Children born to unmarried British fathers

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

It’s bad enough that the UK discriminates against all those born abroad before 1983 to British mothers (by requiring registration, good character check, and a ceremony) but it’s even more shocking that the UK completely excludes a group from acquiring British citizenship by descent.

To be British by descent is a birthright. The UK currently recognises this for some but not all. It’s a disgrace that all British parents don’t have the same (equal) right to pass on unconditional British citizenship to their children.

Are you one of those affected by this discrimination against children born before 1 July 2006, to unmarried fathers?

Please share your thoughts about this in the comments.

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64 Responses to Children born to unmarried British fathers

  1. Anonymous says:

    May someone could also explain how this operates, because I find this one confusing, especially relative to the situation where the child wants to claim UK citizenship from its mother. To me, the latter is blatant sex discrimination if a father can transmit citizenship but a mother cannot, or their children are treated unequally.

    If a child is born out-of wedlock, does the child’s birth certificate NOT indicate who the father is? Are we discussing children born outside the UK or inside or both? If the father is unknown, how does the child prove that its father was a UK citizen?

  2. I should think the name of the father would have to be on the birth certificate but I’m not an expert about this issue.

    Please consult the UK Home Office site for more information.

  3. ukccen says:

    I am one of many affected by this ridiculous and discriminatory law, of which there is simply no basis for continuing in the manner that it does. The most bizarre thing is that the Home Office claims that had my father registered my birth before I reached the age of eighteen, I would’ve had British citizenship. However, there are tons of recent cases of children eligible for registration who’ve had their registration refused, so the argument doesn’t add up.

    Also, many parents either did not know this route existed, or were told it didn’t. In the age before the internet, there was hardly a way to confirm that such a pathway to citizenship even existed. Most consulates and embassies were not equipped with the correct information, which led to many children being denied registration. I point to the short window of opportunity given to children born to British mothers, decades ago, who were refused registration because many consulates were misinformed of the brief change.

    That is besides the point, no child should have to be denied their birthright. As long as they are able to prove parentage, it should be theirs to have. There is absolutely no difference between a child born in marriage or outside of marriage. The worst is that there are children born out of wedlock right in the UK who are denied citizenship, and left stateless. One case of many is that of Samantha Jones ( How is this even possible in this day and age that a woman born and raised in the UK, to a British father, is denied citizenship because her parents never married?

    In 2006, the UK agreed that any child born to an unmarried British father, after July 1, 2006, was eligible for British citizenship. This cut-off date is not only discriminatory, but it has destroyed families. There are now households where children are born before the cut-off date and are ineligible for British citizenship, yet their siblings who are born after July 1, are eligible. The Home Office claimed that the reason for this cut-off date, was for reasons of possible conflicts of a person’s current nationality, yet they agreed to allow adult children born to British mothers their birthright (though still with discriminatory measures).

    There is a sneaking suspicion that the reason behind the cut-off date was because the government feared there would’ve been a flood of applicants, despite the fact that it was confirmed during the Border’s Bill debate that our numbers were small. Also, if a flood of applicants was such a concern, they wouldn’t have allowed adult children born to UK moms the right to citizenship the very same year they hinted at these concerns.

    We children, who are discriminated against by the British government, for being born to unmarried British fathers, would like to see the 1 July 2006 cut-off date removed, which would allow all children, born out of wedlock, regardless of age, a fair pathway to British citizenship. We would like to be given the same exact pathway to citizenship currently afforded to every child born into marriage to a British father.

  4. Maureen says:

    Thank you for providing the background information and details about this important issue. You have explained precisely why this law is so unjust. The cut-off date doesn’t make sense at all.

    I agree that all children, regardless of age, born to unmarried British fathers should be granted the same exact pathway to citizenship as those born into marriage to a British father. And that all children (now adults) who were born abroad before 1983 to British mothers, should also be granted the same exact pathway as those born into marriage to a British father.

    This blatant discrimination is unjustified.

    It’s a disgrace that all British parents don’t have the same (equal) right to pass on unconditional British citizenship to their children.

    Thanks again for your very informative comment.

  5. Chris says:

    Very happy some people are fighting this already!

