Children of War Brides

I wonder how many children (now adults) of British war brides are aware that they are eligible to apply for British citizenship now (albeit via the discriminatory path of registration and participating in a ceremony).

If your mother was a British war bride and you have applied for citizenship via registration, please leave a comment about your experience. What are your thoughts about the registration process and the ceremony?

Or perhaps you’ve just found out you are eligible to apply for your right to British citizenship. What are your thoughts about the unfair “conditions” that apply to the children of British mothers born abroad before 1983, and if your mother is still alive, what are her thoughts about all this?

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12 Responses to Children of War Brides

  1. Tony R. says:

    I have had the “right of abode” in the UK since the early 70s (it was called “Patriality” then, and even my spell-checker doesn’t like the word). While I spent several years over the years (as a child, as a college student, as a working adult) living in England, I never accrued the 5 years in a row needed for Naturalization. The news that I can now register as a citizen is actually welcome, and the news that they’ve waived the fee even more so. I intend to retire in London. At the moment though, I’m in Canada, and the paperwork goes through DC and I really don’t want to have to travel to the USA for a British citizenship “ceremony.” The paperwork isn’t a problem; my mother was born and died in Wales, and I have all the documents I need. It would probably be simpler to obtain a new Right of Abode certificate in my Canadian passport, travel to the UK, and register there.

    While I sympathize with your cause, I have to wonder how easy it is to change the law. The last changes took several years to get through Parliament. The waiving of the fee isn’t in the same category: bureaucratic regulations can be changed quickly; acts of Parliament take longer. I should sign your petition, because I agree with its intent, but I’m afraid at my age (my mother was a pre-war bride) it’s a windmill that I’m really not prepared to tilt at.

  2. Hi Tony, Thank you for signing the petition. I can understand that you don’t want to wait any longer to claim your British citizenship. It has been a very long wait for this discrimination to be addressed and I realize that it is easier to accept the conditions (registration and ceremony) even if they are very unfair.

    I know it will be difficult to challenge the ongoing inequality but I’m willing to try anyway. To be British by descent is a birthright. The Government recognises this for some but not all. This blatant discrimination is unjustified.

  3. Tim says:

    Hi Maureen, Here’s a response to John’s comments above. Firstly, he needs to apply for his Citizenship first and then only can he get his passport. I believe that all these applications for Canadians are now handled through Washington DC. I applied for my citizenship and passport through DC and it went incredibly smoothly. The whole process takes about five months. I am quite certain that when it comes to the eye-balling and finger printing required and then the ceremony, they offer you the closest British Embassy/Consulate to where you live.

  4. Tony R. says:

    Hi Tim:

    Did you ever have to travel to DC? I’m not certain from your post whether you live in Canada or the US. I have all the paperwork I need; I’m just unable to travel from Ontario to DC for a citizenship ceremony (Ottawa is pretty close though, the High Commission is there).

  5. dawn Hocking says:

    What is the status of this now? I wasn’t aware of this until today. I have many relatives in the UK but in the 90’s when applied for a visa I wasn’t allowed. can u help with more news?

  6. Richard Summers says:

    I do not know your details, check the UKBA website for changes specific to your circumstance.

  7. F Land says:

    I am the daughter of a British born female. All of her ancestors are British born. I was hoping for right of abode for my daughter. There is another variable in our family, since my mother married a Canadian “Indian” (indigenous) soldier in World War II, and apparently First Nations people have British Citizenship through a Royal Decree. Does anyone know anything about this? It apparently came up in the British House of Lords during the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution.

  8. Patricia D. says:

    I have tried to get British citizenship but was told by British officials that I had to immigrate. I was born in Essex, my mother and all my family on her side are British. I grew up in the US. I have also met Canadians and Australians who have dual citizenship. Finding the right contacts I have found to be very difficult

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was born in Canada. My mother was a war bride born in England. I applied for registration as a British citizen under the application ” born before 1983 to a British mother” through the online application process. I used form “UKM”. You mention you were born in Essex. As you were born in England, if you were born after 1983, you are automatically British and don’t need to register. If you were born before 1973, you should be able to register. If you google whatpassport.com, you can enter in your information for a free evaluation by UK immigration expert Philip Gamble. They may be able to help you further (for a fee) if your application has something unusual beyond what you have shrared, From my experience, your application should be straight forward. There is the “good Character” requirement, so if there is something in your past, your application may be denied on that basis. I to my British citizenship and then my British passport. When they allowed the registration of the children of British mothers, I think it was in 2011, the fee was originally £2000. It has now been reduced to £80. You still need to go and take an oath, but you select where you want to take it, which is usually the closest embassy or consulate to you, and I personally greatly enjoyed taking it. The application must be done online, and the application (and passport application) must also be sent through England, not Washington DC anymore. I could order my mothers birth certificate online, which was very helpful. Note that citizenship, or the passport is not your right, it may be denied. If you are being told recently that you had to emigrate, by British officials, you should ask them why & quote what I have told you above. Hope this helps & good luck.

  10. Bill Moore says:

    This has been most informative. I am the son of a British woman and an American serviceman who married my Mom. He, unfortunately, went AWOL on us leaving us stranded in America, where she remarried. I’ve been back to England a dozen times on business, but it’s the only place I’ve ever felt at home. I am planning to take a two-week trip to England in September to locate relatives and try to decide, if I can obtain citizenship, where I should live. In any case, I’m Bill Moore (207-703-2086, and hemmmingwa@gmail.com) My Mom is still alive at 96.

  11. Thank you for your comment, Bill. I’m glad my blog has been helpful.

  12. This thread is now closed.

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