felt they had done enough on this issue. The points you and I raise had been debated and dismissed.

    Disappointing, but I left it there, swore my oath of allegiance and got on with my life. I think that was easy for me to do since I live in the UK, and my kids were born here, so none of the citizenship issues I mentioned will apply to them. If their rights were in danger, I’d surely be fighting as you are. I know that sounds selfish, but after years and years of dealing with immigration issues, for myself and my husband who is also an immigrant, I was just ‘done’. My philanthropic efforts go elsewhere these days. I do wish you all the best with this.

  27. Hi Ruby. Thank you for sharing your story. How were you able to acquire British citizenship back in 2003? What steps did you have to take besides swearing the oath of allegiance?

  28. Ruby says:

    It was just a couple of months after they changed the law allowing children of British mothers born prior to ’83 to register as British. I had to submit my birth certificate, her old passports, birth certificates for her and her parents, marriage certificate for her parents (I think) and same for my parents. I honestly don’t remember it all – maybe I blocked it out! Once I received my Certificate of Registration then I could apply for a passport (and submit much of it all over again). Luckily for me I went through before they added the ceremonies. I only had to swear in front of a solicitor, which was bad enough. I did attend a citizenship ceremony when my husband was naturalized, but that was a very different, and emotional, affair, since he was a true immigrant who had fought long and hard for his citizenship. I don’t feel I should have had to fight at all.

    On the question of certified copies, the government only ever issues one ‘Original’ of these documents. Anything else they issue to you, however official, is called a Certified Copy. As long as what you have is an ‘original’ Certified Copy (confusing, I know), given to you by the authorities (usually GRO), then it should be acceptable.

  29. Tanya says:

    I wrote to Helen Grant in hopes that she may help us push this matter further. My Email was sent on to the UKBA. I received the usual response stating it might cause difficulties for children born before 1983 to suddenly become British:
    “The possibility of making the change retrospective was closely examined at the time of drafting the current legislation. It was felt, however, that to confer British citizenship automatically on all children of British mothers born before 1983 would cause difficulties in some cases, especially if the citizenship were back-dated to the time of birth. Some might not have wanted British citizenship; others may have lost the citizenship of their country of birth as a result of acquiring British citizenship. Of those who had come to live in the United Kingdom, a number would have already acquired, or would have the option of acquiring, British citizenship by naturalisation or registration.”
    Odd they were never concerned about automatic citizenship for children born to British fathers. After 1983 I guess it somehow is not an issue anymore…

    The letter went on to outline the history of the changes and closed with the following:
    “However, for the reasons outlined above, the government has no plans to amend the 1981 Act further still to confer British citizenship automatically on all children born to British mothers before 1 January 1983.”

    It does not look good for us.

    Thank you for your perseverance in this matter.

  30. Jannine says:

    Hello. I am hoping that you can help. Please could you comment on the likelihood of my husband being able to claim British nationality. His mother was born in South Africa to British born parents on 02 February 1941. I have always assumed that she claimed her British passport through descent (which could then not be passed on to her children). However, it has occurred to me that her father was in the service of the RAF in South Africa at the time of her birth. Does this mean she could be automatically British (as if she was born in the UK). Is there then a possibility that my husband (born in 1965 in South Africa) could then claim British nationality through decent from her? Would this have any implications for me, his wife, and children – we are all South African born (my son, turns 18 on 06 August 2014). Thank you for a very helpful site.

  31. Balmins says:

    Well this hindrance to social justice on the British nationality front has finally been corrected following years of injustice. I believed at one point that I was the only one in town fighting the good fight. The truth is as there so few claiming for this discrimination to stop that hardly any noise could be heard. As it turned out this Section 65 was added on at the very last moment and therefore not discussed in for two questions, one per House. All that has been said for its implementation is that it will come into to force later on.

    I have been thirty odd years at this but really six battling with HM Governments, ministers, MPs, chairs of select commitees, Deputy PM, plus trying to inspire other NGO´s to take on the cause. Surprisingly some backed way and they are usually associated with strong principals. Like the guy at the embassy said, British nationality do not follow any logical path but more or less take into account present day polcies of governement.

    There was one point I brought that had constitutional issues for the establishment and then having made a noise about it, it suddenlñy went through. All tied up with human rights, ECHR, UN,, but they was no getting away from an embarrissing climbdown.on HMG behalf.

    So now it is down to the last lap and celebrations are the order of the day. Thank you all for being there with me so my daughters can, along with your beloved family members including yourselves as individuals, to getting that passport. I somehow knew I was not alone but the main aspect is that we prevailed as decent people.

    So long.

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