    I am in a similair situation. My mother is British but fortunately, I was born in 1984 so had no problems getting my passport. However, I have a brother and sister that are much older than me and have been fighting this for years. Which is not the easiest thing to do in South African where there isn’t even British people working in the British Embassy!

    I’m already in contact with my local MP regarding the state of our Embassies abroad and will be addressing this matter now too.

    Just a questions though. Has anyone used the Freedom of Information act? Could we get the minutes from any meetings that MP’s have had about this issue? Might help if we knew the points they had discussed and how they came to the conclusion that this fair…

  6. Hi Chris, I’m sorry to hear about the problems your brother and sister are experiencing but I’m pleased you are in contact with your MP about this issue. We need to make it known that this discrimination is unacceptable. It would be helpful if you would direct your MP to this website.

    The UK Parliament provides links to all the discussions about Bills as they proceed through various stages. You can read about the debates for the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill on this link:

  7. Ants says:

    I am also completely excluded from my father’s (and his other children’s) British nationality because my mother refused to marry him civilly (though they were married in church) and I was born abroad. My father tried, multiple times, to register me with the British authorities when I was a child, and was simply told that he could not. He even tried to adopt me, and was told that he could not – because he was my father. So he was clearly recognised as my father, as well as being named as such on my birth certificate: it was never a question of uncertain paternity!

    I have been carrying this pain with me all my life. It eats away at my self-esteem and prevents me from being happy. Whenever I see a British passport or get the dreaded question ‘presumably you have British citizenship through your father, right?’ I have to force myself not to cry. I am singled out as inherently inferior to my father’s other children because of something that is not my fault and not even his fault (since it was my mother who refused to marry him and he tried so hard to give me his nationality). I am a native speaker of English, I am proud of my heritage, and I have two degrees (and am currently finishing the third) from one of the best British universities, and yet I am denied my own identity as if I had nothing at all to do with my own father’s country. Meanwhile I have actually served as official interpreter to people who had British citizenship only because they were born in Britain, but did not speak English – my native language – and were applying for benefits that would have been denied me because I was ‘a foreigner’!

    Every single so-called argument that the authorities have mobilised against removing the 2006 cutoff date has been undermined by their own actions in granting citizenship through British mothers and removing all their cutoff dates (and now even most of their fees – because somehow that form of discrimination gets attention but ours, though more serious, isn’t trendy enough and is consequently ignored). Problems with retroactive citizenship? Nonsense: firstly we would register voluntarily for citizenship, and secondly the retroactive citizenship ‘obstacle’ never stood in the way of removing the cutoff date for citizenship through British mothers. The impossibility of registering as adults? Nonsense: children of British mothers can register as adults. Problems with numbers or ‘floods of immigrants’? Nonsense: that never stood in the way of granting citizenship through British mothers. Even uncertain paternity didn’t stand in the way of allowing people born after July 2006 to register as long as they could prove paternity. I can prove paternity too. Why can’t I register then? There is clearly no valid justification, even according to the authorities’ own behaviour, for the soul-destroying pain and humiliation that we have to suffer, so why can’t they just remove this utterly unnecessary discrimination? Can they provide ONE valid argument?

    Make me pay a fee. Make me attend a citizenship ceremony. Make me jump through hoops. But please, give me a chance to be recognised by my own country.

  8. Ants, While I sympathize with your situation, and I certainly agree that the discrimination against you is very wrong, I must clarify the reason I started this campaign. I am fighting for citizenship equality for everyone with a British parent.

    It’s true that I finally have a right to claim British citizenship via my mother, however I’m still a victim of discrimination as are all the others born abroad before 1983 to British mothers. I don’t agree that we should have to pay a fee and register and be approved and attend a citizenship ceremony.

    Two-tier citizenship is not acceptable. All British parents should have the same right to pass on (unconditional) citizenship.

  9. Ants says:

    I used the comparison with citizenship through British mothers to show that the authorities, by their own behaviour, have undermined each and every argument they continue to use against adult children of unmarried British fathers. For example, their argument ‘but nyaa, you can’t register adults’ is undermined by the fact that children of British mothers can register as adults. And so on. In other words, I showed that the authorities are not only unfair, but also illogical.

    This is not to say that their behaviour towards children of British mothers is fair or ideal. Obviously their piecemeal way of granting citizenship is unnecessarily complicated as well as fundamentally unjust as you point out. If they wanted to be efficient and fair, they would just allow a rule of ‘British parent – British child’ and leave it at that. More evidence of their incoherence.

    Based on their past behaviour, I do have reason to fear that even if they remove every hoop and barrier between children of British mothers and their citizenship, as they obviously should, they will nevertheless leave children of unmarried British fathers out in the cold. This might be because we are a small and powerless group, or because they have some strange atavistic loathing for children of sin (which they have managed to hide under ineffectual arguments), or perhaps because they fear being accused of anti-female discrimination far more than than anti-male discrimination (my father, had he been female, could have given me his nationality). I say this as a female, by the way, aware of the forms of anti-female discrimination that still exist in most societies. Or they’ll just pull another of their silly stunts by replacing the 2006 cutoff date with the 1983 cutoff date, mistakenly assuming that anyone born before then must have been born in Britain and therefore be British by jus soli. That, of course, would again leave me nowhere. Chillingly, some people have lowered their standards and are asking for nothing more than an ancestry visa – which would force us to live in Britain for a number of years before claiming our own citizenship, and to choose between claiming our birthright and abandoning whatever lives we might have established in other countries. (This of course would be no better than naturalisation of EU nationals after six years of residence in Britain while fulfilling a host of requirements – a non-improvement).

    Anyway, the authorities’ behaviour towards children of British mothers is unfair, but also, in their dealings with children of British mothers they have revealed how untenable are the totality of their arguments against extending citizenship to adult children of unmarried British fathers.

    I am grateful to you for posting about this issue, which is often completely ignored and needs all the ‘air time’ it can get. Let us hope (however unrealistically) that the authorities perform the unthinkable: implementation of a fair, symmetrical and logical nationality law that ceases to discriminate against any children of British parents. They presumably won’t do it spontaneously, so let’s continue trying to persuade them until none of us is left out.

  10. Dolapo says:

    I had my daughter outside wedlock and I was born in Britain. What are the steps I can take to bring her to the country.nigerian university education is unpredictable considering the university lecturer’s constant strikes she is 21 years

  11. I was born in New Zealand in 1 Feb 1983 my Father was born in Scotland and his parents are british born. I have a partner who is also born in the U.K moved to New Zealand and 3 years later our son was born in New Zealand my partner and I are not married (yet) my partner has moved over here with our son since march 2013 and I joined them later in August 2013 I thought I was entitled to apply for a U.K passport but was denied because my father was not married to my mother and because i was born outside the wedlock legally he is not my Father even though he is on my birth certificate but my son recently recieved his U.K passport even though my partner an I are not married so now not only can I not work in the U.K I can not stay with my son and partner which means i loose out on my sons life again. Im confused why the U.K gov play with laws and regulations when none of them make sence so now our relationship is broken up because of some ridiculous wedlock. is there anyone who can help maybe someone is in the same boat as me but managed to find a loophole because I will miss out not only on my partners life but most importianlty my son who is only 11 months and what makes matters worse is I can not provide for my son & partner because legally i am not allowed to work. please help a desprate Father who just wants to be with his family.

  12. Kevin Cartee says:

    Thanks for this site – Its so wrong that my daughters born in the USA before 2006 can’t have there birth right because I was not married to there mother and I’m British it should be one law for all not just Mothers.

  13. Iain L. Fraser says:

    I am the father of Antonia (Ants above). I am married to her mother only in church, not also civilly, and the UK government, despite much personal petitioning by me, has not seen fit to grant (!) Antonia British nationality. Since a recent change in British nationality law I understand there are only a few such cases left (children born before a certain deadline), but the smallness of numbers is no excuse for not remedying a readily fixed, manifestly discriminatory injustice.

  14. Tim Howarth says:

    At last I’ve found some other unfortunate parents in the same position. I am british as are my parents, my partner is German we are Unmarried and have 2 kids one born in 2001 and one born in 2005. They currently have German passports and I have been in discussion with the uk passport agency as to why my kids can’t have British passports. This absurd law is so discriminating to many people who have a similar family situation to me that I’m beside myself with rage as to how a law can be put in place and ‘ displace’ so may individuals with no regard for the individual situation. The citizen by descent should be allowed as a basic human right and I’m trying to explore how we can find a loophole to work through. Are there any lawyers in our situation we can ask for assistance on. I’m determined to find a way through this ridiculous law.

  15. I was told to seek advice from the high commission but I highly doubt thay would as they do their best to enforce this law but to be honest I’m unsure there are also lawyers that especialise in this area but I didnt have the money to see them I will try to find the company but you might find it on google faster as i only communicate by an ipod sorry I cant help you as much but I do wish you luck

  16. Ants Fujinaga says:

    Here is a petition asking that this injustice be rectified: Please sign it and share it as widely as possible!

  17. Anonymous says:

    My dear freind is in this position and it. Seems like an ridiculase, antiquated and prejudiced law
    which needs addressing immediate.

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  19. david says:

    I am a married man but unfortunately got another girl pregnant and had a baby for me. I am british ,can the baby be a legal british citizen through me the father. I have accepted the baby wholeheartedly.

  20. Ukccen says:

    Hi David. If the child was born before July 1, 2006 to a foreign mother who is not settled in the UK (with ILR), then no, the child cannot be a legal British citizen through you. If the child is under the age of 18, you can try and have the child’s birth registered.

  21. robin wookey says:

    My father played a significant role of a founding of a state i.e. Malaysia aka British North Borneo. He was popular with the locals & contributed to the good relations between the ‘natives’ & the government. I was born in what was a British Colony. My son was born out of wedlock in Australia is unable to get British citizenship. He’s an outstanding young man and would be an asset to any country yet there is no vehicle to recognise as such.

    Good luck in making the changes necessary . . . .

  22. roberto green says:

    I have two sons one was born in 2005 and the other in 2007 one is able to apply for british citizenship the other not, if I decide to marry my partner does my son born in 2005 have the right to apply for britsh citezenship?

  23. roberto green says:

    I have two sons one was born in 2005 and the other in 2007 one is able to apply for british citizinship the other not, if I decide to marry my partner does my son born in 2005 have the right to apply for british citizenship?

  24. ukccen says:

    Hi Roberto. There is now no need to marry (unless, of course, you want to), because the law has just changed! The Immigration Act 2014 reached Royal Assent in May, and we are now awaiting commencement of the amendments to end this disastrous discrimination. Once this is done, every single child born to an unmarried British father, regardless of age, will have a pathway to UK citizenship.

  25. rabg64 says:

    Thank you very much for the quick reply and may I say very welcome news. How should I wait before making the applications for my two sons? Thank you again for giving me such good news.

  26. ukccen says:

    You should wait until the amendments commence. Until then, nothing can be done. We don’t have a confirmed date yet, but they are starting to roll out commencement of other amendments from the Immigration Bill. If you’d like, you can send me your information through the “contact us” link on my website ( so that I can contact you, as I will be alerting all those on the list I keep when the amendments commence. Yes, that was amendments as a plural. There were a total of three. This time, they made sure to include all children born to an unmarried British born father. The current government was actually committed to ending this.

  27. Ants says:

    We will of course update all the venues we know about – including this one – the moment we hear that the relevant amendments have commenced. I will also be updating my petition to inform all the signatories of the change. I’m waiting until commencement is confirmed, so that if more people sign in the interim, then those people can also be informed of the change.

  28. Kevin C. says:

    Thanks for keeping us all updated

  29. Ants says:

    The petition site only allows a limited number of petitions updates, so I must use them wisely! When the amendments do commence, I plan to find out what procedures have been created for citizenship application through this route, with any relevant websites, forms and so on, and place these concrete resources in my petition update so that all my signatories can immediately have clear instructions as to how to apply. When that happens, I’ll notify people here too.

  30. Ants says:

    Petition updates, obviously; not petitions updates. I can’t find a way to fix typos in my comments.

  31. vexavi says:

    So the laws are changing? So for instance me(born in ’92 to an unmarried British father) would be able to apply? If so, that is brilliant news, not only for me, but for everyone in this hopeless situation. For me personally it doesn’t matter as much as I’m from an EEA country, so there’s no need for me to have it, but as someone in the same situation I figured I would ‘join the fight’ as it is a shit situation to be in. Turns out the fight seems to be over before I join in!

  32. ukccen says:

    Hi vexavi,
    Yes, the law is changing. Actually, the law has already changed, it reached Royal Assent back in May. We are just waiting for it to commence. Keep in mind that even if someone is from an EEA country, they still might not have been eligible before the law changed this year. Some EU countries have their own immigration rules that conflict with the UK’s rules, creating a quandary for children. I know of a woman born in the UK to a British father and a German mother. The only way she can acquire a German passport is if she changes her surname to her mother’s surname and legally denounces her father. Thus, she remains stateless in the UK.

  33. ukccen says:

    HI vexavi,
    I forgot to add, yes, you would be able to apply for a UK passport, as long as your country of nationality is okay with it.

  34. Ben says:

    This has made me really happy, I was born in 1992 to a British father and an Australian mother who never married, and recently split up, I have been hoping for years that they would change the law.
    I think what made me more upset was my cousins on my father’s side could get British citizenship but I couldn’t.

    How long do things usually take once they get royal assent? I don’t even quite understand what it is.
    ANd we won’t have to be under a certain age?

    I am very excited to tell my father this news.


  35. Ants says:

    It is my understanding that age will no longer be relevant. Here are the amendments:
    Where it says ‘persons unable to obtain British nationality at commencement’ it is talking about the Nationality Act 1981; in other words, this applies to the following sets of people who were unable to obtain British nationality when the 1981 law ‘commenced’, in the sense of ‘took effect’.
    People would have to pass a background check for what they call ‘good character’ (no criminal convictions and stuff like that) and would have to provide proof of paternity as described in the paternity regulations, namely these:

    The Immigration Act 2014, which includes ‘our’ amendments, received Royal Assent on, if I remember correctly, the 14th of May. (The entire Act, for people’s general information, is here: So it has been accepted as a law, but it hasn’t come into effect yet; it’s not active yet; we can’t use it yet (well, some bits have, but not our bits). When our part of the law ‘commences’, it will be active and we’ll be able to register.

    As for when this will happen, we don’t know yet. I think ukcen knows more about that than I do – did the law (the 2002 law, was it?) which removed the cut-off dates for registration through mothers take two years to come into effect? What we’ve been told is that the 2014 Act is being activated piecemeal, and apparently some amendments have already been activated. But we were never a political priority for anyone, and the government is much more gung-ho about all this stuff being tough on illegal immigration: landlords checking tenants’ immigration status and whatnot – which is among the reasons why the Act has drawn a lot of opposition (another being its provision to deprive naturalised citizens of British nationality, even if that would render them stateless, if they are deemed nefarious to the interests of the state, or something along those lines, which you can find in the section just after ‘ours’). So we don’t know when this will happen and I don’t know what is the ‘average’ waiting time between Royal Assent (which is when a law receives its final ratification from the Queen – a formality but nevertheless necessary as the stamp of approval on a law) and ‘commencement’. Over to the more informed ukcen!

  36. OddOneOut says:

    Does the new law apply to me as well? I was born in The Netherlands in 1965 as a literal result of the Make Love, Not War era to a Dutch mother and British father. My biological father left the country as soon as he found out my mother was expecting me. After having spent 22 years of being the ‘little black sheep’ in my mother’s family I decided to track down my father. I soon found him but, based on my mother’s life style at the time, he denied being my father. In the end we did a DNA fingerprint test and the result was irrefutably positive: he was indeed my father. So I have an official DNA test to prove that my father and his parents are/were British citizens. Does that make me eligible for British citizenship?

  37. ukccen says:

    Hi OddOneOut, It looks as if you will have a claim once the amendment commences, as long as your father was born on British soil. Also, it will not matter your age, or the relationship you have with your father. It will only matter that you have adhered to the 2006 prescribed proof of paternity rules, and official DNA is one of those laid out proofs.

  38. OddOneOut says:

    Hi ukccen, and thanks for responding so promptly. Yes, my father was born in England, as were his parents, grandparents, etc going all the way back to the 16th Century. So British through and through. My relationship with my father was non-existent for 20 years and he passed away in 2012. If I do manage to claim British citizenship, at least I will finally have the feeling of belonging somewhere and be able to add the last piece to the puzzle as it where. I’m sure many on this forum feel the same way.

  39. OddOneOut says:

    Another query … am I correct in assuming that, if the law takes effect, I will automatically have become a British subject without needing to register? I mean, if the object is to end discrimination, then the same rules should apply as for children born after 1983. Right?

  40. ukccen says:

    Hi OddOneOut, unfortunately, citizenship will not be automatic. It will follow the present path to citizenship that children born abroad to British mothers must take – registration, passing a good character background, and a citizenship ceremony. It’s second class citizenship and it’s completely not fair, but it’s what we have.

  41. Ants says:

    Or rather, it’s what we’re waiting for (since we don’t have it yet: we have to wait for the laws to commence, and as far as I know, the one affecting citizenship through mothers took two years to commence). I had posted a much earlier comment (17 August) with lots of information and links, but for some reason it disappeared. If the laws do finally commence, to apply for registration we’ll have to pass a ‘good character’ requirement just as those born before 1983 to British mothers do, and we’ll additionally have to supply proof of paternity according to these rules:

  42. Dave says:

    My son was born in 2001in Thailand , I married his mother 6 months later. His sister born in the UK eighteen months later has a UK passport, my son apparently is not entitled to one. Will the future amendments to the Act address this situation ?

  43. ukccen says:

    Hi Dave,

    Since you married your son’s mother, he should already be entitled to a UK passport. The parents can marry anytime before and after the child’s birth.

  44. Dave says:

    Thank you , I’ve been looking into it today, I don’t have the Marriage cert but i have the divorce and custody cert.I think I may be making progress , thanks again

  45. Kevin says:

    I am a British male and married.

    In 2004 I had a daughter with a Thai woman who was, and still is, married to an American citizen.

    I was not named on the Thai Birth Certificate as the Father, the American husbands name is on that Certificate.

    I fully accept that the child is mine and support her and the mother financially.

    Am I correct to believe once this Amendment to the “Cut-off Date” passes into Law I can apply for my Daughter to obtain British Citizenship by providing DNA evidence? Are there any other requirements?

  46. ukccen says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Yes, your daughter will be eligible for a UK passport. However, it seems your situation is a bit complicated and you might want to discuss this with a lawyer. That said, providing proof of paternity through DNA testing is one of the agreed upon requirements for those children who do not have their father on their birth certificate. Have you though of making some sort of legal declaration of paternity and/or having your daughter’s birth certificate amended to show you as the father?

  47. Anonymous says:

    I spoke to a lawyer on the British embassys list .My son , as you said , is entitled to a British passport. The Registration of a child under 18 as a British citizen costs 669 pounds , the work they will do for me in getting the citizenship and passport is about the same amount again. Its expensive but will be money well spent

  48. ukccen says:

    Hi Anon, I totally agree, the money will be well spent. If you run into problems registering your son’s birth, you can wait until commencement of the amendments of the Immigration Act. Not all embassies will register a birth, which is why this law was even more necessary. There is nothing like having confirmed citizenship, and dual citizenship (if possible) will give your son endless possibilities. 🙂

  49. taner says:

    I just had a daughter on the 18 october 2014 so not long ago. Im british and my girlfriend is portuguese, so we’re not married. Just would like to know if my new born daughter would be eligible for a british passport?

  50. ukccen says:

    Hi taner, Congratulations! 🙂 Because your daughter was born after 1 July 2006, she is definitely eligible for a UK passport.

  51. nicole says:

    born in south African 1986, father has a uk passport never married my mom. my mom holds a uk passport through her parent though. I have lived in the uk now for 14 years and think this is disgusting that I can not apply for one just cause my parents didn’t married. I have a 3 year old you was born in the uk and he is lucky enough to be able to have a British passport.

  52. iainlfraser says:

    Thanks, Ants, for your customary clarity and intellectual grasp in this summary

  53. moi says:

    Hi, my son born in 2005 from a british father, I am french, we have try for a british passport and failed. The Home Office doesn’t know how to work properly. I am getting married with my son’s father, we are together since 11 years now, if we are sending a new passport application with our marriage certificate who is after our son birth, do you think he can obtain a british passport?
    Thank you

  54. Shan says:

    Is there any update on when this law could possibly be changing? Or is there a way to find out? I was born in 1992 to an unmarried British father?

    Will this mean I can now apply for a British passport with no hassle?

  55. ukccen says:

    Hi Moi,
    Since you are getting married, after the marriage, you just complete an application form and submit it the normal route. Please note that the law has changed and after April 6, your child can have British citizenship through the father regardless of whether you get married, or not.

  56. ukccen says:

    Hi Shan,
    Yes! The law has changed. Commencement will be April 6 and you can apply for citizenship. I will have the link to the forms up on my blog once this happens. You can apply if your father was born in the UK.

  57. Shan says:

    I though I could already apply for citezen ship? Does this not mean I can directly apply for a british passport this law change?

  58. ukccen says:

    Hi Shan,
    You can apply for citizenship after April 6 when the law commences. The law changed back in May, but it needed to be commenced. April 6 is that date. That is unless you were born to an unmarried British father and a British mother. If that is the case, you already have UK citizenship. If you were born to an unmarried British father and a foreign mother, and the Home Office did not register your birth, you will have to wait until April 6.

  59. Dolapo Olowo says:

    I am British by birth and I have 22 year old daughter an undergraduate in one of the Nigerian universities. Unfortunately she was born in Nigeria and I did not file for her citizenship at she 18. The British high commission in Lagos had all her documentation. How can I bring her into the system

  60. ukccen says:

    Hi Dolapo, First, a few questions. What nationality is your daughter’s mother? Were you and the mother married before or after your daughter’s birth?
    Thank you.

  61. Dolapo Olowo says:

    I am the natural mother, and she was born in Nigeria, I was never married to her Dad who is now deceased. I am still bearing my maiden name.

  62. Ants says:

    A few materials, while we wait for the laws to commence (which will occur on 6 April 2015 – exultate jubilate) and for the registration forms and procedures to be made available. I’m placing them all together for your convenience.

    The relevant law is section 65 of the Immigration Act 2014, which is this:

    The commencement order which causes this law to come into effect on 6 April 2015 is this:
    Article 4(b) of this is what explicitly mentions our law:

    The government issued ‘guidance’ about section 65 in September 2014:
    Quite wonderfully, you can see on that page that the material was ‘updated’ on the 2nd of March (yesterday), and in fact the new version of the guidance pdf promises that the necessary forms and procedures will be in place in time for the commencement date of 6 April!

    Click to access Section_65_of_the_Immigration_Act_2014_-_Feb_2015.pdf

    Once this registration route becomes active on 6 April, people born before 1 July 2006 to an unmarried British father, who was born on British soil, will be able to register for British citizenship using a procedure similar to that currently in place for those born abroad before 1983 to British mothers, with the additional requirement that they comply with the ‘British Nationality (Proof of Paternity) Regulations 2006’, which are these:

    Click to access uksi_20061496_en.pdf

    They allow various proofs of paternity including (but not limited to) DNA tests, court orders and the father being named on the birth certificate within a year of the registrant’s birth.

    We don’t know exactly what the form for registration through section 65 will be, but while we wait, we can peruse the forms and guidance for registration through mothers, given that many of the requirements (e.g. ‘good character’, which essentially means no criminal record and things of that general nature), will be the same. So, speculatively, have a look at these materials:

    If one is approved for registration, one will have to attend a citizenship ceremony during which one pledges allegiance to the Queen, at which moment, one becomes a British citizen. One will normally be notified of the date of the ceremony by the relevant authorities when they send approval of the registration procedure; it is imperative not to miss the ceremony within the time limits indicated by the authorities, or the procedure will have to be undertaken all over again. Thereafter one can apply for a passport. First adult passports have quite stringent requirements involving a referee and whatnot, but renewals are easier. Applying for passports from abroad:
    Applying for passports from within the UK:

    I hope this information is useful. And thanks iainlfraser for the kind words. I try.

  63. Shan says:

    Hello UKCCEN,

    I am completely confused please can you help me with this.
    I was born in the UK my mother is Ugandan but got indefinite leave to remain after I was born, my father is British.

    I can not have a British passport as I was born in 1992 and my parents were born out of wedlock.

    So this new law? You say I am entitled to British citizenship however will I have to pay for this i.e (naturalize)? Or will I automatically be a British citizen with this new law and entitled to a British passport?

    Kind Regards


    This thread is now closed. The law has been changed and will come into effect on 6 April.

    If you have any further questions or comments about this issue, I suggest you check out this site:

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